FUNDRAISING NEWS: Giving is 'determined by politics'

People who live in a constituency with a Labour MP are more likely to give to a homelessness charity while those in a Conservative area prefer to donate to animal welfare causes, according to new research on reciprocal mailings.

But the research, undertaken by direct marketing agency Occam, couldn't pinpoint a clear idea of what charities people in Liberal Democrat constituencies preferred because of a "lack of conviction" about which issues should be supported.

"The research should help focus charities which are looking to work with other organisations on reciprocal mailing programmes in certain areas," said Mary Ann Partridge, account director at Occam. "Our research also showed that households in Conservative constituencies tend to give to more charities than their Labour counterparts, although the research didn't cover which political constituency gave the most."

The findings also identified that people giving to certain types of causes reacted more positively to reciprocal mailing programmes than others.

Around 15 per cent of those giving to an animal or children's charity responded when mailed by another organisation through a reciprocal mailing programme. In contrast just 1 per cent of those giving to an environmental cause replied to a fundraising appeal by a different organisation.

"One of the reasons for this could be that people who give to environmental charities respond more positively to event-based appeals, such as an oil slick," said Partridge. "Animal and medical charities attract more consistent donors, who may be more open to the messages of other appeals."

The research also indicated that charity donors were more likely to give to another organisation mailing them with a similar cause.

"Although it may seem logical that people would be more receptive to giving to a different cause, it appears that those supporting cancer charities are more likely to give to another cancer charity instead of branching out into new areas," said Partridge.

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