A quarter of donors have increased their giving this year, survey indicates

Martin Campbell of Blackbaud says the fundraising software company's survey shows that even when people face financial difficulties, they will give to causes they care about

Martin Campbell
Martin Campbell

Almost a quarter of donors say they have increased the amount they gave to charity this year, new research indicates.

The study, Donor Perspectives: an investigation into what drives your donors to give, published today by the fundraising software company Blackbaud, surveyed 1,436 donors in the UK during July and August.

Sixty per cent of respondents said they had given the same amount as in 2011 and 17 said they had given less.

Among those who said they had increased their donations, 16 per cent said it was because they wanted to be more charitable and 13 per cent said they wanted to support a specific cause or mission.

Last week, a report by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations found that donations were down 20 per cent on last year, a fall of £2.3bn in real terms. The report was based on a survey of 3,000 members of the public.

The Blackbaud report was based on a survey of people who donate to charity. An online survey was emailed to people who had donated funds to charity within the past 12 months and left open for two weeks.

Nine out of 10 people said they had made a one-off donation to charity. When asked what would motivate them to become regular donors, the top three answers were: an improvement in their finances; having a passion about an organisation’s cause; and having access to information that proved the impact of their donations.

Martin Campbell, Blackbaud Europe’s director of strategy and innovation, said: "Personal finances have a major impact on whether people donate to a charity or not, but people have shown that they will find the money for causes they really care about.

"Making it easier for supporters to learn about an organisation, answering their questions and providing clear vehicles for contributions are the three essentials for charities to take from the research."

The survey found that 20 per cent of respondents stopped their regular donations this year, compared with 29 per cent of the 1,576 people surveyed in Australia.

The average amount donated to charity in the UK over the past year was £251.38.

Overall, respondents in the UK still prefer to donate with cash – 40 per cent said this was their favourite method. Among those aged 55 or over, the preferred method was direct debit.

A quarter of those surveyed said they had donated by text, but only 1.5 per cent said it was their preferred method.

Blackbaud carried out the donor survey for the first time to go alongside its 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry report, published last month.

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