5 ways Covid-19 has affected donor behaviour

Third Sector Promotion Enthuse

In an ordinary year, insights into donor and supporter behaviour are a critical element of planning for fundraisers. Unfortunately, 2020 has been far from ordinary, with charities constantly having to shift focus, resources and approach to cope with the ever changing dynamic of the pandemic. 

Public behaviour and attitudes are rapidly changing from quarter to quarter as people look to the old normal and the new normal for how they should behave. The pandemic has of course revealed the desire of the public to support those who have worked so hard in the frontline for everyone. But what other changes in sentiment have taken place? 

In the first in an ongoing quarterly series, Enthuse’s Donor Pulse report looks at how the public’s opinions on supporting charities and donating are changing over time. Here are five key trends the report highlights: 

1 Gen Z giving Interestingly, 18-24 year olds have donated more often during lockdown, and are planning to donate more often in the next three months. Research carried out by Enthuse shows 84% of 18-24 year olds have made a donation in the past three months.

Even if donations to the NHS are removed because of the exceptional circumstances, the data shows that nearly three quarters (73%) of 18-24 year olds made donations. Charities need to think about how they can factor this into their planning to ensure this audience is engaged. 

2 One-off vs recurring There has been a far larger net change of 22% in the willingness to make one-off donations to causes that people care about. This is something that charities need to consider in the structure of their fundraising campaigns. 

Specifically, charities should aim for a one-off donation first, and then try to move people to giving regularly as donors understand more about the charity. Marketing consent and the ability to customise this consent are key to this upgrading strategy. 

3 Think local Local community causes have registered higher than would normally be expected, with the pandemic seemingly driving people to look much closer to home when they are thinking about giving. This is obviously an opportunity for smaller local charities, while national charities need to consider how they communicate their local outcomes.

4 Hybrid events Virtual event participation rose rapidly during lockdown. While participation was only 12% of the public overall, when looking at the demographics breakdown this rose to nearly a third of 18-24 years olds, and 1 in 5 of the 25-39 year olds segment, too. This participation may also have grown the number of donors from the younger age group, as they share their fundraising pages across their networks of friends.

Virtual events are a must have, with so many people willing to get involved and such a variety of options to offer. Whether this is a hybrid of a physical and virtual event or a straight virtual event, charities need to think about activities that connect people. 

5 The importance of brand With digital donations becoming so critical over the past few months, it’s concerning that according to Enthuse’s research a third of donors can’t remember the name of the charity that they donated to. This will be in large part due to the use of online giving platforms which put their brand ahead of the charities, with about half of digital donations going via these third parties.

Charities must put their brands front and centre as in the digital world, it is easy for them to get lost and for donors to forget who they have donated to. This is a long term risk that needs to be countered, especially in the current circumstance.

Enthuse is a fundraising, donations and events registration platform that has helped more than 4,000 charities, including 1 in 5 of the top 100, raise over £70 million.

Enthuse’s solutions are customised under a cause’s own brand and put the organisation in control of the data. This allows charities to build and nurture a loyal supporter base, raise more and ultimately have more impact.

Click here to download the full report, or for more information email info@enthuse.com or go to enthuse.com.

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