Online charity supporters can be grouped into six different types, such as "industrial heartland Clive" or "wealthy professional Jacqueline", emerging research indicates.
Give as you Live, a website that allows online shoppers to direct donations, which are made by retailers, to the charity of their choice, is carrying out research asking charity donors about topics including what inspired them to give, how they spent time online, their online giving habits and their general lifestyle.
Initial findings from the first 7,000 responses to the research, which is called the Digital Donor Review, indicate that there are six digital donor types:
- Young starter Neil, who is most likely to give via text
- Marie, who represents young, comfortably well-off families and is a heavy online shopper, so uses websites such as Give as you Live to generate donations
- Industrial heartland Clive, who donates mainly through traditional offline channels but has donated via text and online sponsorship sites
- Affluent oldie Margaret, who donates mostly through direct debit or cash appeals, but is a digital native who buys gifts and banks online
- Rachel, who represents squeezed middle families and who actively engages with her favourite charities on Facebook
- Wealthy professional Jacqueline, who regularly sponsors friends through online giving websites
Polly Gowers, chief executive of Give as you Live, said the profiles would help charities choose the right digital channels, which would help save time and resources.
"For example, if your audience are all Clives who don’t use Facebook, then don’t invest in Facebook," she said. "But if you have a lot of young mums on moderate incomes, then Facebook is the right channel.
"We will do this annually – we want to understand who the donor is so we can build better digital giving solutions," she added.
Charities that asked their donors to take part in the survey will receive details about the demographic of their donor base compared with the national average. They will be able to find out which types are most prevalent within their supporter base.
The survey runs until January and the full results will be unveiled in February.