'Too much contact' is chief reason why people stop giving to a charity

The Consumer Attitudes Report was written by Elise Rappoport of the Read Group

Elise Rappoport
Elise Rappoport

More than half of UK adults would stop donating to a charity if it contacted them too frequently, according to new research.

The data asset management company the Read Group surveyed more than 1,000 nationally representative UK adults for its Consumer Attitudes Report 2012, written by PR manager Elise Rappoport.

Asked to select from a list of options what would make them stop donating to a charity, 53 per cent of respondents said they would if a charity contacted them too often. The second most popular choice was badly targeted mailings, chosen by 47 per cent of respondents, followed by money being spent on marketing by charities, chosen by 43 per cent.

When respondents were asked whom they would be most likely to complain to if they were dissatisfied with a communication from a charity, 51 per cent said they would not complain.

Thirty per cent said they would complain to the charity directly, 6 per cent said they would contact the Mailing Preference Service and 6 per cent said they would contact the Fundraising Standards Board.

"Dissatisfied supporters still don’t like complaining to a charity and may withdraw their support or cease making financial donations if the situation does not improve, which gives the charity little scope to rectify problems," the report says. "This suggests that consumers might not be sure of how best to address a complaint against a charity’s marketing, or perhaps they feel their complaints are falling on deaf ears."

Asked how they would react if a charity they donated to regularly sent a mailing through the post with incorrect personal details, 63 per cent of respondents said they would notify the charity of the error. Nineteen per cent said they would do nothing, 18 per cent said they would be less likely to donate to the charity in the future and 5 per cent said they would cancel their donation.

Asked about their favourite method of communication with charities, 55 per cent said they would prefer to receive no communication at all from a charity with which they did not have an existing relationship.

Email was the was most popular method chosen by those that did want communication, chosen by 17 per cent of respondents, followed by postal direct mail, with 16 per cent.

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