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UK Fundraising Post Tsunami

23 August 2005 at 1:08 pm
Staff Reporter
A survey six months on from the Asian Tsunami shows strength of UK Fundraising arena.

Staff Reporter | 23 August 2005 at 1:08 pm


UK Fundraising Post Tsunami
23 August 2005 at 1:08 pm

During the six months following the Tsunami, the majority (58.3%) of UK charities say they have succeeded in increasing or maintaining income at the same levels as those attained during the same time period in 2004, according to a new survey, released today by the UK Institute of Fundraising.

Charities have seen an increase in the use of planned giving (Gift Aid and of Committed Giving), but a large number of charities have seen a fall in corporate donations.

Lindsay Boswell, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, says the research does suggest that corporates have used their allocation of charitable monies to support the Tsunami appeal, leaving many charities potentially short of traditional company support.

Boswell says that this is hugely disappointing when you consider that the large proportion of the UK public dug deep in their pockets at a time they could least afford it; in the immediate aftermath of Christmas debt.

He says that with 85% of charities saying that the Tsunami appeal could, in some way, positively impact their organisation over the long-term, the outlook is largely positive.

Many charities remain uncertain as to how the Tsunami appeal might impact their fundraising overall and in the long-term, but those that have made a prediction are positive. 73.6% of those organisations thought the overall impact would be positive and only 24.5% that the overall impact would be negative.

Boswell says the Tsunami appeal has been a real testament to the generosity of UK donors, but it has been a major worry to many charities that have been concerned how they can compete against the media attention around this campaign.

He says the results are largely heartening. There is a general feeling of optimism generated from donors” “feel good” factor. Where charities have seen a fall in income the general view is that it will be short lived, meanwhile the benefits from increased take-up around Gift Aid and committed giving should be felt for years to come.

The challenge he says remains for charities to maintain the giving momentum and sector-wide positive attributes of increased awareness of charitable causes, as highlighted by the Tsunami appeal and, more recently, Live 8.

The survey also found that charities are concerned about whether the public trust and confidence in charities has been or will be damaged by stories about the use of Tsunami funds.

49.2% respondents stated that this potential impact might negatively affect their fundraising over the long-term.

The Institute of Fundraising web survey included 132 respondents, representing £627 million of fundraising income. The survey attracted a range of respondents across all scales of income levels, 20% have an annual income of under £250,000 and 50% respondents raise over a £1 million in fundraising income. 10.6% of respondents (14 charities) were involved in a Tsunami fundraising appeals of their own.


Long-term effect of the Tsunami appeal

– 85% of organisations think that the appeal could, in some way, positively impact their organisation over the long-term.

– 50% said that the appeal could raise the profile of the voluntary sector

– 48.4% said that there is an opportunity to tap into the “feel-good” factor

– 35.2% said that the appeal would increase take-up of Gift Aid

– 73.6% of the respondents that made a prediction about the long-term effect of the Tsunami appeal on their fundraising thought the overall effect would be positive and 24.5% negative, (compared to 55% and 45% respectively in a January / February survey). 48% of respondents made a prediction, 51.6% of respondents answered “don’t know”.

Charities were also asked to identify any possible negative effects of the tsunami appeal on their organisation’s fundraising.

The main concern, identified by 49.2% of respondents, was whether the public trust and confidence in charities has been / will be damaged by stories about the use of tsunami funds.

Income from corporate donations decreased amongst 36.8% of respondents and increased in only 7%.

Nearly a third (32%) of charities have altered fundraising activities in light of the Tsunami appeal, the majority delayed mailings or cancelled events.

Smaller vs Larger Charities

– Larger charities were more likely to have seen an increase in income than smaller charities and less likely to experience a decrease:

– 41% of larger charities saw an increase in income, compared to only 25% of smaller charities

– 37.5% of smaller charities saw a decrease in income, compared to 33.3% of smaller charities

For further information, see the summary research report online at:

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