UK Fundraising "Put Offs"
1 December 2008 at 4:49 pm
The UK public is more put off by how a charity spends its income than how it generates it – according to new research.
The study found that 3 out of 5 (61%) people questioned are worried about the amount that actually goes to a cause and half (51%) are anxious about the amount spent on admin – ahead of other top-five charitable gripes: telephone calls at home (45%), collectors’ persistence (44%) and door-to-door collections (39%).
UK research consultancy nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor has tracked a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain for the past decade, uncovering donors’ attitudes and habits as well as what they think of charities’ fundraising strategies and tactics.
Conversely, “charities campaigning for change” (3%) and “not being contacted or updated” (6%) are regarded as the least off-putting charitable activities by the public.
Only 3% of the public say that there is nothing, on a wide-ranging pallet of suggestions, that they find off-putting about charities.
nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, says even negative feedback is a positive boon, if heeded.
Saxton says these latest findings should not only prompt charities to focus ever more on clearly presenting their fundraising tactics as necessary and effective – even if, on occasion, irritating.
He says the data should also induce them to reassure the public that donations and other sources of income do largely end up directly helping causes – admin costs being relatively low, and necessary, for the smooth running of any effective voluntary organisation.
Otherwise, he says the public are less likely to give money or engage in other ways.
Earlier research conducted by nfpSynergy also found that the public dramatically overestimate charities’ admin and fundraising costs, with them falsely believe that, on average, over a third (35%) of a charity’s income actually goes on fundraising and a shocking 40% on admin, when true figures for average-sized charities are likely to be far lower than this.