Newspaper Influence on Donors Wanes
25 February 2010 at 3:45 pm
New research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) into the UK’s Haiti Disaster Emergency Appeal reveals the decline in newspaper influence on donors, with television coverage being the medium that inspires most people to donate.
The CAF research asked 1,005 people which medium influenced them to donate. Stories and adverts in newspapers encouraged only six percent of those who gave to the Haiti appeal which compares with 12 percent during the Burma appeal of 2008, and 11 percent during the Asia-Pacific Appeal of 2009.
Television coverage remains the media which inspires most people to donate at 75 percent, which is 8 percentage points higher than with the Asia-Pacific appeal in 2009.
Stories and adverts on radio, which was included in the Haiti appeal survey for the first time, inspired five percent of people to donate.
The head of research at CAF, Liz Goodey says the research shows that newspapers have become less important than they once were in campaigns in inspiring people to donate. Readership figures of the national dailies have dropped by around ten percent between the Burma and Haiti appeals and their ability to inspire donations has dropped over the same period too.
Goodey says this is news that all charity fundraisers will be interested in as society moves into a digital world, but it still shows the power that another traditional medium, television, holds in inspiring and moving people to donate to disaster appeals and charity more generally.
Other results from the survey show that donations by cash have increased with 40 percent of donors giving in this way to the Haiti appeal.
Goodey says the increase in cash giving shows that for appeals like Haiti, people will spontaneously make cash donations where there’s an opportunity to do so, for example in a shop, church or mosque.
As a result she says the charity sector still has work to do to encourage people to donate in tax effective ways, boosting donations and charities’ ability to help at no further cost to the donor.
The Charities Aid Foundation is a charity set up to help other charities by working with donors, companies and charities to encourage and facilitate a culture of giving.
The report can be downloaded at http://www.cafonline.org/pdf/CAF_Disaster_Monitor_summary_2010.pdf