GFC Hangover Expected to Continue to Impact Donations in 2012
15 December 2011 at 11:45 am
People in the United States and United Kingdom overwhelmingly trust Not for Profits (NFPs) ahead of of governments and corporations to create social change, yet most say they will make charitable donations at the same or reduced levels as last year.
The 2011 Social Good Survey by Fenton and GlobeScan, examines people’s views of NFPs and planned giving for 2012, and identified engaging donors personally through multiple channels as the key to securing support in a tough economy.
The survey reveals that charitable giving in the US and UK has yet to rebound following the recession – trend that is expected to continue in 2012. 72% of respondents in the U.K. and 65% of respondents in the U.S. say their 2012 giving will remain the same; and 16% of respondents in the U.K. and 17% of respondents in the U.S. say their 2012 giving will decrease.
Personal interests and connections to causes are the most significant factors that drive people to donate, according to the survey. It says the stagnant giving trend can partly be attributed to the recession, but a lack of understanding about how NFPs donated funds and missed opportunities to engage supporters, could also be impeding donations.
Rob Anderson, Managing Director of Fenton’s New York office, said “In today’s economic climate, Not for Profits and charities must effectively engage people on the impact and timeliness of their work to stand out from the pack and raise the level of trust and support from existing and potential donors.”
“These findings confirm that, if they haven’t already, Not for Profits and charities must adapt to the age of engagement.”
The survey was based on responses from interviews with more than 2,000 people in the US and UK who had made a donation of $20/£10 to a NFP in the past year.
Overview of the Key Findings:
Giving to Not for Profits is stalled: Seventy-two percent of U.K. respondents and 65% of U.S. respondents say they expect their giving to remain the same in 2012; only 12% of U.K. respondents and 18% of U.S. respondents say they expect their giving to increase.
Not for Profits are perceived to be most effective as change makers: Forty-one percent of U.K. respondents and 55% of U.S. respondents say they believe NFPs are highly effective at bringing about positive social change. Fifty-four percent of U.K. respondents and 56% of U.S. respondents say they highly trust NFPs.
Not for Profits and charities can earn greater support by making a personal connection: When asked what is most important in a decision to donate to a NFP, people say an organization’s commitment to a cause they feel strongly about (54% U.K.; 44% U.S.) is the most important factor.
Confusion surrounding Not for Profits spending and management: Less than half of respondents say they believe NFPs do a good job of spending funds and managing operations, and an even smaller percentage say they have a high level of knowledge about how Not for Profits perform in these areas. Those who report knowing more about how NFPs are managed are also more positive about their support.
Social media is most important for staying current on Not for Profits activities and taking action: Respondents give varying reasons for using social media tools in relation to NFPs, but the majority of responses underscore the value of social media to keep supporters up to date and provide opportunities for engagement. While social media may not be the most effective tool to reach new audiences, it is an effective one to engage existing supporters.
Traditional media is still important for breaking through on issues and inspiring engagement: News stories and television commercials rank higher than social media as persuasion tools to bring new people into an effort. Getting stories on the television news is the most effective; 28% of U.K. respondents and 25% of U.S. respondents rank this as the most effective tool.
View complete survey results at Fenton’s website.