Fundraising ‘Stuck In Tradition’
1 December 2016 at 11:46 am
Australia’s not-for-profit organisations engaged in fundraising activities most commonly seek revenue from regular givers and membership fees and while some are using new technologies to attract donors others are ‘stuck in tradition’, according to the largest ever national research effort into philanthropic behaviour.
The Giving Australia 2016 project, which launched in Canberra on Thursday, found that smaller charities are still not optimising technology to their advantage.
The report found that some 23 per cent of not-for-profit organisations still do not have a website.
Larger NFPs are more likely to use new technology platforms compared to small and medium organisations.
The Giving Australia project looked at the uptake of technology by organisational size. Ninety-six per cent of large organisations had a website compared to 68 per cent of small charities. In terms of using social media 80 per cent of large charities used a variety of platforms compared to 62 per cent of medium sized charities and 52 percent of small charities.
Some 21 per cent of large charities used third party fundraising platforms compared to 9 per cent of media NFPs and 8 per cent of small NFPs.
The primary use of a not-for-profit website was to provide information (96 per cent). Only 36 percent of charities used their website to receive donations and 24 percent used the website to attract volunteers.
For those organisations with a website, less than half reported it was optimised for mobile technology.
The report found that despite the rise and popularity of crowdfunding for individual causes it was not being taken up by charities. Only 6 per cent of large charities had engaged in crowdfunding campaigns, followed by 5 per cent of medium charities and 3 per cent of small charities.
The Giving Australia 2015-2016 project was undertaken by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at the Queensland University of Technology, the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.
The $1.7 million Giving Australia 2016 project is described as the largest ever research effort into philanthropic behaviour to understand how, why and how much Australians give to charity.
As part of the research, the not-for-profit sector identified a number issues affecting their progress including the need to diversify funding and appeal to supporter motivations, invest in innovation, and encourage planned giving including bequests.
Other key issues identified in the report include the increasing difficulty of attracting donors and
volunteers, public concerns about fundraising practices, administration costs and duplication, and “stuck in tradition” attitudes turning off younger supporters.
From the donor perspective the charities reported that outcomes-reporting had an increasingly significant influence on donors’ decisions.
Lead researcher and director of Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at QUT Associate Professor Wendy Scaife told Pro Bono Australia News there was an upside to planned and regular giving to charities.
“One of the other things from the NFP survey was regular giving. That comes back to technology and making that easier. And also some of the new techniques [of fundraising].
“You know that face-to-face [fundraising] some people love to hate it [but] it is appealing to some parts of the community who are happy to sign up to that regular gift. People are now signing up for that month on month kind of giving or payroll giving and that giving habit is coming through very strongly.
“One of the big things we found in [Giving Australia] 2005 was that if you planned your giving, you considered it, your deliberated over it you asked your family about it… we found that they gave four times as much as those who classed themselves as spontaneous givers.
“We looked for it this time and lo and behold those who are planning their giving are giving six times as much. The question is how can we encourage people to plan their giving more.”