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Social Media ‘Inspires’ Fundraising Globally – New Research


20 September 2017 at 4:03 pm
Lina Caneva
A new global giving trends report has found while many not for profits might be skeptical that social media is useful for fundraising, 75 per cent of donors, including those in Australia, agree it is a primary news source for staying current on the work of their favourite organisations.


Lina Caneva | 20 September 2017 at 4:03 pm


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Social Media ‘Inspires’ Fundraising Globally – New Research
20 September 2017 at 4:03 pm

A new global giving trends report has found while many not for profits might be skeptical that social media is useful for fundraising, 75 per cent of donors, including those in Australia, agree it is a primary news source for staying current on the work of their favourite organisations.

The online survey for the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report by Nonprofit Tech for Good also found that 25 per cent of donors said social media “inspired” them most often to give.

The report questioned 4,084 donors in 94 countries, across six continents. The vast majority of the donors were based in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Donors worldwide were predominantly women (73 per cent) who described themselves as having a liberal ideology (61 per cent) and were 37 years old or older (73 per cent).

The survey found that globally, the vast majority of donors prefered to give online (61 per cent) with 14 per cent preferring to give by direct mail, 14 per cent via fundraising events, 6 per cent by mobile, and 5 per cent through workplace giving.

It found that 54 per cent were regular givers, with the vast majority of these – 82 per cent – giving monthly and 45 per cent of donors giving to charities outside of their own country.

The survey found that donors in Australia and New Zealand had embraced online giving as new fundraising services had become widely available to NFPs and NGOs over the last decade.

“Australian and Kiwi donors are well-known for being generous,” the report said.

It found that 61 per cent of Australasian donors volunteered and 70 per cent attended fundraising events.

Some 49 per cent of Australian donors identified themselves as politically liberal compared to 61 per cent globally, with 39 per cent as moderate and 12 per cent as conservative, while a majority of donors were gen xers at 34 per cent.

Seventy-five per cent of donors globally agreed that social media was the primary news source for staying up to date with their favourite charities, and 25 said social media also inspired them the most to give.

According to the report Facebook inspired 62 per cent to give by this channel, compared to 15 per cent for Twitter, 10 per cent for Instagram, and 6 per cent for YouTube. LinkedIn inspired more online donations at 3 per cent than WhatsApp (1.4 per cent), Google+ (0.4 per cent), Tumblr (0.4 per cent), Medium (0.4 per cent), Pinterest (0.2 per cent), and Snapchat (0.1 per cent) combined.

Fundraising events also inspired giving globally, inspiring 25 per cent to give the most, followed by email and web at 21 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Phone and text inspired just 0.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent to give the most. Some 61 per cent were also inspired to give in the holidays, particularly around Christmas.

Most donors said they were happy that the organisations they supported kept them up to date with news about their work (90 per cent), and 91 per cent agreed that these organisations were effective in communicating their thanks for donations.

For millennial donors, the top three causes were: children and youth (14 per cent), human and civil rights (11 per cent), and women and girls (9 per cent). Millennials prefered to give: online (62 per cent), fundraising events (16 per cent) and mobile (9 per cent). They were most inspired to give by: social media (33 per cent), fundraising events (26 per cent) and email (20 per cent).

For Generation X donors, the top three causes were: children and youth (14 per cent), animals (11 per cent) and human services (10 per cent). Generation Xers prefered to give online (59 per cent), fundraising events (16 per cent) and by direct mail (11 per cent). They were most inspired to give by: social media (28 per cent), fundraising events (24 per cent), and email (20 per cent).

For baby boomer donors the top three causes were: religious services and faith (12 per cent), human services (11 per cent) and children and youth (11 per cent). They prefered to give online (59 per cent), by direct mail (19 per cent) and fundraising events (12 per cent). They were most inspired to give by fundraising events (24 per cent), email (23 per cent) and social media (19 per cent).

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaigns were popular globally too with 44 per cent having donated to a crowdfunding campaign in the last 12 months, and 33 per cent to a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

When asked which new fundraising concepts donors would be most likely to use,
donors responded:

  • to a mobile app that allowed two-tap giving that earned badges and redeemable points (66 per cent);
  • a smartphone “near-field giving” through a digital billboard on public transport or at an airport (19 per cent);
  • voice-command giving through a home personal assistant or car radio (9 per cent);
  • fingerprint giving through a touch screen on your refrigerator (4 per cent); and
  • swipe-giving through an internet connected mirror in your bathroom (2 per cent).

The annual research project dedicated to studying how and why donors worldwide give to their favorite causes and charitable organisations released its preliminary findings in June 2017.

Nonprofit Tech for Good said in 2018 the survey would again be published in English, French, and Spanish, as well as in Arabic and Portuguese to increase its reach into the Middle East and Latin America.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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