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Habits of Aussie and New Zealand donors in 2020 revealed

21 September 2020 at 5:43 pm
Maggie Coggan
Modern fundraising technology is a worthwhile investment, a fundraising leader says

Maggie Coggan | 21 September 2020 at 5:43 pm


Habits of Aussie and New Zealand donors in 2020 revealed
21 September 2020 at 5:43 pm

Modern fundraising technology is a worthwhile investment, a fundraising leader says

It’s not just online shopping that Australian and New Zealanders are using their credit cards for at the moment, with new research revealing donors are using the internet to give to charity more than any other country in the world.

The latest Global Trends in Giving report found that in the 2019 financial year, 64 per cent of donors in Australia and New Zealand preferred to give online with a credit or debit card – the highest rate in the world, and up from 51 per cent in 2018. 

Based on the survey results of 13,468 donors worldwide between March and May this year, the Nonprofit Tech for Good report found that Australian and New Zealand donors were overwhelmingly female (75 per cent). 

Donors embraced Facebook fundraising tools, with 48 per cent of respondents donating directly to charities via Facebook, compared to just 7 per cent in 2018.

Read more: The rise (and scepticism) of Facebook fundraisers

This was evidenced during the summer bushfire season, which saw record amounts raised via Facebook fundraisers, such as Celeste Barber’s fundraiser that collected over $50 million for the NSW Rural Fire Service. 

For just over 30 per cent of respondents, regular email communication was the tactic that inspired them to give, with 48 per cent of respondents saying it was what inspired them to give on a recurring basis. 

Just over half of respondents were enrolled in a recurring giving program, with the majority (80 per cent) choosing to give on a monthly basis. 

One event that did not take off this year was #GivingTuesday, with only 7 per cent donating on the annual giving day. 

This was 10 per cent less than the global average and according the report, likely a result of Australia and New Zealand having the lowest adoption rate of #Giving Tuesday as a fundraising strategy, despite an extra push this year.  

Capitalising on Australian’s love of online giving 

Katherine Raskob, the CEO of Fundraising Institute Australia, told Pro Bono News that with many donors trapped indoors for much of the year, it was a big opportunity for charities to embrace the move to online giving. 

“The rise in online payments was probably coinciding with people being stuck at home and not being able to get out,” Raskob said.  

“So I think those are significant opportunities for Australian charities to take advantage of.” 

Gen X’ers come out on top 

The report found that Generation X were the most likely to donate (38 per cent) in Australia and New Zealand, ahead of Baby Boomers (34 per cent) and Millennials (25 per cent). This differs from the global benchmark, where the number of Baby Boomer donors outstrip Generation X and Millennials by over 10 per cent. 

Raskob said this was something local organisations should be mindful of.

“Australian giving is trending a little bit younger… so even though email is still such a popular platform or channel, resting on your laurels of just sending a bunch of emails is probably going to be short sighted,” she said.    

A worthwhile investment 

With Australia and New Zealand donors being the most likely to adopt new fundraising technology such as facial recognition (20 per cent), an internet-connected TV (18 per cent), and swipe-giving through digital billboards (18 per cent), Raskob said it was important charities kept abreast of emerging technologies. 

“I think charities do need to consider how they’re going to meet the demands of Australians in digital trends into the future, not just kind of staying with what they’ve got or what’s in place this year,” she said. 

“It’s why reports like this are so helpful, because it does show that Australians and New Zealanders are interested in giving via new technologies, so that investment is worth it.” 

She did acknowledge however, that investing in new kinds of fundraising was challenging when resources were already so scarce.  

“I do understand that it is very challenging, especially during this period when potentially charities are going to see the strains of the pandemic on the charitable giving income that they’ve got in this year and next,” she said.

“It’s important to make sure that at the bare minimum they have a really good website with a big ‘donate now’ button and organisations are using the tools that are available to get people to donate.” 

See the full report here. 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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