More Consumers Giving to Charities Via Online Channels

Consumers are expected to give up to $48 billion to nonprofit organizations during the current holiday season. The goodwill comes at a time when people are still closing monitoring household sbudgets. But consumers understand the importance of sharing their wealth and this year they appear to be using more channels, a process that makes giving convenient and requires less time. As a result, charitable organizations need to make sure they maintain a consistent but visible presence across all channels.

The latest research, from Convio and undertaken by Edge Research, indicates that 74% of U.S. adults will give to a charity this year. More than half (60%) will give more than $100 with the average giving totaling about $281 per person.  Gen X wins the prize for most generous age demographic. The average Gen Xer will hand out $348 on average.

Analysts believe that effective marketing tactics include putting “a face to the donation (either human or animal).” This strategy is an important reminder to share the wealth. In addition, appealing for donations via online channels seems to make a difference. Gene Austin, CEO of Convio, says “[d]igital technologies – such as email, online and social media – continue to play a key role in the evolution of fundraising and constituent interaction for nonprofits.”  In fact, over 20% of consumers will make at least 1 donation online this season showing the growing dominance of this channel which includes social media.

Consumers generally give to between 2–3 organizations. They prioritize their giving among the following types of recipients:

  • Human and social services 50%
  • Faith-​based 45%
  • Disease and health services 29%
  • Animal welfare 25%
  • Disaster/​international relief 19%
  • Education-​related 15%

The survey also revealed that younger consumers are ‘random’ in their giving and open to emotional messages while older, high-​dollar givers tend to fund faith-​based organizations.

Marketers will like pay attention to all of these demographic details as they make their final pitches for donations through the end of 2010.
[Source: Convio Survey Shows Charitable Giving During 2010 Holiday Season to Exceed $48 Billion as 74 Percent of US Adults Plan to Give. Convio​.com. 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2010] 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.