4A’s Research, in partnership with Researchscape, an agile market research firm, surveyed 1,031 people to learn more about charitable donation habits, as well as any impact the coronavirus pandemic has had.
Almost 20% of respondents said they donate more now compared to this time last year. 38% of respondents donate the same amount, while 20% donate less. One-quarter of respondents do not donate to charity. It’s quite a positive sign that 75% do make charitable donations. One interesting finding is more men answered they donate more to charity now than women. This provides an opportunity for organizations to target women for donations.
Of the 75% of respondents that do donate to charity, the majority (48%) make donations of $1-49. From the results, it’s more common to see people give small amounts; 82% give under $200 vs. 19% who give $200 or more.
Giving occurs every few months, according to our survey. Almost a third donate once a month, while 11% donate weekly. Surprisingly, only 7% of respondents donate during the holidays. After learning the majority of people donate quarterly, nonprofit and charitable organizations should target donors consistently throughout the year, instead of focusing on year-end giving campaigns.
Animal charities are the top type of organizations where respondents donate. Health & medical comes in a close second, with religious and disaster relief tied for third. As current hot topics, it’s surprising to see environment and social equity causes rank so low among types of charities people donate to.
When looking at demographic breakdowns of respondents, those with incomes of $100,000+ tend to donate more to education and health & medical and those with incomes $50,000 and under donate more to animal organizations.
Generation is a big factor in types of charities people donate to. Baby Boomers lean towards active duty & veterans and religious organizations, while Gen Z supports animal and health & medical. The chart below shows large gaps between the generations for arts & culture, education, food, environment, and social equity causes. Disaster relief and human services appear to be the causes everyone can get behind.
31% of respondents learn about causes through their own interests. Social media (18%) is actually more influential than family/friends (16%). 9% learn about causes through advertising, as well as at checkout when shopping. Creating content drawing people to a cause is one practice organizations could implement now knowing donors base giving habits on their own interests.
The survey found Hispanic consumers are more likely to learn about causes through advertising, while Asian Americans are more likely to learn through email. There is also a big difference between how Baby Boomers and Gen Z learn about causes; Baby Boomers report finding causes based on their interests while social media is the top way Gen Z learns about them.
Nonprofit and charitable organizations can use the following key findings to better reach donors:
- Focus on smaller donation amounts
- Target donors every few months or on a quarterly basis
- Produce content that draws people to your cause.
Researchscape is a member of AAP, which provides exclusive discounts for 4A’s members. Learn more about Researchscape and its custom survey service here.