Nearly 17,000 charitable donors in the U.S. responded to a recent survey conducted by Cygnus Applied Research and compiled by Penelope Burk. Among its findings, the research revealed:
1.Donors plan to maintain level of giving. While the majority (55%) expected to give about the same over the previous year, the ratio is 4:1 for donors who planned to give more than less. Among those intending to give more, 67% cited personal financial ability while 31% referenced satisfaction with the organization they support.
2.Givers are changing the ways in which they donate. Sponsoring participants in athletic-type fundraising events, like walk-a-thons, is increasing in popularity, as are online, monthly and social media giving. Direct mail remains the favorite form of gift transaction, although longer-term trends show it to be decreasing in popularity.
3.Contributors are becoming more selective. More than half (57%) of respondents said they spend more time researching nonprofits before they give for the first time or renew their support. Their main source of information by far? Websites. Donors also value measurable results; 69% said they are likely to favor organizations that report on what is being achieved with donor gifts.
4.Donor recognition garners greater results. Contributors were asked if they would give again and more generously the next time to a nonprofit that acknowledged their first gift promptly and reported their progress in measurable terms before asking for another gift. Nearly seven out 10 said they would definitely or probably renew, half would make a larger gift, and 67% would continue to give indefinitely – assuming they received these considerations on each occasion.
5.Many have more to give. Fully 40% of survey participants said they still could have contributed more – including half of donors under the age of 35.
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