Guess who gives to charity?

Who gives to charity? Here’s a look at a recent study reported at Advice for Good. What the research says about who gives to charity

It’s a more European take on the topic, but it’s pretty much the same as what we experience in North America. Some important factors for charitable giving include:


  • Religion: “…the more often someone attends religious services the more likely they are to donate to charity and donate larger amounts.”
  • Education: “higher education = higher charitable giving.”
  • Age: There’s a “positive correlation between age and donation amount, with a leveling off or decreasing after a certain age.”
  • Socialization: “People who grow up in a religious household give more to charity; parental volunteering likely increases children’s propensity to give; volunteering as teenagers increases giving as adults.”

The important takeaway from this, or any other study of who gives, is this reminder: Your donors are not you. If you want to be persuasive to them, don’t tangle yourself up in trying to be persuasive to yourself.

Here’s the study: Who Gives? A Literature Review of Predictors of Charitable Giving (PDF).


Comments

2 responses to “Guess who gives to charity?”

  1. On religiosity, this report actually states (page 8, para 2):
    “The fact that no statistically significant relationship between giving and religious involvement was found in three out of four experiments is informative about the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between religious involvement and giving…”
    It then goes on to state that “frequency of solicitation” is a, (perhaps, the) key factor. People who belong to religious groups, or who give to religious charities are more likely to receive a higher number of solicitations than non-religious people. There are no comparable non-religious groups to which they can belong.
    Just semantics I guess, none of which lessens the importance of making the most of the reasons why your donors give.
    I guess the important thing is: if you’re a religious charity, make the most of the faith based reasons your donors give. If your a secular charity, don’t focus on religious people at the expense of the non-religious, they may well be just as giving and just as profitable.

  2. On religiosity, this report actually states (page 8, para 2):
    “The fact that no statistically significant relationship between giving and religious involvement was found in three out of four experiments is informative about the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between religious involvement and giving…”
    It then goes on to state that “frequency of solicitation” is a, (perhaps, the) key factor. People who belong to religious groups, or who give to religious charities are more likely to receive a higher number of solicitations than non-religious people. There are no comparable non-religious groups to which they can belong.
    Just semantics I guess, none of which lessens the importance of making the most of the reasons why your donors give.
    I guess the important thing is: if you’re a religious charity, make the most of the faith based reasons your donors give. If your a secular charity, don’t focus on religious people at the expense of the non-religious, they may well be just as giving and just as profitable.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog