Donors seem keen to give generously, survey finds

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Despite the growing economic anxiety of America’s middle class, a greater proportion of people who gave at least $ 20 in 2020 plan to continue giving than at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the results of a poll released this week.

Eighty-seven percent of donors surveyed in July said they plan to continue giving,

This is a sharp increase from 78% in September 2020, according to a investigation conducted by the research firm Campbell Rinker. Of these donors, 59% said they plan to donate “more sparingly or cautiously” than before,
against 52% in September 2020.

Seventeen percent of donors said they plan to give less in 2021 than before, up from 28% in September 2020 who said they plan to give less that year.

Meanwhile, 26% of donor households find their financial situation very or extremely difficult, compared to 24% in September 2020 and 22% in April 2020. However, donor confidence in the coming year appears to be increasing; 63% expect the economy to stay the same or improve in the coming year, compared to 51% who said so in September 2020 and 40% in April 2020.

“As families feel the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic at a higher level than ever before, they are also more optimistic than ever about their donations,” the report said.

The report, sponsored by Dunham & Company, a Texas-based consulting firm focused on nonprofits, says the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9%. The results were drawn from 630 donors who gave at least $ 20 the previous year.

April Walker, a consultant and former development officer at Vocational Guidance Services in Cleveland and other nonprofits, said the study’s findings are consistent with what she heard from fundraisers. Donors – especially small and medium-sized donors – seem to grasp the scale of the need, she said.

“There is a context in which people understand the challenges that nonprofits face,” Walker said.

However, Walker warned that fundraising results in 2022 could be tempered somewhat by the turnover that could emerge among exhausted development staff.

Online giving trends

While online giving has all increased slightly, the report points to several specific areas where online giving is on an upward trajectory:

  • 29% of donors reported giving using a smartphone or mobile tablet, up from 22% in April 2020. Among millennial donors, 41% in the most recent survey reported having given using a smartphone or mobile tablet.
  • Text message donations among millennials have doubled from 6% in April 2020 to 12% in the most recent study.
  • 68% of donors who attend church services at least once a week reported giving online, up from 62% in April 2020.
  • 27% of donors said they contributed online because of something they saw on a charity’s website, up from 18% in September 2020.
  • 32% of donors said they had security concerns with online donations, up from 41% in April 2020.


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