Yet despite these concerns, the proportion of charity supporters who see charities as striving to achieve the highest professional standards at all times has increased from 47% in 2007 to 55% by 2010; while only a minority of supporters disagree (12% in 2010). This suggests that, overall, charities’ treatment of supporters does not pose a strong barrier to giving, so long as fundraising is carried out with care and the potential to alienate through over-persistence is taken into account.
Issues associated with how supporters are treated also feature prominently as factors that would put the public off giving to a particular organisation. Most particularly, the public express concern over fundraising practices, with over-persistent fundraisers and intrusive methods considered factors that would put half of all respondents off giving to an organisation. Gender Over-persistent fundraising was shown to be particularly off-putting for women at 54%, compared with 46% of men. Women were also likelier to be bothered by intrusive methods – but less likely to be concerned about not being contacted/updated after donating. Age Those aged 25-34 year olds were the most likely (59%) to be bothered by persistent fundraisers – which could indicate that they are the most frequently engaged by street fundraising teams. Social grade Interestingly, ABs appeared less concerned about persistent fundraisers than lower social grades but, like women, less concerned about whether they are contacted after making a donation. Donors Non-donors (55%) were more likely than donors to be put off giving due to over-persistent fundraisers by 16 percentage points.
This group of issues was of relatively less concern to respondents when they were asked to rank what would put them off giving to a particular charity. Yet they still relate to key aspects of charities’ work and help to clarify the things that may inform individual decisions to support or give to a particular organisation. Age Looking at the key demographics for those who ranked these four issues (bad publicity, not understanding what a charity does, duplication and campaigning) as factors that would put them off giving, the insights that stand out instantly are that bad publicity is significantly more of a problem for those aged 65 and over (56%) than for younger groups. Not understanding what a charity does is an important barrier for those under 35 (40-41%). There is also a noticeable gap between the high ranking given to bad publicity by DEs and the lower scores this groups reported for the other issues. The much stronger response from older people concerning bad publicity may reflect changing relationships with the media – as younger generations grow up with a proliferation of media technologies and outlets, could they be developing a more sceptical perspective when it comes to publicity? On this measures, the broad trend is that publicity is more of an issue the older the age of the respondent and particularly problematic for those over 65. The number of under-35s who would be put off by not understanding what a charity does is meanwhile significant for the fact that these are the only demographic groups shown who ranked this issue as more of a hurdle than bad publicity; which they appear comparatively relaxed about at 30-34%. Converse to the latter pattern, lack of understanding of a charities’ work seems to become less of a problem, the older the respondent. Could this also be related to media-consciousness, with the increasing accessibility of information, causes and campaigns making it more important for charities effectively communicate their work to younger groups? Or could it be that, as older people tend to be more actively engaged with charities, they are more targeted by charities and therefore better informed than the young? Gender Other note-worthy points include the higher propensity of men (9%) to be put-off by charity campaigning then women (3%); a trend we have reported elsewhere – most recently in the April 2010 Campaigning CAMEO. This is also the case for ‘too many charities doing the same work’ –while on publicity and lack of understanding, there is little statistical gender difference. Donors/Non-donors It is interesting that there is no strong difference in the responses of those who had recently donated and those who had not. The 3% higher likelihood of a non-donor being put off by charities’ duplicating work is the only area of slight divergence; which is unusual given often stronger differences between the responses of those already engaged with charities and their work and those who are not.
1. Charity Awareness Monitor Public Perceptions of Charity Professionalism & Barriers to Giving December 2010 <ul><li>Tel: 020 7426 8888 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: CAM@nfpsynergy.net </li></ul><ul><li>Web: www.nfpsynergy.net </li></ul>
2. “ Thinking about the charities you regularly support, please indicate to what extent you agree with each of the following statements“ From what I see charities strive to achieve the highest professional standards at all times Base: 954 adults who support charities, 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 10, nfpSynergy Increasing numbers of supporters think charities strive for professionalism
3. Over-persistent fundraising most off-putting among 25-34 year olds, women and non-donors “ What are the main factors (if any) that would put you off from giving to a particular charity? Please select up to 5 “ Factors ranked 1-5 Base: 1003 adults 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 10, nfpSynergy
4. Bad publicity particularly off-putting for over-65s, while under-35s need to understand what a charity does “ What are the main factors (if any) that would put you off from giving to a particular charity? Please select up to 5 “ Factors ranked 1-5 Base: 1003 adults 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 10, nfpSynergy
5. 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH (w) www.nfpsynergy.net (t) 020 7426 8888 (e) firstname.lastname@example.org Registered office: 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH Registered in England No. 04387900 VAT Registration 839 8186 72