Why age matters for charities

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A look at generational differences in charity engagement and the socio-economic changes influencing patterns of engagement over people’s lifetimes.

A look at generational differences in charity engagement and the socio-economic changes influencing patterns of engagement over people’s lifetimes.

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  • N.B. This chart shows a selection of reasons given for supporting favourite charities and causes. Other statements were also included in the original question but they are not shown in this chart.
  • N.B. This chart shows a selection of ways in which people have given to charity. Other methods were also included in the original question but they are not shown in this chart.
  • N.B. This chart shows a selection of ways in which people have been asked to give to charity. Other methods were also included in the original question but they are not shown in this chart.
  • N.B. This chart shows a selection of ways in which people have been asked to campaign for charities. Other methods were also included in the original question but they are not shown in this chart.

Transcript

  • 1. Why age matters for charities Richard Ollerearnshaw and Mhairi Guild Insights Event 31 March 2011
    • Tel: 020 7426 8888
    • Email: insight@nfpsynergy.net
    • Web: www.nfpsynergy.net
  • 2. Why does age matter so much for charitable giving?
    • It affects life style and resources as well as…
      • ... awareness levels and how the public relate to different causes
    • ... how the public choose to support charities
    • … how the public respond to charity communications
  • 3. Donations Experience and awareness of charities Communications Campaigning
  • 4. Donations Experience and awareness of charities Communications Campaigning
  • 5. Life stage is crucial to charity engagement... 2011 Average age at first marriage = 32 men 30 women (ONS) Age most likely to move out of parents’ home = 24-25 (BHPS) Life expectancy at birth in 2020 = 83 women 80 men (ONS) Average age of mother at birth 1971 29.3
  • 6. The link between life stages and money available for charity donation Source: BHPS / The Future Foundation
  • 7. Levels of disposable income are not reflected in charitable giving Base: All donors among 6,009 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor 2010, nfpSynergy “ Have you donated to any charities in the last three months?” Yes Among those who donated: “In total, approximately how much money have you donated to any charities in the last 3 months?”
  • 8. Financial insecurity is one core barrier to a higher level of donation among younger age groups Base: 1,008 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Nov 10, nfpSynergy Please indicate how worried you are that the following might happen in the future Agree stongly + Agree
  • 9.
    • So what?...
    • Where people are in their lives has a huge impact on their willingness and ability to engage with charities
    • A number of life events have been occurring at later and later ages. This has created two peaks in disposable income – one around the late 20s and another in people’s 50s.
    • However, levels of charitable giving do not reflect levels of disposable income. Perceptions of wealth (and concerns about financial uncertainty) play a key role in determining whether people choose to give.
  • 10. Donations Experience and awareness of charities Communications Campaigning
  • 11. Motivations for supporting charities change with age “ When you think of your favourite charities and causes, please indicate which statements represent how you came to support them:” Base: 1005 adults 16+, Britain Source: nfpSynergy Charity Awareness Monitor July 10
  • 12. And this applies as much to specific charities as to causes
  • 13. RNLI’s awareness and support is concentrated among older age groups
  • 14. Breast Cancer Campaign has consistently high awareness across all age groups
  • 15.
    • So what?...
    • Whilst the youngest age groups are most likely to be engaged based on their strength of feeling about the issues, this idealism evaporates among older groups.
    • Personal experience is an important motivator for charity engagement, but only develops slowly over the lifespan.
    • Awareness of charities tends to increase as people age, but charities can have an impact upon this.
  • 16. Donations Experience and awareness of charities Communications Campaigning
  • 17. Different giving methods appeal to different age groups “ In which of the following ways did you give to charity in the last 3 months?” Yes Base: Those who have given to charity in the last 3 months (669) from 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, January 2011 , nfpSynergy
  • 18. Under 45s are the most engaged by both sporting and social fundraising events “ In the last 12 months, have you.. Sponsored anyone to take part in any of the following charity events? Been sponsored by someone to take part in any of the following charity events?” Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 10 nfpSynergy
  • 19. Younger people spend more time on out of home leisure activities, particularly eating out, and outdoor activities “ How often do you participate in the following activities?” Mean number of times per year Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Mar 10, nfpSynergy
  • 20. Source: Justgiving presentation to IoF National Convention 2010 Increasing use and diversification of fundraising events
  • 21. Differences in methods of giving also reflect the ways that different age groups are asked to give Base: 1,013 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ In the last three months, have you been asked for money by a charity in any of the following ways? Please select all that apply.”
  • 22. For example, younger age groups are most likely to engage with charities online, as we would expect “ Have you visited a charity web site in the last 6 months?” Yes Base: 788 adults 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jun 10, nfpSynergy
  • 23. But access to the internet is ever-increasing across all age groups “ Personally, do you have internet access… At home; At work; At school/college, none of these?” Base: 1,200 respondents aged 15+, GB Source: nVision
  • 24.
    • So what?...
    • Differences in methods of giving do not simply reflect innate preferences for giving – they are in part determined by the ways in which charities ask
    • While targeting the charity ask makes sense, it is important to avoid stereotyping supporters by age and thereby limiting potential opportunities:
        • E.g. assuming that older groups respond to doorstep collections and younger supporters to online giving, when this may simply be shaped by charities’ approach
    • Generational patterns of charity engagement are dynamic , rather than static over time. In other words, it is not just about individuals moving through unchanging age categories but about the evolution of those generations over time
        • So while use of new technologies may currently be rather polarised by age, tomorrow’s retirees – and therefore giving habits - will look very different to today’s
  • 25. Donations Experience and awareness of charities Communications Campaigning
  • 26. Younger people are likelier than older age groups to engage in campaigning for charities “ Which of the following activities have you done, or would you consider doing, if you were asked by a charity you support?” Any activity prompted in the last 3 months Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 09, Jan 10 nfpSynergy
  • 27. ... but is this simply because they are more frequently asked? “ From the list of activities below related to campaigning for change, please indicate whether you recall having been asked to do any of these by a charity in the last 3 months/ more than 3 months ago?” Any prompted “ Which of the following activities have you done, or would you consider doing, if you were asked by a charity you support?” Any activity prompted in the last 3 months Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 09, Jan 10 nfpSynergy
  • 28. ... and a function of new campaigning tools? Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ From the list of activities below related to campaigning for change, please indicate whether you recall having been asked to do any of these by a charity in the last 3 months/ more than 3 months ago?” In the last 3 months
  • 29. After all, while young volunteers give time more often, older groups still tend to be more civically engaged “ Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes Base: 1000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2009, nfpSynergy
  • 30.
    • So what?...
    • Young people appear to be particularly enthusiastic campaigners – and this is an important mode of involvement among groups who are rarely in a position to give often or in large amounts
    • Yet once again, this also relates to the fact they are asked more
    • The unusual age trend in this field suggests that core donors – the older age groups who we know are the most loyal and active donors – may be under-utilised for campaigning
        • This may well relate to use of online campaigning tools which currently tend to target younger groups
    • We know older age groups tend to be the most civically active and politically engaged – in terms of voting intention and volunteering. So let’s not forget them when it comes to campaigning!
  • 31. Why does age matter so much?
    • Life stages affect the resources people have to engage with charities as well as their reasons for doing so
    • Differences in patterns of giving do not just reflect preferences – they also reflect the charity ask
    • Targeting is necessary and desirable but should be based on insight rather than generalisations
    • Generational patterns of charity engagement are dynamic , rather than static - tomorrow’s retirees will be different to today’s
  • 32. Snapshot of charity engagement by age