November 19, 2008

Donors Plan To Give This Holiday Season

Here is some interesting and encouraging data from a recent "online giving" survey. While this study was focused on online donations, it resonates with what researchers are projecting for 2008 holiday donations generally.

Despite the crash on Wall Street and the national economic recession, more than half of Americans polled say that they plan to give to charity this holiday season and only about a third of them will donate less than last year. That’s good news for charity officials holding their breaths about fundraising this holiday season. They might be looking at a $3 billion bonanza from online giving.

A national survey conducted for online fundraising firm Convio by JupiterResearch, a Forrester Research company, shows that of the 175.6 million online adults (age 18+) in the U.S., more than half (51%) plan to donate to charities during the upcoming holiday season.

Nearly over 70% of those surveyed plan to donate the same amount or more in the 2008 holiday season than they donated in the 2007 holiday season. Less than 30% say they will donate less this holiday season.

By analyzing and comparing the self-reported giving plans of survey participants with historic and actual online giving patterns, Convio officials estimate that online consumers will donate nearly $3 billion via the Internet this holiday season. Just two years ago, $3 billion was the estimate of all online giving for a 12-mopnth period.

“More than 50 percent of online consumers say that they plan to donate online during the 2008 holiday season,” said Vinay Bhagat, chief strategy officer and founder of Convio. “This level of online support shows that nonprofits of all sizes need to make sure that their Web sites and other electronic communications meet consumer expectations. It is also important to make sure that traditional appeals such as direct mail, television and events provide people with the option to give online. If it is difficult to give to your organization online consumers will find an alternative.”

During the Holiday Giving Season, human and social services (food banks, homeless shelters, etc.), faith based organizations (churches and ministries) and disease and health non-profits (cancer, heart, etc.) are the most likely recipients among donors at all donation levels. While there are differences in the types of charities donors plan to support based on age, ethnicity and the amount a person plans to donate, human and social services and faith-based organizations stand to be the largest recipients of online consumer generosity.

The overall top five charities of choice:
41% plan to give to human and social service organizations.
34% plan to give to faith-based organizations.
33% plan to give to disease and disorder organizations.
24% plan to give to animal welfare organizations.
22% plan to give to disaster and international relief organizations

[posted by Shannon D. Barnes. Need help reaching a broader donor audience? Contact us,]

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