Five Australian Giving Trends You Need to Know About Now

September 27, 2017 Emelie Oberg

Over the last several years, donors’ giving habits and preferences have evolved dramatically - largely due to changes in technology and the demographic profile of those doing the giving. Now, an important new report has revealed valuable insights into how donors worldwide prefer to give and engage with their favourite causes, so that not-for-profits can better understand and meet their audience’s needs. Interviewing over 4000 donors from 96 countries and 6 continents, the Global Trends in Giving Report highlights not only the macro-trends affecting the charitable giving category but also provides valuable insights into each domestic market, demonstrating how these national trends compare on a global stage.

Click on the image to access the infographic

We’ve done the hard work for you and identified five killer report outtakes for Australian not-for-profits to take note of.

Globally, we’re leading the charge on event-based fundraising.

While it’s no surprise that the majority of Australian donors (54 percent) prefer to give online, the second most popular method of giving is through fundraising events, with a quarter of those surveyed indicating this as their preference. This compares to just 14 percent globally, suggesting that Aussies are much more receptive to hands-on giving experiences than their international counterparts.  What’s more, the research also showed that Aussies have the highest fundraising event attendance rates, with 70 percent having attended an event in the last 12 months. The figure for global respondents was substantially lower at 59 percent.

Social media is the #1 tool for inspiring giving.

While many NFPs remain sceptical of the fundraising power of social media, the stats tell a very different story. Both globally and in Australia, donors identified social as the medium which most inspired them to give. Australian donors once again over-indexed against the average (31 percent of Aussies prefer social, compared to 25 percent of global respondents). Facebook dominates the space, with two-thirds of Aussies saying this was the channel that most influenced them to give. At the other end of the spectrum, just six per cent of Australians (and only 1 in 10 global respondents) said they were inspired to give by print communications, sounding the death knell for the more traditional formats like physical direct mail.

Email remains crucial.

While social and event fundraising inspires Aussie donors to give more often than email communications, email still rounds out the top three with 20 percent of the vote.  But email has another, equally significant role to play: 57 percent of respondents said email was their entry point to a fundraising event that they recently attended.  Given that events are one of Australians’ most popular giving methods, charities who leverage the power of email as an event-recruitment tool should hope to see a corresponding uplift in registrations and fundraising totals.

Aussie donors prefer active giving experiences to passive ones.

Interestingly, our donors are more likely to volunteer their own time than sign up to a sustainer program: 62 percent have volunteered with an NPO or NGO in the last year, but only half of those surveyed (51 percent) give to a cause regularly.  This desire for a more tangible and engaging experience correlates with the Aussie preference for event-based giving and fundraising, and suggests that charities looking to increase their sustainer program signups may need to rethink their strategy to make it less passive and more engaging.

We’re most inspired by causes that support young people and health and safety.

Unsurprisingly, Australian donors share the global preference for donating to children and youth charities, but that’s where the similarities end. The second most popular category for domestic giving was health and safety-related causes, with 13 percent of the vote (compared to 8.7 percent globally).  NFPs operating in this space should sit up and take notice as these findings indicate a clear appetite amongst Australian donors for campaigns and causes with health-related objectives at their core.

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