As nonprofits gear up for the 2012 and 2013 fundraising years, they should understand why people donate their money and time and where they spend those precious commodities. For 2010/2011 trends, 69% of people were motivated to fundraise for a nonprofit because they felt a personal connection and 50% said because a family member or friend asked them to do so. This is where social media really plays a big role in getting your connections to participate in fundraising activities. Believe it or not, only 37% said it was for the physical challenge.
The other important factor is the ways in which donors are donating: at checkout (52%), mail in a check (49%), through a gift shop (32%, think St. Jude), via website (37%), and a mere 27% through fundraising event. The amount of people still snail mailing in a check means we have a ways to go with online fundraising. Social media seems to be playing less of a factor with online donations.
And just goes to show that Americans have no hard feelings and short term memories when it comes to scandal because rounding out the top 5 largest U.S. charities that donors gave to were:
- United Way – $3.9 billion – in 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 misappropriation of funds by CEOs at various chapters and in 2008 another chapter’s president terminated after compensation controversy.
- Salvation Army – $1.81 billion – in 2010, Jim Norman scandal anyone?
- Feeding America – $1.15 billion
- American National Red Cross – $1.08 billion – in 2005 and 2007 suffered bad press from how its tarnished relief efforts for Hurrican Katrina victims and victims of the South Asia tsunami.
- Food for the Poor – $1.04 billion