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Dorothy Donor cares too

27 March 2013

Earlier this month, NPC published Money for Good UK, a ground-breaking report that digs into who gives money to charity, and why. As senior press officer I was delighted to work on such an in depth study, which is based on an extensive survey by research firm Ipsos MORI. No flimsy findings here—I had my pick of a whole range of facts and figures that helped us achieve a wide range of media coverage.

The finding picked up by most outlets was that UK donors would give £665m more to charity each year if only organisations provided more information about the things donors care about. The research also identified that a further £1.7bn in ‘switchable donations’ is also up for grabs, money that donors would switch to a different charity if it offered them more of this kind of information. Now that’s a lot of money. And, of course, this begs the question—what is this information donors crave?

The Ipsos MORI survey asked donors which factors are most important when deciding to give It transpires they pay most attention to two key things: ‘how the organisation will use my donation’ and ‘evidence the organisation is having an impact’. Now, we promise we haven’t thrown the research here; respondents genuinely cited evidence of impact as a highly influential factor. As you can imagine, this was music to NPC’s ears—hurrah , the public are interested impact! We’ve always said that measuring impact and demonstrating your achievements is a good way to impress grant givers, and now we know that ‘Dorothy Donor’ cares too.

So Money for Good UK has found that there are all these potential donations just waiting to be tapped into. All charities have to do now is get better at communicating how they put these donations to use, and what impact they have. But what does that mean? Particularly, what does that mean for smaller charities that perhaps don’t have the budget for this sort of work, and little experience to draw on. Never fear, NPC is here. We have already published several reports providing ideas and guidance around impact measurement, for example, A journey to greater impact and The little blue book. You can also join the Inspiring Impact programme, coordinated by NPC, which is publishing the first ever Code of Good Impact Practice later this year.

If you’re interested in a bit more of a crash course, you might like to attend our May conference, Measuring & Evaluating Outcomes in Practice, in partnership with Third Sector. This event is designed to be a one stop shop for practical tips and advice on how to implement and develop impact measurement. For people new to the world of impact measurement (and I count myself among them), I think this will be a very valuable day out. It may cost money to attend. But as Money for Good UK has shown, this could be a small price to pay if it leads to a piece of that £665m…