One Direction in red noses

Engaged champion or ad hoc giver?

Tomorrow is Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. Peter Kay is travelling the length of the UK on a sofa, Mary Berry’s lent her name to a bake off fundraising kit, and you probably know somebody who’s doing something either embarrassing or impressive—you may even be doing something yourself.

If so, you’re probably an Engaged champion—the kind of person who likes to volunteer or fundraise, and feels that doing stuff for charity is an important part of their identity.

Today we launch Money for Good UK, a major new study into donor motivations and behaviour. NPC worked with Ipsos MORI to conduct a survey of 3,000 people, asking about why they give (or do not give) to charity. Using this information, we’ve identified seven distinct donor types who give for different reasons. Engaged champion is one. On the other hand, you might be sponsoring someone else, or giving by text to the fundraising appeal tomorrow night. It might be one of a number of sporadic giving decisions you’ve made this year, perhaps influenced by your friends. In which case you may well be an Ad hoc giver.

We know that lots of fundraising charities already segment their donor databases according to giving behaviour, but this research also looks at underlying factors which drive giving, so that we can begin to understand what could make people change their behaviour. We want to make this resource available to all charities, not just those large enough to invest in donor segmentation themselves.

As well as the seven donor types, the report reveals lots of other interesting findings, which we’ll explore in more depth on the blog in the coming weeks. For example, obligation to give is low—less than half of respondents think those who have the means should give, and that’s from a sample of those who already give more than £50 per year. It seems there’s a long way to go to improve the UK’s giving culture before we see a step change.

But there definitely is a chance to increase giving. Donors could give £665m more if charities did a better job in areas they care about—providing evidence of impact and explaining how donations are used. Its interesting that these factors about how charities are run were ranked higher than some of the more practical or immediate aspects of donating, such as being thanked, ease of donation, or frequency of request. This is quite heartening, as it shows donors take an interest in the end point of their giving—the positive change a charity actually achieves—and would like charities to talk about it more.

We’re keen to hear your thoughts on Money for Good UK, and to start a dialogue across the sector about what we do with this information now. Please contact us if you have thoughts or reactions.