The Yougov research into giving to charity during the credit crunch that was undertaken in June and published in August provides a couple of intriguing insights into what people may or may not do in the upcoming recession.
They may well be less likely to donate goods to charity shops (down from 70% to 65%), but there were massive jumps in those who would recycle a mobile phone or printer cartridges (ok – we know they will only do it if it’s easy, but Greensource couldn’t do much more to make it easy – they’ll even come and pick them up from you). People were also more likely to participate in sponsored events, but what I was really interested in seeing was a rise across the board in people who would be more likely to buy a virtual gift.
In most charities core market of ABC1’s the intention to buy was up 25% – from (9% last year to 12% this year). Similar jumps can be seen across the sample with an increase of a third in London and just under 20% amongst those aged 55 and older.
I’m not sure why this might be the case. Perhaps people concerned about their economic situation next year will be less likely to spend money on normal fun gifts and will want to combine their charity budget with their Christmas one – creating their own special two for one deal.
It’s insights like this that are important to us in fundraising. We know cash is going to be tight. Donors are going to have a need to make their money go further. By responding to that need, we will continue to be successful. Raising money during the recession is not just down to mailing cheap packs to segments with the highest response rates. It is down to thinking about what our donors need and giving it to them.