Digital donations are growing in dominance this Christmas, report says
Australians are increasingly looking to support local charities this Christmas, according to new research released today by The Media Precinct.
While Australians continue to support international aid organisations, The Media Precinct found around 65% prefer to support local Australian based charitable organisations.
The Media Precinct Managing Director Glenda Wynyard says local communities are looking to throw their support behind emergency responses to key issues like bush fires, drought and surf lifesaving this Christmas.
“Our research shows there’s a real challenge for charities competing in a crowded market this Christmas,” Wynyard said.
“There’s strong support for emergency services organisations, for medical charities that seek cures for specific conditions and where Australians have genuine believe in a cause like the Smith Family at this time of year.
“Christmas may not be the best time for some charities to seek donations or support in what is a very cluttered market, particularly as households strive to manage their own budgets at what is a costly time of year for many.”
The research poll of 1000 Australians found 64% support charities each year through a financial donation but talking positively about a charity (41%) volunteering (28%) and liking on social media (23%) are other popular methods of support.
Australians donate in an ad hoc way (50%), with spontaneous donations such as raffle tickets popular ways of giving.
The research also found that a quarter of respondents only donate once or twice a year whereas 36% are regular donors, donating weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Only 8% give at Christmas or end of financial year only.
Digital donations are growing in dominance, with 44% of Australians saying donating via a website was their preferred method rather than being approached on the street.
More than half say the primary reason for donation is belief in the cause, with trust in where the funds go is also an important factor. There’s rising support for emergency response charities heading into summer.
Wynyard said: “We are seeing increasingly strong support in many ways from Australians towards the ongoing impact of drought, disasters like bush fires and support for critical community organisations like surf lifesaving at this time of year.”
A real trend is Australians looking for their donation dollar to make an impact, they want to view the tangible outcomes and they see a direct connection with other Australians around these causes.
“Heading into 2020, the challenge for many charitable organisations will be how to form better connections with donors and demonstrate the positive impact their donations can and have made.
“While social media support is growing, there’s competition for donations and a downward trend in giving. Often people sign up for fundraising events in large numbers but the dollar value of donations is actually quite low. Turning a large community of supporters into active givers or fundraisers is a challenge many charities need to address.”
The Media Precinct research follows a report from Koda Capital last year which found 90 per cent of charities share just 6 per cent of all donation income, with the other 94 per cent going to the top 10 per cent of fundraising charities in Australia.
The report warned growth in the giving population was not evident and said new money was coming from a smaller number of wealthier donors who expected a return on investment.