Giving Money is the Easiest Thing to Do

Engagement ReportNTEN and CharityDynamics have released a new report called “Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark Study: Insights into Donor Engagement Behavior and Preferences.

It includes a number of fun facts:

– The vast number of people who give to charity give to multiple charities.

– It pays to become a donor’s “favorite” charity, because individuals give 67% of their annual donations overall to their single favorite charity.

– Donors report being involved with their favorite charity for these top five reasons:

  • I believe in the charity’s cause (65%)
  • I want to help make change happen (30%)
  • I have friends or family who support this cause (20%)
  • I know someone who has received services from this organization in the past (19%)
  • The charity asked for my help (18%)

But the finding I found most interesting is this: 92% of donors said that making a donation was the easiest thing they could do for their favorite charity, and that didn’t vary significantly by age group.

I think many nonprofits assume that getting donors to give is actually the hardest thing to do. But maybe that’s because nonprofits need the money so bad, and so because fundraising produces so much angst and anxiety within nonprofits, they assume that it must also be difficult for donors too?

When you compare this statistic to other studies that have talked about how giving produces a “helper’s high,”  this makes perfect sense. Donors think giving is easy, and it feels good too!

On one hand, I guess you could argue that this means we should flip the typical fundraising ladder of engagement upside down: instead of putting making a gift at the top of the ladder, perhaps it should be at the bottom. But remember, donors answered this specific question about the easiest way to support their favorite charity. You have some good communications work to do before you become the favorite.