Based upon the survey results of 4,084 donors worldwide, the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report is an annual research project that examines how donors prefer to give and engage with their favorite causes and charitable organizations. Sponsored by the Public Interest Registry and researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good, the report summarizes donor data across six continents about how online and mobile technology effects giving. The report also explores the impact of gender, generation, and ideology upon giving and volunteerism. That said, below are 25 key findings of the report:
1) 45% of donors worldwide give to NPOs and NGOs outside of their country of residence. Online giving technology – combined with access to a 24/7 global news cycle and more affordable international travel – has led to an increase in donors with an empathetic worldview.
2) The rise in online giving is directly correlated to the rise in social media. 42% of online donors worldwide cite social media as the tool that inspires them most often to give. Of these donors, 62% say that Facebook inspires them the most. 15% say Twitter. 10% say Instagram.
3) LinkedIn inspires more online donations at 3% than WhatsApp (1.4%), Google+ (.4%), Tumblr (.4%), Medium (.4%), Pinterest (.2%), and Snapchat (.1%) combined. LinkedIn and WhatsApp have potential as fundraising tools. Google+, Tumblr, Medium, and Pinterest are stagnant. Snapchat is yet to be known.
4) 38% of online donors worldwide say that email most often inspires them to give and 57% say that email is how they first learned about a fundraising event that they recently attended. Email is a crucial fundraising tool that NPOs and NGOs worldwide should invest in and prioritize.
5) Traditional TV and radio only inspire 8% of donors to give, but that number could increase if live streaming apps such as Netflix and Pandora tailored their programming and advertising services to cater to NPOs and NGOs. Smart-home assistants such as the Amazon Echo also have promise.
6) Only 6% of donors worldwide prefer to give through mobile technology, yet 66% say they would use a mobile app that allows two-tap giving and earns badges and redeemable points. Despite a decade of improvements in mobile giving, the app that donors want doesn’t yet exist.
7) Within the last 12 months, 51% of donors worldwide have participated in a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Specifically, 33% donated to a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign while 18% created their own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to benefit their favorite NPO or NGO.
8) Liberal donors are most likely to give to human and civil rights while conservative donors are more likely to give to religious services and faith. Across the ideological spectrum, children and youth is the cause most likely to inspire giving while peace and non-violence is the least likely to inspire giving.
9) Religious services and faith is the number one cause donated to by Baby Boomers, however, religion is much less of a factor in giving for Gen Xers and Millennials who are more inspired to give to causes related to animals, human and civil rights, and women and girls.
10) Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers all prefer to give online – 62%, 59%, and 59% respectively. In fact, the generations are almost identical in their giving preferences with one exception: Direct mail is popular with Baby Boomers (19%), less popular with Gen Xers (11%) and the least popular with Millennials (10%).
11) 67% of donors worldwide have volunteered with a NPO or NGO within the last 12 months. Of those volunteers, 97% felt that their volunteer work made a positive impact and consequently, 97% of these volunteers also donated money to the organization that they volunteered for.
12) 91% of donors say that positive emotions, such as hope and empathy, are the motivating factors behind their giving. Only 9% say anger and sadness. With a 24/7 news cycle that often focuses on the negative, NPOs and NGOs can stand out by sharing positive stories and calls-to-action.
13) Donors worldwide are very supportive of NPOs and NGOs. 92% believe that NPOs and NGOs are ethical and can be trusted and 96% believe that NPOs and NGOs are essential for creating social change. Furthermore, 94% of donors support NPOs and NGOs investing more financial resources into digital communications in order to stay relevant.
14) 16% of donors in Africa prefer to give through mobile devices which is the highest of any region. In Africa, mobile technology is how most people first get access to the Internet and giving to and engaging with NPOs and NGOs on mobile devices is a fast-growing trend.
15) WhatsApp is more influential in inspiring giving in Africa than anywhere else in the world and as messaging app payments become more widely available worldwide, odds are that in the future African donors will give regularly through messaging apps. Currrently, WhatsApp inspires 20% of giving in Africa.
16) In Asia, religious giving is more diverse than any other region in the world. 32% of donors give at Christmas, 25% on Eid al-Fitr (a holiday that marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan), and 17% on Diwali (he Hindu festival of lights). 57% of religious giving in Asia is online.
17) Asian donors give most often to children and youth (18%), Education (18%), and women and girls (12%) which reflects a sense of social responsibility to provide services to their poorest citizens. Arts and culture (2%), peace and nonviolence (1%), and research and public policy (1%) are the least donated to causes.
Australia & Oceania
18) Donors in Australia and Oceania are very unique. First, they are younger. Gen Xers make up the largest group of donors, but Gen Zers give more often than any other region in the world. Second, they are less ideologically polarized with 39% defining themselves as moderate. Third, an astounding 75% are female.
19) Also unique to donors in Australia and Oceania is that they attend fundraising events the most often (70%), give the most to the cause of health and safety (13%), and finally, Facebook is more influential in their giving than other donors worldwide (66%).
20) At 39%, Europe has more Gen X donors than any other region. 67% are female and 70% are ideologically liberal. Also, European Gen Xers give more to human and civil rights (23%), animals and the environment (20%), and international development (19%) than any other donors worldwide.
21) European donors are the least likely to attend fundraising events at only 38% and they have the lowest volunteer participation rate relative to other regions at 64%. They are generous financially and as volunteers, but less inclined to prioritize in-person interaction with their favorite NPOs and NGOs.
22) Donors in North America are unique in that they are predominately women (75%), ideologically liberal (63%), and Baby Boomers (42%). Of all donors worldwide, North American donors give the most to the cause of religious services and faith. 62% prefer to give online which is also the highest rate in the world.
23) In the United States, the causes most donated to reflect a generational and ideological divide indicative of recent political and social upheaval. Millennials give the most to support human and civil rights. Baby Boomers are most supportive of religious services and faith. And in the middle is Gen X giving the most to help animals.
24) 38% of South America donors are inspired to give by social media. Specifically, Facebook (58%), Instagram (16%), and Twitter (13%). Like in Africa, WhatsApp is also popular and inspires 9% of giving. Unique to South America is that email is the least impactful on giving at only 8%.
25) In South America religious giving is the least diverse in the world with 96% of religious giving occurring on Christian holidays. Ironically, however, donors in South America give the least to religious services and faith during religious holidays at only 4%.