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New Market Research Offers Snapshot of Donors

(Aug. 25, 2008) More than half of all donors to human and social service organizations volunteered in 2007, and a third would like to play a more active role in the charities to which they contribute, according to the latest donor research from Campbell Rinker, a nonprofit marketing research firm in Santa Maria, Calif.

The 2008 Human Services Edition of the DonorPulse report series also shows that 37 percent of charitable households contributed more than $1,000 in 2007, including giving to places of worship. The average amount donated by charitable households in 2007 was $2,140, of which $940 went to places of worship.  Furthermore, a majority (56 percent) provided regular ongoing gifts to at least one charity in the last year.

A large number of donors want to get more involved to see the effect of their donation and contribute to the cause. The donors who are interested in playing more active roles in the charities they support (34 percent of all respondents) want to be able to earmark where their money goes, volunteer their time to carry out the services they help fund and meet with those their donation has helped, among other activities, the report notes.

It’s the Economy

Donors said that the economy, as well as other financial variables, negatively affected their 2007 giving.

  • Forty-eight percent of donors said that unexpected household expenses had a negative effect on their 2007 giving.
  • A third (35 percent) of donors said that changes in their household incomes had a negative impact on their 2007 giving.
  • Thirty-one percent of donors said that declining home values had a negative effect on their 2007 giving.
  • And twenty-nine percent of donors said that the performance of their investments (stocks, bonds, etc.) had a negative effect on their 2007 giving.

When asked what type of fundraising most prompts them to give, donors indicated their preference for special events (39 percent) and fundraising letters (37 percent). Workplace campaigns and telephone calls were the next most popular (both at 20 percent).

About the Report

The executive summary of the 2008 DonorPulse report is available at no charge. Additional AFP coverage of the Campbell Rinker DonorPulse research is available here.

The full 2008 report is available at a discounted rate for AFP members. AFP members get 20 percent off the total cost of $1,950 if they order by calling Justin Cross 888-722-6723 ext. 107. For more information, visit the Campbell Rinker website.

DonorPulse reports are based on a survey of American donors conducted in February 2008.

Surveying was conducted by phone (29 percent) and Internet (71 percent). To qualify to take the survey, responding households must have made a charitable contribution in 2007. Respondents also must have been at least 18 years of age. A total of 3,312 completed surveys were collected.

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