50 Key Messages – Planned Giving

The longevity and economic sustainability of many NPOs increasingly relies on establishing new funding pathways. Shifting spontaneous, ad hoc or episodic giving to regular, consistent giving patterns where donors are happy to do this has been evident in the quest for longer-term relationships with givers that mean more reliable funding pipelines or income for their missions.

Giving Australia found that 61% of individual giving and volunteering respondents indicated that they generally gave spontaneously, while 22.7% gave regularly to a request from the same cause and 16.3% were signed up to a regular automatic donation to an organisation. In 2005, planned donations were four times greater than spontaneous donations. In 2016, planned donations were six times greater than spontaneous donations.

Of the survey respondents who were not committed donors (signed up to donate regularly to the same organisation), some 22.6% indicated they would consider becoming a committed donor. The most common factor identified by non-committed donors that would prompt them to become committed was ‘change in lifestyle’. However, only 8% of committed donors specified that this did prompt them to become a committed donor. In reality, the exposure to an issue, cause or individual organisation was identified by committed donors as the most common reason they give on a regular basis. What consistently came through in interviews and focus groups was the importance of building, supporting and maintaining authentic relationships with givers and volunteers.

Increasing that deeper level of engagement was also highlighted in the volunteering data, with 87.4% of volunteers also making at least one monetary donation. Those who were volunteers, as well as monetary donors, gave, on average, $1,017.11 while those who were monetary donors but were not volunteers gave, on average, $536.69.

Both our data and extant research shows that people are more likely to give and volunteer to those organisations they know and trust and those they believe can genuinely make a difference. This finding points to the need for organisations to strategically examine their relationships with donors and volunteers, and devote time to thinking about activities that will facilitate and sustain this trust over the longer-term.

To read the full reports and factsheets, go to https://www.communitybusinesspartnership.gov.au/about/research-projects/giving-australia-2016/

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