The findings of a new survey by global research firm YouGov has revealed that direct mail still is the main motivator for donations – excluding regular donations to charity. And that social media is becoming a major motivator for young American adults to donate.
Results of the study show that 21 percent of Americans acted on their latest donation after they received a direct mail solicitation. Direct mail was effective on Americans aged 55 or higher with a response rate of 25 percent. But Americans aged 18 to 34 years old were stingier with a response rate of 14 percent. Low-income households – $40k or less per year – had higher response rates to direct mail at 29 percent, whereas households with annual incomes of $80k or higher at 18 percent.
YouGov said that media has a crucial role in donations, as 12 percent of respondents said it prompted them to give their latest gift. The response rate to donations over media was at 14 percent for men and at 10 percent for women. Hispanics were the most generous group at 18 percent when they see or hear requests for donation from the media. The survey specifically found that media broadcasts encouraged about 21 percent of respondents to donate to disaster- or crisis-related charities over the past year. Hearing requests from media prompted 17 percent of low-income benefactors to heed the call of charitable organizations.
YouGove noted that social media has yet to gain traction as a key motivator for Americans, as only 6 percent of total respondents responded to calls for donation on Facebook or Twitter. But social media is a major motivator for the demographic comprised of 18- to 34-year-old respondents, as 11 percent of the younger group responded to calls over social media for their last donation compared to 3 percent of Americans aged 55 or higher. In family units, social media had a higher response rate from low-income households at 11 percent.
When it comes to online marketing, 10 percent of Americans responded to emails during their last donation. The demographic comprised of respondents 55 years old or higher responded to email more than the younger demographic at 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively. About 25 percent of art benefactors responded to donation requests via email over the last 12 months.
High-income benefactors were the stingiest bunch when it comes to any type of solicitation, as 56 percent of survey respondents with annual incomes of $80k or higher last donated to a charity they support regularly.
YouGov’s online survey asked 1157 adult American respondents aged 18 years old or higher from November 22 to 25, 2013.