The Mikuska Group  

Canada Helps donors more generous – what that means for you

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy released the results of its biennial survey of Canadian donors in March entitled What Canadian Donors Want.

For the first time this year the foundation partnered with CanadaHelps, a national social impact organization that promotes charitable giving in Canada, and provides a portal for charities’ online giving. They surveyed CanadaHelps donors and compared their giving behaviours to the general population.

Some interesting results:

  • 77% of CanadaHelps donors give to six or more causes compared to only 17 percent of the general population.
  • They are more likely than general population donors  to say they are very knowledgeable about the charities they support (38% compared to 22%)
  • Like their peers across Canada, CanadaHelps donors who gave in response to an invitation or post on social media say they gave because the posts came from someone they know.
  • They also are invested in charities that they know to be efficient with donor dollars and effective in their work, but to a much more significant extent.  82% of CanadaHelps donors are motivated by a clear purpose compared to 53% of the general population.
  • The largest proportion of CanadaHelps donors say their most recent contribution was to a place of worship and they are more likely than their counterparts in the general population to have donated to this kind of charity.
  • They are much more likely to take a proactive approach to selecting a charity – 67% vs 33% waiting to be asked.
  • They are also more likely to have given to international charities and to causes advancing the arts, culture, and the environment.

What does mean for your organization?

  • Donors give when it’s easy to do so. If you make it hard to give by not having online giving, you’re turning away donors.
  • Donors are seeking out information – how well are you presenting yours?
  • People give and give again to organizations with a clear purpose, with well-articulated impact.
  • Donors give to multiple charities – don’t assume someone won’t give just because they’re a donor elsewhere.
  • Your brand and network on social media can be a powerful driver of invitations to give – if done well.

The survey results have lots of fascinating details on donors’ actions – I recommend you check them out. There’s also a recorded webinar discussing the results, along with the presentation slides.

Do you know what your donors want?

Julie Mikuska


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