Elaine Fogel

Guess The Number 1 Reason Surveyed Brits Don’t Donate to Charity

saying noI always knew there were perception issues related to charitable giving. For eons, nonprofit marketers and fundraisers, in the English-speaking world, struggled with the same barriers.

Before I continue, select which of the following reasons you think people cite for NOT giving to charity:

  1. They are put off by fundraisers being “too persistent.”
  2. They are put off by “not being clear about how donations are spent.”
  3. They are put off by “too little money going to the cause.”
  4. They are put off by fundraising methods that are “too intrusive.”
  5. They are put off by “too much being spent on staff salaries.”

Now a UK study by nfpSynergy confirms that the majority of surveyed people (61%) say their top reason for NOT donating to charity…

“Too little money going to the cause.”

Surprised? I’m not. It’s silly and sad at the same time.

Charities, like any other organizational entity, must operate in a business-like fashion.

Without strong nonprofit leaders and employees, charities cannot live their missions.

Without an office space that requires electricity, insurance, furniture, technology, heat and/or air conditioning, equipment, and supplies, charities cannot live their missions.

Without professional development opportunities, fair wages and benefits, and a comfortable work environment, employees do not stick around and charities cannot live their missions.

Without a proper fundraising budget, fundraisers can only twiddle their thumbs, change positions every year, and charities cannot live their missions.

Without a marketing budget to spread the word and engage donors and prospects, charities cannot live their missions.

To me, this is common sense. Of course, one doesn’t want to give to a charity that allocates 75% to infrastructure costs. But, if it takes 18 -25% of money raised to cover overhead and investment in growth, that’s not unreasonable, as long as orgs explain their expenditures in their financial statements or annual reports.

So, why do so many people still refuse to make donations to charities? How do we overcome these misperceptions and barriers?

2 Responses to Guess The Number 1 Reason Surveyed Brits Don’t Donate to Charity

  • I pastor a church and during our stewardship campaign I asked church members speak to how our building is used during the week. I asked:”Where would the Choir Society rehearse if we did not have this building?” “Where would Seniors meet for a hot meal if we did not have this meeting?” Members report they see the importance of “overhead.”

    • Sorry for the delayed reply, Felecia. I’ve been ill.

      Good for you to keep reminding congregants about overhead costs. Especially in the religious community, people can easily forget that the doors are open all year, not just on religious holidays.

      People use their congregations for a variety of reasons, whenever they need counseling, educational programs, schooling, locations for social and milestone events, and meetings – in addition to attending services. Today, many congregations are mini community centers for congregants.

      Keep it up! Thanks for your comment.

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