According to a recent survey of 2,000 Britons, commissioned by the fundraising website eSolidar, fundraising attempts by British charities are, well, annoying. The survey asked respondents questions about how likely they were to donate under certain circumstances, and how they perceived certain charity practices.
Overall, 74% of respondents felt “bombarded” with fundraising appeals, namely letters and emails, and 79% of respondents simply ignored those kinds of appeals. 83% of respondents over the age of 65 felt bombarded, while only 66% of those under the age of 65 felt this way. Meanwhile, only 26% of respondents said they were happy to stop and talk to charity fundraisers they met on the street. That number might be so low because 80% of respondents felt that some charity fundraisers crossed the line into unethical behavior. And jut over half the respondents, 58% of them, said that they try to avoid charities that spend a lot of money on fundraising.
So what does this survey tell us about British fundraising? For one, it gets a bad rap. Obviously, not all charities bombard people with mailers, or raise funds in an unethical manner, or spend too much money on raising money. But a few prominent cases in the news in recent months have probably spoiled charity giving for a lot of people.
What is clear is that people have these perceptions about charities, and charities need to adapt their methods to counter these perceptions. Cold contacting people through letters or email seems like it just isn’t working, but talking to people on the street doesn’t seem to do great either. Figuring out new methods to replace or supplement these will take some time, certainly. But in the immediate future, the issue of spending on fundraising should be easier to deal with. The British people seem to think that charities spend more money raising money than actually doing the charitable deeds they’re raising money for. So a good step would be, well, spending the money on their goals, which would likely mean less mail campaigns and cold calling in general.