Behind a Donor’s Choice


People pick charities based on life experiences

Despite people’s widespread beliefs that charities exist primarily to help the needy, the majority of donors tend to support organisations that promote their own preferences, help people they feel some affinity with and support causes that relate to their own life experiences, the results of a new study indicate.

According to the findings, most people also base decisions on their perception of which charities are competent, e.g. charities that are ‘well-run’, ‘efficient’ and with ‘low overheads’. They also choose charities which they think will have the biggest impact or get the biggest ‘bang for their buck’.

… “Donors retain an expectation that charities exist to serve the needy, yet in reality their own giving decisions are driven by many non-needs-based factors. Given the voluntary nature of charitable activity these findings are not actually that surprising, as the freedom to support things that people care most deeply about is what differentiates charitable giving from paying tax,” explained researcher, Dr Beth Breeze of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy in the UK.