If you had US$1 million to give to charities aiming to eradicate poverty, how would you do it?
Would you support a soup kitchen? A financial literacy program? Educational scholarships? Organizations pressing for policy changes?
I worked for nonprofits for many years before realizing the way I approached solving social problems said more about me than it did about the problem I wanted to solve. If I really wanted to make a difference, I had to think about how I was thinking about the problem. And, if I wanted to make a difference at a broader level, I had to help donors and nonprofit leaders think about how they think.
Nonprofit fundraisers consider many demographic characteristics to explain and predict charitable giving, such as age, gender, income, and marital and parental status. As far as I could tell, no scholars had considered “how people think” as a category worth considering.
My quest led me to obtain my Ph.D. and learn to analyze how an individual’s thinking changes over time. Along the way, I found that how people construct their ideas influences their philanthropic choices, and that how donors think is as important as what they think.
How donors think
Human beings develop increasingly complex ways of making sense of the world over the course of a lifetime. To a large extent, this is intuitive – you probably expect a 20-year-old to think about many things differently than a 50-year-old. How people think, however, is largely unconscious. People are rarely aware of how they are thinking in the moment.
In an effort to learn more about charitably minded online moms who donate to good causes we asked 1000 Social Good Moms members about their giving habits, influence of social media and blogging on their giving, and the issues that matter most to them. The survey was sent out in January 2013 with 250 respondents.
We published some of the key discoveries on our “Moms and 2012 Charitable Giving” infographic. Keep reading below for additional survey data. If you would like to share our infographic you can grab it at this link.
How likely are you to donate online?
41.77% – very likely
30.38% – likely
26.58% – somewhat likely
1.27% – not likely
How many times did you donate to a charity or nonprofit in 2012?
55.13% – 5+times
15.38% – 2 times
14.1% – 3 times
12.82% – 4 times
2.56% – 1 times
What was your average donation amount?
43.04% – $25 – $50
31.65% – less than $25
17.72% – $50 – $100
7.59% – $100+
What prompts you to donate to a nonprofit or charity? Choose all that apply.
86.08% – You are familiar with the charity already.
75.95% – There was a natural disaster or national tragedy and you gave.
65.82% – A charity launched a compelling campaign with a great cause.
60.76% – You were encouraged to give by friends, either online or offline.
48.10% – You read about the charity on a blog.
41.77% – You heard about it via social media.
13.92% – You noticed an online or print advertisement for the charity.
3.80% – There is a celebrity advocating for a charity.
Did your family’s charitable donations increase, decrease or stay the same in 2012?
44.84% – stayed the same
43.59 % – increased
11.54% – decreased
Are you more likely to donate to a cause if you hear or read about it on…. (choose one)
44.87% – blogs
38.46% – social media
10.26% – TV
6.41% – advertisement
What issues matter most to you? Choose all that apply?
93.67% – Issues Affecting Women and Girls
93.67% – Child Health
93.67%- Hunger (in US and abroad)
81.01% – Education
73.42% – Maternal Health
62.03% – Clean Water and Sanitation
43.04% – Climate/ Global Warming
43.04% – Vaccines in Developing Countries
If you would like to share our infographic you can grab it at this link.
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