In 2012 New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) commissioned Ipsos to undertake a segmentation study amongst the public, with a particular focus on those who donate to charity. This survey sought to address the current lack of robust research into donor motivations in the UK, in particular the motivations of mid/high income donors.
Specifically, the UK Money for Good survey seeks to answer a number of key questions about donor motivations:
- What drives donors to give to charity? (motivations and triggers)
- What does the ‘market’ for donors look like based on motivations/behaviours?
- What information do donors look for? (Do they conduct research - and why?)
- What are the opportunities to increase or shift giving?
The core aim of this research was to explore and develop these issues in the UK by conducting a market segmentation exercise to help get to the heart of the psychological factors related to donation habits. This will help charities, intermediaries and information providers to communicate with donors in a more targeted way. In this way the research is firmly action-orientated, with a need to both prompt discussion within the sector and provide valuable information to the fundraising community.
An initial qualitative phase was conducted to explore giving motivations and barriers, with a view to feeding the insight gained into the quantitative phase and to help design the questionnaire.
At the conclusion of the qualitative phase, the mainstage quantitative study was undertaken, an online survey of c.3000 respondents.
The definition of mainstream and high net worth donors used as screening criteria for the survey are as follows:
- Mainstream donor = household income under £150,000 per annum and the individual has donated at least £50 to charity in the past 12 months
- High income donor = household income of £150,000+ per annum and the individual has donated at least £50 to charity in the past 12 months
In each bracket, donor surveys were conducted with a larger sample, along with shorter surveys with a smaller sample of non-donors.
The segmentation drew on a combination of two initial statistical techniques:
- Factor analysis on a range of questions across the wider survey. This simplified the questions on the survey into fourteen manageable themes by grouping together questions that were answered in similar ways by respondents; and
- A Maximum Difference approach on the core segmentation question.
This was followed by cluster analysis to create the segments, descriptive analysis using the table cross-breaks; and the incorporation of qualitative analysis to help bring the segments to life.
The seven segments that we identified are briefly outlined below;
Loyal supporters are very much engaged by passion for a particular cause rather than the notion of charitable giving per se, and keen to know that their contribution is making a difference to the end cause. They are the segment most likely to be committed donors.
Good citizens are conversely less driven by the cause but more by the principle of giving money to charity and of ‘giving something back’ to society. There is an altruistic motive, but also a personal one – they feel that giving to charity is an important part of their identity as responsible individuals. They are less interested in the internal workings of the charity, and the benefits that their gift provides and despite their positivity towards charitable giving, tend not to proactively look for opportunities to donate to charity (but respond well to requests).
Faith based donors are motivated by the general desire to give, though, for them, this is driven by the ethical and religious codes by which they live. They are particularly motivated by organisations that benefit people, and inspired to help international organisations, tying in with their belonging to an international faith-based community.
Engaged champions are active people, who are particularly adept at energetically ‘chivvying’ their peers along. They are more involved than many other segments, often volunteering in addition to making financial donations. Dynamic immersives act as key ‘advocates’ for charities; they are more likely to fundraise themselves, and to ‘convert’ other people to fundraising and sponsorship activities.
Ad hoc givers are one of the most challenging segments to engage as particularly amongst the high net worth population they are highly-solicited, but do tend not to feel any sense of social obligation to donate to charity and find it easy to dismiss requests.
Benefactors are high motivated by their wealth and standing in society (albeit not necessary explicitly so) and in contrast to ad hoc breezers do feel that charitable giving is important and tend to respond more positively to charitable requests. That said, they tend not to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to donate and have lower involvement in the charities themselves.
Thoughtful philanthropists on the other hand are both more proactive, are much more discerning about which charities to donate to, spending time weighing up different options. They are amenable to being approached by different charities, but will weigh up the different options carefully, considering organisational effectiveness as well as the end result of their philanthropy and how their money is spent and prefer to be closely involved with the charity.
- Mainstream donor topline
- High income donor topline
- Mainstream non donor topline
- High income non donor topline
There is a wealth of information about Money for Good UK on NPC’s dedicated website where you can download the full report free of charge. Download the executive summary, read donor case studies, and see the press release.
Money for Good UK is a rich data source, and NPC encourages further research and analysis. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in using the data, or want to find out more.
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