Flickr photo from: Just Me Robin Photos
"Fried Green Tomatoes anyone?"
My first thought when I opened this email from Katya Andresen, VP Marketing, Network for Good, pointing me to some new research, "The Young and the Generous" (you have to register to download) was about fried green tomatoes. Well, actually a line from the movie of the same name delivered by Kathy Bates.
Bates, who plays an older woman in the film, is in a grocery store parking lot just about to pull into an empty space. A younger woman zooms into the space and says something like "I'm younger and faster." She gets angry and bashes into the woman's car and says, "Well, I'm older and have more insurance."
Well, maybe those younger donors don't have as many expenses and are giving away more of their money ....
Some highlights of the study, “The Young and the Generous” are:
-Online givers are young (38-39 years old) and generous, giving several times more than offline donors on average.
-Men and women give online in equal numbers.
-Virtually all of online givers (96%) have given to charity before, but a sizable proportion (38%) is new to online philanthropy.
-Online giving is tracking to the trends of online shopping and banking, and it is the avenue of choice for donors during disasters.
-Most people give online during the week, during business hours – most commonly, between 10am and noon.
-New York is the most generous state for online giving; Mississippi and North Dakota are the least generous.
-Most online giving goes to disaster agencies, followed by animal-related causes.
-Top searches are disaster related, plus “children,” “cancer,” and “homeless.”
-Small organizations benefit from listings on aggregation sites; at network for good, half of dollars go to small-medium sized charities.
-People say they give online because it’s easier than writing a check and a fast way to respond to disasters.
Now delving into the details of the study, I was really curious about this finding:
Finding #5: Giving follows a classic long-tailed distribution, with a few well-known organizations receiving half of donations but thousands of smaller or lesser-known organizations combining to account for an equal amount of giving.
The “long tail” phenomenon – a term devised by Wired Editor Chris Anderson to describe how the Internet creates and serves long-tailed distribution markets – is evident at Network for Good when numbers of donations are charted by organization. At Network for Good, 50% the donations go to 1% of charities (excluding crisis giving). The rest is spread out along the long tail. Just as Amazon and Google have enabled consumers to access products and information that meets their particular needs and interests by providing one-stop access to many, diverse choices, Network for Good has enabled donors to contribute to many, diverse nonprofits by putting a fragmented nonprofit “market” in one place.
Believe it or not, I've heard resistence from some a few small nonprofits about using portal donation sites. This is a very compelling statistic! I'm bringing this to my next board meeting! Thanks Katya!