What gets the over 55’s going when it comes to charity fundraising?

Third Sector magazine has undertaken its first fundraising survey. It found that three quarters of the British public say that they give to charities and 68% of those who do give do so because they believe in their chosen causes.

That’s all good news. 79% of those 55 and older say that they give to charities. The second biggest group are 16 to 24-year-olds (76%) followed by 35 to 44-year-olds (74%).

I was intrigued by the analysis of those aged 55 and above in what they like, and dislike, about fundraising methods. There are only three methods of fundraising where the approval rates of those aged 55 or above are greater than the disapproval rates for a particular form of fundraising. Even then, the approval rate is less than 50%.

The most approved of methods of fundraising for the older generation (of which I am one) are:

  • Cash appeals with donation tins or buckets: 43%
  • TV or radio advertising and appeals: 29%
  • Newspaper or poster advertising and appeals: 26%

Fundraising methods that the over 55’s don’t like are:

  • Unaddressed mail coming through the door: 81%
  • Addressed mail coming through the door from charities with which they have no previous connection: 77%
  • Street fundraising: 63%
  • Fundraisers knocking on the door: 88%
  • Telephone fundraising from a charity they already give to you: 79%
  • Telephone fundraising: a whopping 94%

The question remains: what method of fundraising do the over 55’s approve of?


One thought on “What gets the over 55’s going when it comes to charity fundraising?

  1. As an “over 55”, I can maybe offer some thoughts on this. Perhaps my age group finds the whole concept of professional fundraising rather distasteful. A whole industry seemingly geared around providing employment for a specialised cadre consisting of several layers of people from charity chief executives, down through the “creatives” who devise the propaganda (indistinguishable from any consumer product) to the lowly chuggers on the street.
    For us “over 55’s”, the traditional conduits for charitable transactions are probably more dignified and considered. These might be through bequests to charities that have proved their value over a long period of time, like the Salvation Army, Shelter, CPAG, Oxfam , Amnesty International; or through reputable community groups like Churches or the Rotary/Lions groups, or through responding to appeals by groups with which you have a real personal connection (I live in Lewes so will give to the Lewes food bank). Also giving directly to people who ask and are evidently needy (Big Issue sellers or people huddling in doorways).

    John Stothard

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