Most charity supporters want to be kept informed after making a donation – new research shows

1 September 2015

The majority of people want to be kept informed about the work of charities they give money to, research published today shows.

Four in five people (81 per cent) say it is important that they receive some form of communication from a charity after making a donation.

However, instead of a standard or personalised ‘thank you’ message, people are more likely to value correspondence about how the charity is having an impact and regular progress reports on its work.

Members of the public were polled on how they liked to be contacted by charities after making a donation. The poll was carried out earlier this year by GfK NOP on behalf of the Charities Aid Foundation as part of its ongoing UK Giving study.

It found that:
  • Evidence about how a charity is having an impact was most likely to be valued by people, with 68% of respondents agreeing this was important.
  • Regular updates on the charity's work were seen as important by 57%.
  • Identifying how an individual donation had been spent was seen as important by 54%.
  • A standard thank you was regarded as important by 48% and a personalised thank you was seen as important by 39%.

The findings also show that while people of all ages appreciate correspondence from the charities they support, younger people are most likely to consider it important. 16-to-24-year-olds are most likely to want evidence of impact and regular updates, with people less likely to find follow-up correspondence important as they get older.

Women are more likely than men to want progress reports on how their donation is being used, with 61% regarding it as important, compared with 54% of men.

The Charities Aid Foundation helps people support the causes they care about and provides financial services to charities.

It said the results of the survey suggest that charities should consider tailoring their communication to donors by age, recognising that younger people tend to be more keen to receive updates.

UK Giving analysis published by CAF earlier this year found that 70% of people agreed they would be more inclined to give to charity if they knew how the money was directly helping.

Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“These findings show that most people do not want their relationship with a charity to end when they donate. Those who give their money want to be kept informed about the work their chosen charity is doing.

“The generosity of people who give their time and money to a good cause is what makes voluntary organisations' work possible, and we are fortunate that Britons consistently rank among the most generous people in the world.

"It is really important for charities to maintain the good rapport they have with their supporters and ensure people are happy with the way charities get in touch. We need to get the balance right so that supporters of charities feel valued and informed but never harassed.

"The nature of charities’ communication with donors has come under the considerable scrutiny recently. It is significant that our evidence shows there are few things that motivate people to give to a good cause more than straightforward information about how a charity is having an impact.”


These questions were asked as part of the Charities Aid Foundation's UK Giving research study. 1,041 face-to-face interviews were conducted by GfK NOP on 12th – 17th February 2015. The full UK Giving 2014 report can be found here:

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