Disasters and donating

How emergency appeals impact on charitable giving

In June 2016 CAF brought together a panel of academic experts and an audience of charities to discuss the impact of emergency appeals on charitable giving. At the event, leading economists, Professors Sarah Smith, Kimberley Scharf and Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm presented the findings of their new research on the subject.

The research, based on analysis of anonymised CAF customer data, was the most comprehensive of its kind ever undertaken. It looked at around 4.5 million donations made between June 2009 and July 2014, a period which covered six DEC appeals.

An impact on giving?

The purpose of this research was to look at whether donating to a disaster appeal had an impact on other charitable giving. It also looked at whether telethons had any effect on other donations, to see if the same pattern emerged.

Download the report


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