CSRinsights: Top 5 Where and Why People Donate their Time and Money

We thought we’d do something different for our end-of-year CSRinsights by highlighting where and why people donate their time and money. By using 2010/2011 data, we focused on the top five most influential stats we could find that influence the future direction of CSR and how online technology supports market demands.  

Top 5 Reasons that motivated individuals to fundraise:

  • 69% Felt a personal connection to the cause
  • 50% A friend or family member asked me to participate
  • 37% Physical challenge
  • 35% To benefit the local community
  • 32% Wanted to be part of a company or other group team

As online fundraising shifts to become the preferred method for donors, companies  should keep in mind the top factors that motivate individuals to fundraise in the first place.  People are primarily motivated to fundraise based upon a personal connection to a cause or requests received from their network. For a successful fundraising event, use communication tools that allow for employees  to send invite requests and express their stories , which will motivate others. In addition, expand your giving programs to be year-round, so that there’s always an opportunity to fundraise due to a personal connection or special event.

 Source: Blackbaud, 2011 “Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey”

Top 5 Categories individuals volunteered for:

  • 35% Religious 
  • 27% Educational 
  • 14% Social Services 
  • 8% Hospital 
  • 7% Other 

Religion is typically not a company-sponsored cause. However,  the category ranks as the number one place where people volunteer.  Companies could support employees religious causes by providing tools to track their efforts outside of the workplace. Moreover, the top categories where people volunteer are great for assessing the type of opportunities promoted to employees. Religious is a risky affiliation, though there are a strong interests in educational, social service and hospital opportunities that could draw interests from employees as well.

Source: Volunteering in America www.volunteeringinamerica.gov

Top 5 Largest charities by private support ($billion): 

  • 3.9 United Way 
  • 1.81 Salvation Army  
  • 1.15 Feeding America 
  • 1.08 American National Red Cross   
  • 1.04 Food for the Poor 

These top five largest U.S. charities are based on the amount of private gifts received, demonstrating donor preferences.  Each one of these charities has collected an ample amount of charitable contributions this year and continue to stay as leaders within the nonprofit space.  To exemplify, United Way has a colossal amount of  partnerships including Wal-Mart, Exxon, General Electric, etc.  In addition, Salvation Army  and Feeding America have collaborated with multiple corporations for cause marketing campaigns gaining countless amount of new audiences.

Source: Forbes, 2011 ‘The 200 Largest U.S. Charities’

Top 5 Issues consumers want companies to address:

  • 34% Economic Development 
  • 21% Environment 
  • 12% Human Rights 
  • 11% Poverty & Hunger   
  • 9% Education 

Economic development is the number one issue consumers want companies to address. However, consumer staples and discretionary industries average 8-9% fund allocation in this area, according to CECP Giving In Numbers 2011. These industries are the most prominent in the public eye and depend heavily on the economic cycle, in which they could benefit from a brand reputation and consumer loyalty standpoint by listening to consumer expectations.

 Source: 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study

Top 5 Reasons for expanding charitable programs:

  • 96.9% Increases employee participation
  • 71.9% Demonstrates a responsiveness to employee desires
  • 65.6% Improves employee morale
  • 56.3% Increases awareness of the company in the community
  • 50% Increases campaign donations

Research reveals there are many reasons to expand charitable programs, including the fact that it increases employee participation and demonstrates a responsiveness to employee desires.   We know that employee participation makes for happier, more productive employees and therefore, a better business.  In addition, when you expand charitable programs, employees believe you’ve listened to one of their many requests.   Choice is key for employees if companies want to demonstrate responsiveness to employee desires.


Source: LBG Research Institute, 2011 “Workplace Giving Works! Make It Work for You”

Top 5 Internet users by language:

  • 26.8% English
  • 24.2% Chinese
  • 7.8% Spanish 
  • 4.7%  Japanese   
  • 3.9% Portugese

Many CSR programs continue to expand globally and multilingual solutions have become a prevalent need.  In parallel, web users grow around the world with a surge of available languages on the web.  The once dominated  internet language, English, is expected to decrease.  Therefore, online solutions should cover the basis of the languages most used in the internet in order to cater to the most active international markets on the web. 


Source: Internet World Stats

Top 5 Most popular web browsers:


  • 38.1% Firefox
  • 33.4% Chrome
  • 21.2% Internet Explorer 
  • 4.2% Safari
  • 2.4% Opera 

As of today, Technology is a necessity in a company and for the CSR market it is becoming an essential part to expanding charitable and volunteer programs.  Third party providers need to upkeep functionality and design to ascertain codes match for user preferences.  The above web browsers aim to provide a better browsing experience and give people greater access to the web, and in this case Firefox leads.

Source: www.w3schools.com


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