Charities don’t do nearly enough to tell donors how their money will be used. That;s one of the striking preliminary findings from a new survey by the researcher Penelope Burk. This is the fourth year that Ms. Burke, president of Cygnus Applied Research, has conducted an online survey with thousands of donors. (See my article about last year?s findings.)
The survey asked donors “what could unleash your philanthropy at a whole new level?” Nearly half of the donors said that they had more money to give but held back. Many of them said that was largely because they had not received enough information about how past donations had been spent.
Burk’s blog reports that “even in the worst moments of the recession, close to 50% of donors we surveyed agreed that they could have given more money.” One survey respondent explained that the “the thing that could unleash my philanthropy at a whole new level is [...] knowing that the money I give is making a real difference in people’s lives (not just a drop in the ocean of need);” another said that she would appreciate non-profits “giving loyal donors feedback about their accumulative giving to a cause over five, ten or even fifteen years.”
So let us know: what do you do to keep your donors “in the know?” And donors, what do you most appreciate hearing and enjoy leaning about at the non-profits that you support?