People like to do things on their own time: watch their favorite TV shows, listen to music, read news articles, workout, you name it. Giving to charity follows the same pattern.
Today, charities are losing a lot of donations from events, like walkathons, that used to bring in a lot of money. Here are a few stats:
- The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation saw a 12% drop in walkathon participation this year compared to last.
- March for Babies, put on by March of Dimes, raised $3.5 million less this year than it did last year.
- The American Cancer Society brought in $45 million less from their Relay for Life event this year than they did last year.
- Walkathons and similar events in general raised $41 million less this year than they did last year.
Online and Mobile Donations
For the last several years, there has been an increase in giving using online services such as PayPal. One out of three Americans use their mobile phone as their primary way to connect to the internet. For the last several years, nonprofit organizations have been using this information to gather donations:
- After superstorm Sandy hit, the Red Cross and other relief organizations raised $7.2 million dollars using PayPal.
- At a private golf tournament in 2011, The Children's Miracle Network swiped credit cards for donations and raised $10,000.
- From 2011 to 2012, donations made via PayPal increased 22%.
Donor engagement is another way that charities bring in money. Many people want to show their support for nonprofits and feel a part of the solution. But again, they want to do it on their own time. Think about the following events:
- The ALS ice bucket challenge brought in over $110 million dollars in less than a year. People who wanted to participate in the ice bucket challenge could do so on their own time or just give donations.
- St. Baldricks children's cancer research center has people show their support by shaving their heads voluntarily, donating, and inspiring others to do the same.
- For several years, the group Movember has encouraged men to grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds for cancer. In 2011, the group raised $126.3 million dollars, with funds going to the Prostate cancer Foundation and the Livestrong Foundation.
- The World Wildlife Fund has a new campaign called Panda Nation. Participants can turn their birthday, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, or other special event into s mini fundraiser. Since the organization began in 2014, they have raised $60,000.
This demise of walkathon funds and the rise of new ways to donate show that people don't want to schedule their giving or volunteer work. They want a way to give on their own time.
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