Donors are still most likely to be inspired to give to overseas disaster appeals by television messages, according to a new report from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
CAF has been tracking the UK general public’s response to major overseas disaster appeals for the past six years. CAF Disaster Monitor has quizzed over 4,000 people on their reaction to the Asian Tsunami in 2004, the Burma Cyclone in 2008, the Asia-Pacific disasters in 2009 and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010.
It found television to be the dominant medium that motivated people to give. Some 67 per cent of people polled said it was TV that prompted them to donate to the Asia-Pacific disasters in 2009, rising to 75 per cent for the Haiti disaster in 2010.
Influence through other forms of media - online, email, newspaper or radio, was found to be consistently low for the Burma, Asia-Pacific and Haiti disasters, with online, newspaper and radio motivation dropping to around 5 per cent for the Haiti earthquake this year.
While new-media donation methods continue to lag behind TV, they are steadily rising in effectiveness from 7 per cent in 2004 to 17 per cent in 2009 and 2010. Online donations is the most popular new-media way of giving with 15 per cent using the method this year, eclipsing text/SMS giving at 3 per cent. Cash, at 40 per cent, remains the most popular donation method.
The survey also found that women and the 35-44 age group were most likely to give to disaster appeals.
Further, the numbers of people that donated to Haiti appeals (48 per cent of the population) was more than double the proportion that gave for Burma 2008 (23 per cent) and Asia-Pacific 2009 (23 per cent). Yet this was nearly half as many that gave to Tsunami relief in 2004 (81 per cent).