Report: Charities need to become more tech savvy to attract young donors

18 Jul 2016 News

Charities must embrace technology to encourage younger people to donate to charity, a new report by YouGov and CAF claims.

The Appetite for Donation report claims that charities are not effectively harnessing young people’s appetite for technology, including donation apps and contactless payments, to gain donations.

It warns that charities risk being “left behind” and missing out on the support of a generation.

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said encouraging younger people to “emulate the generosity of their parents and grandparent’s generation” was a “big challenge” for charities.

“A 65-year-old is now almost twice as likely to donate to charity as someone in their early 20s,” she said.

“Young people in the UK tend to be very socially conscious and have a real appetite for supporting good causes. But this potential is not being fulfilled. To close this generational gap in giving, charities need to make it easier for young people to give.”

According to Pinkney, young people’s use of technology for other part of their lives, such as mobile banking and shopping, is a good indicator that the technology could be transferred to charity-friendly donation apps.

But she said charities have so far been “slow off the mark”.

“There is a real shortage of opportunities for people to use everyday technology to support good causes,” she said.
“If they are to avoid being left behind, charities need to fully embrace new technology to ensure that they are speaking to younger people on their own terms and inspiring them to embark on a lifetime of charitable giving.”

Research by CAF shows that while fewer than one in ten people overall, have donated via an app, the figure jumps to more than half for 18-34-year-olds.

It also reveals that charities are struggling from the widespread use of contactless payment cards – with fewer people carrying spare cash for donations as a result.

Other causes for lower donation rates among young people, according to the report, are the failure of charities to translate social media likes into donations.

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