Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Give a little...

In Australia, our tax year ends on 30 June. Because donations are tax deductible, all the charities go out with appeals at this time of year.

Looking at benchmarking datat, we see that there are nearly three times as many donors over $1000 in June, compared to any other month. They also give nearly four times as much away in that month.

This begs two questions - why and so what should I do about it?

The 'why' is hard. At this time of year, wealthier people are much, much more likely to be asked. Some charities only ask certain donors at this time of the year.

Appeals go out, because more people give in June than any other month and more people give at this time of the month because more appeals go out, so we have a self-fulfilling loop.

The fact that it is the end of the tax year will also influence people. I know of some, wealthier donors, that give little bits but then at the end of the financial year, they assess their income and decide how much to give when they see their tax liabilities.

But so what? Making sure you present your case for these people makes sense, so I would not suggest not running a 'tax' campaign, but I do suggest not using tax as your proposition. Make sure you still get your proposition right - it is still about the work you do.

The benefit you are 'selling' to your donors is their donations impact on beneficiaries - it is not the tax deduction.

Also do note, that 75% of gifts are not made in June - don't concentrate just on that month.

Looking at motivations, James Briggs recently blogged about how, after forcing people to give (he gave them money to give away), he found that they gave to different charities than their usual ones. Check out his 'enforced giving' blog here.

Maybe that is because the usual catalyst - receiving an ask - was not there, and people had think differently who to give to. To see this theory in action - do this exercise right now:

* Give $100 away. Right now, you are online - get out your credit card and do it.

See how it makes you think differently?

Over to you to work out how to apply that learning to your next appeal.


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