According to the CAF UK Giving 2018 report, the last two months of the year are when UK people are the most generous in terms of giving donations. The causes that benefit most according to the report was pretty much equally split among 4 main categories as shown below:
However, this data is overwhelmingly skewed by the causes that manage to get in front of people and ask for help. That might be via street-based engagement, supermarket engagement or TV campaigns which tend to peak around the Christmas time. Sadly the latter campaigns tend to focus on guilt based marketing which is effective but in the long term can create a behaviour of avoidance in the future.
What if all these donors were given the opportunity to give for free to the causes they chose? What would the mix look like then? Our experience is that it would open the door to a very different landscape; one that includes causes such as:
- Local winter night shelters that enable homeless people to have a safe, warm place to sleep
- Food banks to help ensure that people struggling in our communities can feed themselves and their families in hard times
- Local day care centres to help reduce loneliness and improve the mental health of our elderly people
- Community sports clubs that need help to enable poorer participants have sports kit to be part of the team
- Gyms that specialise in helping mentally disabled people benefit from the physical and mental benefits of exercise with their carers.
- Local support groups for those suffering from specific physical or mental conditions to have a place to belong and help each other.
Many of the groups I’ve mentioned above just don’t have the marketing resources to get in front of large numbers of people but are well known in their respective communities. When Giving statistics are all about responding to campaigns, what we are really seeing are sales numbers rather than true giving analysis.
Many of the smaller causes are so focused on their social impact, they have little marketing support to raise awareness and tell their story and so rely on a small set of supporters to keep their activities going. This means that their possible income stream and impact is effectively capped. Primary school PTA’s are an example of this – there are only so many times you can approach the same set of people for money via fundraising events.
This is what drives me and my team of amazing people and volunteers to do what we do. Being able to help in some small way to develop an additional income stream for all these causes is so important. Pretty much every day, we see new causes joining our platform from small local causes to the larger charities and hospices. They all work so hard to make the world a better place and all matter – thank goodness there are so many people doing what they do to make a difference.
So which causes matter the most? I passionately believe that they all matter and when we collectively spread the support around, it makes a stronger community, nation and world around us. Instead of a discussion on which cause is more important than another, it becomes a conversation about the positive impact they all make. None of us can support everything that matters but together we can do just that.
CEO & Founder TheGivingMachine