A number of charities have made comment recently about concerns they have about the ability of their donors to give post the Christchurch Earthquake – and in looking to see what could be the possible impact on donor contributions I stumbled across What has the impact of the February Christchurch Earthquake been on fundraising, donor behaviour and charity decision-making? – a report from Xponential Philanthropy.

What was the not for profit fundraising sector’s experience post-earthquake? 

“In the beginning of May, Xponential Philanthropy conducted a simple electronic survey to determine the fundraising behaviour of the not for profit sector post-earthquake and to assess if there had been a significant impact. The survey was sent to members of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand. Fifty four responses were received.

The survey results suggest 71% of the survey respondents made changes to their fundraising plans post-earthquake. The decisions to change fundraising plans were mainly prompted by the Fundraising Department, Board and Management. Donor views were not a major influence; only two responses cite donor feedback as a reason for changing plans.

Direct mail programmes and event based fundraising were the most affected, either by cancellation or postponement. 36.7% postponed their Direct Mail programme to existing donors, whilst 27.8% cancelled the programme altogether. 16.7% cancelled a Direct Mail to non-donors and 13.3% postponed theirs. Event based fundraising was the most affected with 38.9% cancelling and 26.7% postponing a planned event. Based on these changes, it was interesting to note the estimated impact on the annual income of charities. 15% stated that they did not anticipate any loss of income. 33% estimated that they would lose up to 5% of their annual income. 15.4% expect a reduction of 5% – 10% and 20.5% believe that their annual income will reduce by 10% – 20%.” 

An insight from the report is that “Donors don’t stop caring about causes that matter to them, even in the event of a disaster. Organisations are urged to continue to engage and communicate with their donors and supporters, telling them about the urgent needs of those they help and important services they provide in our communities … because donors still care.”

It’s important for charities to communicate with their donors, to let them know how important their support is – it’s also important that charities are transparent, that they show how and where funds are used, all of this will help ensure supporters continue to support.

Download the report “Impact of Christchurch Earthquake on NZ Charities” for more insight.




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