Donors Women v Men

The New Zealand Herald article Charity collector gives tight-fisted men the Christmas grinch title suggests that women give more, more often and that men walk passed collectors, trying to ignore that they are there.

The article goes on to suggest that men, if they give, drop coins into collection buckets whereas women will often drop in a note. 

The article also quotes South Auckland psychologist Barry Kirker who said “… research indicated that if a wife asked her husband’s advice on making a charity donation, she would be talked into giving less.”  

Barry Kirker further says “If the woman is in sole charge of the finances, it’s more likely a higher percentage will go to charity.

“If she asks her husband about it, that percentage will go in a downwards direction.” 

Mr Kirker said women were more likely to give well to several charities, whereas men tended to be either very generous or very selfish. “So if you’re a charity calling for money, make sure you ask to speak to the woman.” 

And Auckland University of Technology professor of psychology and public health Max Abbott said the reason for the difference could be simply that women cared more than men. 

The comments from both Barry Kirker and Max Abbott are likely to be right, and are similar to what I’ve noticed when it comes to who gives and why. And this is that women tend to give more, more often because they’re more aware of what is happening, they hear about appeals more often and listen to the message behind the appeal. 

Women (mums) also hear stories from their children about causes which may have been discussed at school. Women tend to also talk more about causes with their work colleagues, men on the other hand tend not to. 

New Zealand is not alone when it comes to a gender imbalance when it comes to giving. The Global Giving Index produced by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2010 from research undertaken through Gallup’s WorldView World Poll shows that:  

Research in countries with long-standing annual surveys into giving money show a marked trend for women being more likely to give money than men, but comparative international data on this scale has not previously been reported. This survey found that globally women are more likely to give than men, but only just – 30% versus 29%. However, this pattern varies from region to region.  

…more women than men give in eight of the thirteen regions of the world. The largest difference in giving between the genders was seen in Australasia where 74% of women give compared to 64% of men. 

With few exceptions in regions where more women give money than men the overall percentage of giving is higher. The exceptions are Western Asia/Middle East and Northern Africa.  


A survey I conducted in the middle of 2010 showed that 53% of women who responded give to charity versus 47% of men, it’s a gender imbalance, but given all the international research it’s a norm. 

Something else charities need to take into consideration when wondering why men may drop only a few coins in a bucket is perhaps men carry less coins than women. If this is the case then it would make sense for more organisations to look at mobile eftpos facilities to help with the convenience to giving.


Not-for-profit – Giving Survey Results

(Originally posted May 2010)

A few weeks ago I decided to run a poll/survey to see who supports charities and what they support; the results aren’t that surprising to me given I have been working within this sector for a number of years.

I thought I’d share the results with you; if you’re working in this sector you’re more than welcome to use and share this information. It may help you better target when looking at supporter acquisition and retention.


Selecting a Charity

How do you select a charity to support? With so many worthwhile causes, what criteria do you use to make your choice? 

How did you select the charity?

Personal issue                                    29%

Family Involvement               23%

Issue close to heart                   41%

Other                                          7%   


What area does the charity you support work in


Family                                                14%           

Children                                             11%

Health                                                19%

International Welfare (Aid)                 33%

Societal Change                                14%

Other                                                   9% 


What support do you give?


Financial                                             51%

Time (volunteer)                                 19%

Goods                                                  9%

Services                                             13%

Other                                                   8% 


How often do you give support?


Weekly                                               19%

Monthly                                              28%

Quarterly                                             6%

Annually                                            44%

Other                                                  3% 


If you give financial support how much would you typically give per year?


Less than $100                                  48%

$100-$200                                        17%

$200-$300                                          5%

$300-$500                                          3%

$500-$700                                          0% 

$700-$1000                                        4%

$1000-$2000                                      8%

More than $2000                               15% 



Where is the charity you support based?


New Zealand                                      49%

Australia                                              3%

Pacific                                                 3%

Asia                                                     0%

USA                                                   24%

UK                                                      3%

Other                                                   7%

Unknown                                            11% 





Under 15                                             2%

15-18                                                  2%

18-25                                                  5%

25-30                                                  7%

30-35                                                 16%

35-40                                                 12%

40-49                                                 23%

49-55                                                 19% 

55-65                                                 11%

65+                                                     3% 




Female                                               53%

Australia                                            47% 


Marital Status


Single                                                33%

Married/De-facto                               57%

Divorced                                             1%

Never Been Married                            9%




No Children                                       32%

1-2                                                    27%

2-3                                                    24%

3-5                                                    14%

More than 5 children                           3% 


Race/Country of Origin


NZ European                                      47%

NZ Maori                                             9%

Pacific Islander                                     2%

Asian                                                 13%

American/Canadian                            11%

UK                                                      9%

Other                                                   9%


Usual Country of Residence


NZ                                                     78%

Australia                                             5%

Pacific                                                3%

USA/Canada                                      5%

UK                                                      6%

Other                                                  3%




Unemployed                                        2%

Employed Part-time                          13%

Employed Full-Time                           33%

Self-Employed                                   27%

Company Director                             17%

Retired                                                6%

Other                                                  2%




Some respondents indicated that they would like to give more however their own personal situation precluded them from doing so. Others indicated that lack of feedback as to where support went, what it was used for was making them rethink their charitable contributions to organisations. There were a high number of people who said they felt duty bound to give to others who were less fortunate, and others who said it was almost a Kiwi thing to support charities or not-for-profit groups working in the community.


  1. Survey conducted using Twitpoll, emailed questionnaire, personal interviews
  2. Survey conducted May 2010 
  3. Survey Sample 120 (Total Respondents)
  4. Margin of error +/-4%
  5. More on NZ Charity Sector – Charities Commission


You don’t believe they support

As I was penning some thoughts on the reaction people get when asked for support I came across this tweet by nzcspaul:

“When ppl ask for donations and we decline as we donate weekly to a coupla charities already they never look like they believe us. It’s true!”

What he says is so right, when we walk down the street and see people out collecting, doing street sign-ups and are stopped, asked for a donation or support and we say “I’m already a supporter” or “I already have charities I support” – the look you can get from some is often one of disbelief.

Sure, there will be those who fob off collectors with lines like those, and those who pretend they’re on a call simply ‘ignoring’ the advances of the collectors. But, they will likely be a significant number who are being genuine, who do in fact give – it’s this group who can take offence to the sly look at their fellow collector, the raised eyebrows, the ‘yea right’ look some collectors give.

Are collectors doing themselves and the organisation they are collecting for a disservice, surely they’d be better giving a nod, a smile -some form of acknowledgement that people may genuiney being giving.

All charities collecting need to respect what people tell them about their giving, even those who they think maybe trying to ‘get out’ of giving. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

People approached for a donation who say they already give that see the ‘look of doubt’ on the collectors face tell their friends, family and colleagues. Word spreads that they felt mistrusted.

It’s important to remember people can only give so much, that they have their chosen charties.

What is your reaction when someone tells you they already support?

Do you train your staff on how to deal with people who have their chosen charities?

Why you suck at fundraising

No matter where you are in the world, or what you’re doing, there is huge competition for the charity dollar, and unless you have a fundraising plan you are likely to find the going tough. 

Now is the time to also look at your previous fundraising efforts and see what worked and what didn’t. Repeat the good bits (if appropriate) and ditch the things that didn’t work, there’s no point repeating failures.

Some of the reasons your fundraising may not be successful: 

Lack of planning 
Lack of clarity
No emphasis on urgency of need
Scattered approach

There are of course reasons that are likely to be out of your control, such as the economy, but lets not dwell on that, here lets focus instead on what you do have control of. 

If you are struggling with your fundraising have you reviewed previous fundraising activities and seen where they have succeeded, or miss the mark – If not why not? 

All fundraising activities have to be well thought out, you need a plan, if you haven’t set a plan of how, where and when you will fundraise, put all your fundraising thoughts aside until you have done it. 

You also need to think about who you are ‘targetting’ with your fundraising and this MUST be in your plan. Do you know who and where your potential donor are – if you have no idea, do some research, it will be worth the effort. 

Are you donors predominantly male or female, when do they give, what is their frequency of giving – don’t know this, then research. 

Are you only asking for a donation for the sake of it, or is there a real need, right here, right now – if there is then you must put urgency into your message. 

Often we see pleads for donations that don’t give a real message, such as ‘help us, we need your help’ but there’s no real message as to what a donation will help with – are you guilty of this, if so, change your approach. 

When soliciting a donation make sure the people you’re approaching know who you are, what you do and what their donation will help you achieve. 

Ensure every appeal you make for a donation is well planned, that it has urgency and is targeted at those who are more likely to give – there’s no point in flying over a city dropping a flyer unless you know the bricks they’re tide to will hit the people most likely to help. 

Every time you ask for a donation it costs you money, make every cent you spend count.


Referrals and Recommendations

We all get opportunities to refer others to either work on a joint venture project or directly with someone we know – but how do we ensure the person being referred will measure up to our expectations and to those of the person you are referring them to?

I normally only refer people I had worked closely with, or who I had seen the quality and standard of their work; but today with more networking (traditional and social) we are able to refer and make recommendations more easily. Often on LinkedIn we can get asked “will you write a recommendation for me?” – More often than not these have been from people I scarcely know let alone worked with, or seen the quality of their work.

Are we opening ourselves up to risking our own reputation?

From my experience I would say we are.  Twice last year I introduced people to people I know to carry out a job, only to have been let down on both occasions.

Are we taking recommendations too lightly now, and not really thinking about the implications?

How do you handle referrals or recommendations?

Tele-fundraising Tips

Tele-fundraising can be an effective way to gain support and of course donations for an organization, handled right your tele-fundraisers can gain considerable support.

Here’s some tips that will help your team ensure every call made is effective and result in support for your organization:

Set yourself a target – have your own target for how many calls you will make, and what your volume of donations you’re aiming for

Personalise your script – if there’s words in the script you’re given that you wouldn’t normally use they will come across in your voice, personalise and you will have more success

Don’t post mortem calls – the call has gone, get over it and move onto the next one

Know what you want from the call – if you don’t know what you want don’t bother picking up the phone

Smile before you dial – smiles do come across on the phone

Ask for the donation – you won’t get anything unless you ask with confidence, and commitment 

Pitch it and zip – ask for the donation, then zip your lips – don’t talk yourself out of the donation 

Have the answers to common questions at the ready – if you hesitate in answering questions you could miss out on gaining the donation

Celebrate every NO you get – every no is getting you closer to a YES

Don’t prejudge the call – you have no idea who is at the other end of the phone and what they maybe able to give

It’s not you they’re saying no to – don’t take rejection personally, they’re saying no to the cause or the donation request NOT YOU

Don’t ask people how they are unless you have a relationship with them – people know you don’t rally care.

No Excuse for Sloppiness

Having recently rushed to get a clients newsletter written and off to them, I was surprised when I received a copy of it showing several typos. On letting the organisation know of this I was surprised to get the response ‘so long as people understand what we’re saying it doesn’t matter’ – um, does it matter? 

Let us look at it this way – if you are an organisation charged with delivering a service and you’re unable to deliver the service yet still promote that you’re doing it – does it matter? 

If you are an organisation offering advice and guidance and give the wrong advice or guidance – does it matter? 

The answer is surely YES – so why then does it not seem to matter that typos, inaccuracies and the like don’t seem to matter to some. 

There is really no excuse for sloppiness, when it comes to information and service delivery care needs to be taken that what you are saying and doing are accurate. 

A company that tells the public a product will do xyz when in fact it won’t do anything of the sort will soon find their reputation affected, and quite likely have someone knocking on their door for breach of consumer protection laws. 

Why, or how can an organisation feel that their ‘sloppiness’ have no bearing on what they do? 

There really is no excuse for sloppiness, we all need to take care of what we are saying, the way we say it and if in doubt put it aside until our mind is more focussed, that we have a clearer understanding of the message we are delivering. 

Remember – first impressions count, if something isn’t up to scratch put it aside, get a second opinion a second set of eyes to look it over and only when you’re 100% comfortable, and confident that it’s up to scratch should you proceed. 

Ok – now best I reed this and see if it makes scents, that it says what I want it to say and that their aren’t two many eras.

What are your views on sending out information that doesn’t measure up, do you care or are you more concerned about ‘just getting the message out’?