Australias Most Popular Causes

The most popular causes to support in Australia are health and medical research and children’s charities, each claiming around 45% of public popularity. Our study asked over 2,000 Australians which sorts of organisations they most like to support with donations. Animal charities came in 3rd but interestingly, in a similar study that only looked at people who were fundraising on behalf of charities through peer to peer platform Everyday Hero, they came in far lower. Perhaps this suggests that those who support animal welfare are less confident that their peers would also give to that cause.

We also asked elsewhere in the survey how much the donor had given to charities in the past 12 months. Now we recognise that this is self reported and therefore not necessarily an accurate reflection of their actual giving, but the relativities between the cause areas are still valid. The red line shows the proportion of respondents who claim to have given more than $500 in the past year. This reveals that although overseas development and emergency relief organisations are only supported by 19% of the population, over a quarter of those supporting them donate more than $500. We also saw in our study that people who gave to these organisations had a greater belief that their donation “gets there”.

Most overseas development agencies have been leading the way on monthly regular giving which we know is associated with a higher annual value. However, the organisations that are securing the highest share of donors giving more than $500 are religious organisations at 27%, but with a popularity of just 12%. In another study we saw that religious charities were by a long way the most popular cause to support amongst people who described themselves as religious.

The study reinforces the notion that, to succeed in fundraising you don’t have to be the most popular cause – you just have to have a small number of dedicated supporters. Look at one of the least popular causes – Indigenous Organisations – only identified by 5% of the population as an organisation they most like to support but punching well above its weight in having 17% of donors giving more than $500. It is one of only two areas where the score for popularity is lower than the proportion of $500+ donors.

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July 2014