Arlington, VA – Almost half of adult Americans are unclear about what “charity impact” means according to new survey research released today by BBB’s Give.org, thestandards-based charity evaluation group. The Give.org Special Report: Charity Impact provides results of a survey of more than 2,100 adults in the United States (as well as a separate survey of more than 1,000 adults in Canada) and explores how individual donors perceive charity impact.
47% of survey participants indicated they are either unclear or do not know what “charity impact” means. The remaining 53% of respondents claimed they know what a charity means when talking about “impact.” When asked to consider possible definitions for the term “charity impact,” survey participants were split. Among Gen Zers, “organizations reaching defined goals” was most popular (40%); Millennials were most likely to select “how efficient the organization was in its spending” (27%); and Matures most frequently select “the quality of programs” (26%).
“While it has become a common assumption that donors want to support highly impactful organizations, survey results show that the donating public does not have a clear understanding of the term,” said H. Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB’s Give.org, “What is more, although people care about immediate results, volume of programs, and the accomplishments of their own contributions, they report attributing higher importance to long-term results, depth of programs, and the overall accomplishments and capacity of the organization.”
Other report highlights include:
- 31% of respondents rated charity impact as a very important aspect in their giving process, as compared to charity trust (40%) or financial ratios (28%).
- Respondents are more likely to consider long-term results to be highly important (32%) than immediate results (21%); and program quality to be highly important (38%) than program volume (32%). Among donors who report contributing more than $5,000 in 2020, 44% attribute high importance to long-term results, as compared to immediate results (25%).
- “Bang for your buck” impact statements come across as untrustworthy to some potential donors. For instance, 22% of boomers and 27% of Matures rated their trust for such language between 0 and 20 on a 100-point scale. 37% of participants who did not donate during 2020 also rated such statements as untrustworthy.”
- When asked to reflect on how individual donors think about their own ability to make a difference, giving directly to individuals was most frequently rated as very helpful (27%), followed by charities (17%) and houses of worship (23%).
For a free copy of the report, go to Give.org/DonorTrust.
BBB’s Give.org urges donors to give thoughtfully by taking the time to investigate charities before making a donation and to visit Give.org to verify if a charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.