Is there a need for additional research by the donors before they decide on which charity to donate to? The answer to that would be a straight yes. On a broader prospect this extremely crucial step by the donors can help a great deal making the philanthropic sector much more effective which will ultimately lead to the building of a better world. Even Meredith Iler agrees to this fact especially when the concern is about helping the wounded veterans.
Several studies have been conducted to find out what percentage of donors actually research before giving. The general results that came out are this that maximum donors are of the opinion that they truly care about non-profit performance but it is only 3 out of 10 givers who research the non-profits and out of a 100 only around 3 actively take precautionary steps to determine whether they are donating to the best-performing charities or not. This pattern has to be changed so that the best and high performing charities get the most number of donations. Studies could find out two major causes for which donors generally do not look up the non-profits that they donate to.
Firstly, they chose to donate year after year to the charity that they have become familiar with and secondly, because the new non-profits that they select are already vetted organizations and popular. Moreover, people have a tendency to believe that their charities are doing a good job so they are rarely motivated to find the high-performing non-profits. All these factors together contribute in making the attempt to change the research pattern of the donor challenging.
Steps towards informed giving
The silver lining today is this that the philanthropic sector is also stepping forward in the encouragement of informed giving via constructive actions.
Meredith Iler believes that the information providers can stress on providing useful data to the donors on the non-profits that they generally look up. The list includes internationally working charities that work on education, healthcare, child issues, and poverty as well as disaster relief.
Charities must themselves take the initiative to inform the prospect donors and keep them updated about their doings. Non-profits must realize that the givers research to validate the legitimacy of their organization and also to be sure whether they are putting their money at the right place or not. When they research, they surely do not shop for these charities. The donors of today who are not much into researching are of the view that they will consider changing their behaviors of giving only if they see or hear of media reporting about the organizations they donate to. Another brilliant way in which charities can spread information is by putting up the data of their effectiveness and impact on either third-party portals or their dedicated portals.
It is a general tendency among donors that before giving to an organization they like to get a complete picture which includes the organizations financial, legitimacy, mission and impact. Some also rely on ratings provided on third-party portals. So, the non-profits can find various ways to engage their donors.