IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cge/wacage/194.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Online fundraising - the perfect ask?

Author

Listed:
  • Payne, Abigail
  • Scharf, Kimberley

    (The University of Warwick)

  • Smith, Sarah

    (University of Bristol)

Abstract

Online platforms provide an opportunity for individuals to fundraise for their favourite charities and charitable causes. In recent years, individual charity fundraising through these platforms has become a mass activity. Using JustGiving, the UK’s biggest charity fundraising platform, 21 million people have raised £1.5 billion for over 13,000 charities and causes since the website was set up in 2001. Recent figures suggest that online donations are still a relatively small part of overall giving; an estimated 7% of the total dollar amount given in the US and used by 7% of UK donors. But online and text giving are growing at a faster rate than total donations, indicating that this share will grow. In this paper, we present insights on individual fundraising from micro-econometric analysis of JustGiving data. The analysis exploits a number of different data sub-samples. The largest comprises 416,313 fundraisers who were active JustGiving users at the time of an online survey that ran from October 2010 – April 2011. We also analyse data on 10,597 fundraisers who ran in the 2010 London marathon and from a sample of 39,238 fundraisers who had linked their fundraising pages to their Facebook page. Details on all these samples are given in the Appendix. The focus of the analysis is what determines fundraising success. The "perfect ask" in the title of the paper suggests that there may be a winning formula that could easily be replicated. In practice, much of the power of individual fundraising comes from its very personal – and idiosyncratic – nature, but there may nevertheless be some useful lessons to be learned from studying how fundraisers and donors behave. A "typical" fundraising page (the median) has 14 donations and raises £245. But, as shown in Table 1, there is substantial variation in the number of donations and the amounts raised. The top 10% of pages raise £1,343 or more; the bottom 10% manage less than £38. In this paper, we show that at least some of this variation can be linked to specific factors having to do with the individual’s fundraising strategy (for example, the type of event they do and whether or not they set a fundraising target). We also show that social interactions are crucially important – whether between the fundraiser and donors or between donors. Individual fundraising is a uniquely personal and interactive form of fundraising, introducing new social dynamics into fundraising.

Suggested Citation

  • Payne, Abigail & Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah, 2014. "Online fundraising - the perfect ask?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 194, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:194
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/194-2014_scharf.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah, 2016. "Relational altruism and giving in social groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 1-10.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Online giving; Fundraising; Social groups; Donations; Charity; Warm glow;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:194. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jane Snape (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.