Americans and British View Nonprofits as Effective Change Makers Yet Still Plan to Give the Same or Less

By Fenton, PRNE
Monday, December 5, 2011

NEW YORK, December 6, 2011 -

- Social Good Survey Finds Engaging Donors Personally through Multiple Channels is Key to Securing Support in Tough Economy

People in the United States and United Kingdom overwhelmingly trust nonprofits and charities ahead of governments and corporations to create social change, yet most say they will make charitable donations at the same or reduced levels as last year, according to the 2011 Social Good Survey by Fenton and GlobeScan.

The survey, which examines people’s views of nonprofits/charities and planned giving for 2012, confirms that giving has yet to rebound. In today’s economy, nonprofits/charities must effectively engage people on the impact and timeliness of their work to raise the level of trust and support from existing and potential donors, the findings suggest.

Key findings:

  • Giving to nonprofits is stalled: Seventy-two percent of U.K. respondents and 65% of U.S. respondents say they expect their giving to remain the same in 2012. A notable minority say their giving will decrease (16% U.K. and 17% U.S.).
  • Nonprofits are perceived to be most effective as change makers: Forty-one percent of U.K. respondents and 55% of U.S. respondents say they believe nonprofits and charities are highly effective at bringing about positive social change.
  • Nonprofits and charities can earn greater support by getting personal: People say an organization’s commitment to a cause they feel strongly about (54% U.K.; 44% U.S.) is the most important factor for their decision to give.
  • Confusion surrounding nonprofit spending and management: Respondents who report knowing more about how nonprofits are managed are also more positive about their support, but less than half say they believe nonprofits/charities do a good job spending funds and managing operations.
  • Social media is most important for staying current on nonprofit activities and taking action: The majority of responses underscore the value of social media to keep them up to date and provide opportunities for engagement. While social media may not be the most effective tool to reach new audiences, it is an effective for engaging existing supporters. ¬†
  • Traditional media is still important for breaking through: News stories and television commercials rank higher than social media as persuasion tools to bring new people into an effort.

The survey was conducted in July 2011 by GlobeScan (, using online panels in the U.S. and U.K. Respondents were aged 18 years or older and had made a minimum of $20.00/10.00 pounds Sterling in charitable donations in the past year. In the U.K., 1,054 people were interviewed; in the U.S., 1,131 were interviewed. View the survey at

Giovanna Frank-Vitale, gvitale at, +1-212-584-5000 x221

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