Polls / September 16, 2014

Which is your preferred way to donate to charity?

Cash donations are the favourite way for respondents to the eZonomics online poll to donate to charity, with volunteering time second and sponsored events third. Only one-in-five who took the poll do not donate.

Can I interest you in a raffle ticket?
It might be a sponsored challenge – such as running a marathon or abseiling from a landmark building – volunteering on a committee, giving a set amount from each pay cheque or donating in another way.
People give to charitable causes they cherish in different ways.
And respondents to this eZonomics poll favour a cash donation over volunteering their time or a sponsored event.
Research proves what many already discovered – when people give to charity, it’s not purely one way. The donors feel good and get a “warm glow” in return.
In a speech in September 2014, Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane talked through the many benefits of charity, with specific focus on volunteering. Haldane calculated that the “volunteer army” in the United Kingdom created economic value of at least GBP50 billion a year – and explained that volunteering provided well-being benefits and skills training for participants.

My friends are charity donors, so I am too
If a friend gets a new car or backs a certain sports team or investment, it is likely it will influence our own thinking too.
These sorts of peer influences can play a role in donating to charity as well. A study, cited in the eZonomics slideshow Why do we give to charity?, found donations to a public radio station increased when potential donors were told others had been very generous.
Sending a signal about social standing is also found to be an influence.

My charity plan…
In any case, it can be a good idea for individuals to plan the best way to support the causes that matter to them.
If it is a cash donation, as seems to be a favourite, accounting for it in a regular budget can be a good idea – and, if workplaces have a tax or matching scheme, potentially boost the windfall to the charity.


eZonomics team
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