Donations to emergency humanitarian appeals defy recession, says CAF
Donations to the most recent disaster appeal in the Asia-Pacific region remain buoyant despite the continuing recession, according to a survey of around 1000 UK adults (16 plus) released this week by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
Twenty three per cent of respondents gave to the Asia-Pacific appeal during October 2009, which was the same as the percentage who gave to the Burma Cyclone appeal during May 2008, according to the latest survey for CAF’s Disaster Monitor series. This latest report compares giving across the Asia-Pacific appeal, the Burma Cyclone appeal and the Asian Tsunami appeal.
Liz Goodey, head of research at CAF said, “Donations to disaster emergency appeals are defying the recession and the downward trend seen in overall charitable giving from individuals in the UK.”
However, both appeals are overshadowed by the Asian Tsunami appeal, which was launched after the Boxing Day disaster in 2004, when 81% of respondents said they had donated. The report suggests the key reason for this unparalleled level of support was the timing of the appeal over the Christmas period.
The survey showed donors are increasingly turning to ‘new media’ (online and text) to donate, with 17% of respondents saying they had donated to the Asia-Pacific appeal in this way. This is a growth of 42% on the number of respondents who gave in this way to the Burma Cyclone appeal, and a growth of 143% on the number who gave online to the Asian Tsunami appeal.
Sixty per cent still use traditional forms of giving such as cash, cheques and credit or debit cards, according to the report. Though cash giving remains the most popular method for making donations, it has dropped in popularity. The report said 56% of donors gave to the Asian Tsunami appeal of 2004/05 in this way, whereas only 28% gave to the recent 2009 Asia-Pacific disasters in cash.
Television is most likely to inspire donations, according to the report, with 67% of respondents saying it was something they saw on screen that convinced them to give. Eleven per cent of donors said an article or advert inspired them to give and six per cent said seeing something online inspired their giving.
Goodey says, “Emergency appeals often hit at the heart of people’s emotions and are the result of humanitarian tragedy on a massive scale. This proves that the UK population is still generous and caring, despite the financially strained times that they are facing.”
A summary of trends in giving to disaster appeals is available on the CAF website.