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  1. Wealth
April 5, 2012

NPC to research why donors give

By Spear's

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is to conduct a major study on what drives donors to give in this country. This is the first research of this scale in the UK and will include a survey of over 2,000 medium- and high-income households as well as in-depth interviews

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is to conduct a major study on what drives donors to give in this country. This is the first research of this scale in the UK and will include a survey of over 2,000 medium- and high-income households as well as in-depth interviews.

The Money for Good UK study is being supported by the Pears Foundation, Oak Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NESTA.

NPC, a think tank and consultancy that works with charities and funders, says that by better understanding donor motivations and experiences, its research will improve giving in the UK, helping charities to engage better with their supporters.

‘This is a great opportunity to find out how charities can understand donors better and ensure they give them the information they need to inspire more giving’ says Dan Corry, Chief Executive of NPC. ‘Understanding this is even more important at present as the state is clearly withdrawing from certain areas and civil society is being asked to pick up the slack. Working as we do with both charities and funders we see the real potential to transform how they work together to improve the lives of all those who benefit from the services provided by charities and social enterprises.’

With public services in the UK being cut by up to 40%, the voluntary sector is likely to lose £900 million in public funding by 2016. At the same time charities are seeing a rise in demand for their services. For many years there has been significant interest in developing private philanthropy but now that need is greater than ever.

However, unlike in the US, there has not been any in-depth research on this scale into donor motivations in the UK. When Hope Consulting conducted the original Money for Good research in the US in 2009/10 they found that US donors were willing to give $20bn more if the giving experience better met their needs.

The UK research aims to find out how important the impact of their giving is to donors and how charities should communicate what they do and the difference they make. Charles Keidan, Director of the Pears Foundation, believes it will give an important insight into what influences donors and how charities work with them.

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‘At a time of increasing need and reducing resources we are delighted to be working with NPC and our Foundation peers in a joint effort to advance understanding of donor motivation. We very much look forward to seeing the outcome of the research which we hope will yield substantial benefits for the UK charitable sector and beyond.’

NPC is talking with Ipsos MORI about partnering on the project and will also be working with Hope Consulting.

The results of the research into donor motivations will be shared with charities, wealth advisors and the sector as a whole, through a series of events, practical guides and training. NPC believes it is crucial that the findings are put into practice across the sector. It will work with a group of leading charities to test new approaches to fundraising informed by a deeper understanding of what donors want.

NPC plans to ask key figures from the sector to join an advisory board for this study to maximise its potential usefulness to all. The main findings from the research will be published in November 2012.

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