How Your Friends Will Influence Your Donations This Holiday Season

By eleventy marketing group

Red Cross Holiday Poll InfographicFriends are a powerful force in our lives. They encourage, influence and inspire us. We pay attention to their suggestions and take interest in what they’re doing. The power of friendship even motivates the nonprofits we support and how we support them.

In today’s post, we’ll look at results from a new Red Cross survey that show how friends, social media, and other elements will influence our giving this holiday season.

About the American Red Cross Holiday Poll

The results listed here come from an online survey of 1,021 adults (508 men and 513 women) conducted by the American Red Cross from October 16-19, 2014. View the full results of the Red Cross survey here.

Donor Insights on Social Media, Sharing, and Online Giving

Here are a handful of findings from the Red Cross survey we found interesting:

69% of respondents stated they are active on at least one social network and log into that network at least one time per day

71% of those active on social networks have donated to a charity in the past 12 months

6 in 10 of those who donated made their donation online

70% of individuals would take action in response to a friend posting on social media about making a charitable donation

40%  said they would share or be likely to share a donation they made on social media

34% of donors definitely would not or are not likely to share their donation on social

73% of respondents said they would not or are unsure if they would be more likely to donate if a friend asked them by name on social media

51% of respondents say they are not motivated to give by receiving a gift (incentive)

43% of individuals who donate online view the nonprofit’s site on a mobile device

Here’s how respondents said they made online donations:

54% Laptop

35% Desktop

24% Smartphone

15% Tablet

9% Other

Here are the most common reasons respondents made donations:

24% Mailing from charity

18% Email from friend

17% Message/post on social media

12% Phone call from charity

11% Email from charity

7% Solicitation in response to celebrity

3 Things to Take Away from the Red Cross Survey Findings

These survey results reinforce a few key points for nonprofits:

1. Channels are blending and overlapping more and more

Online and offline are increasingly motivating donations to one another, showing the importance of a strong multichannel strategy.

2. Peer-to-peer engagement and social advocacy are top fundraising tools

No voice is more powerful for your organization than the voice of a friend. Peer-to-peer remains a great untapped resource for too many nonprofits.

3. Social media asking and giving have yet to yield definitive best practices

There are a wide range of reactions to social media fundraising, meaning nonprofits need to continue collecting data and working to find the right balance.

While it’s still evolving, social media and the online space in general will continue to play a key role in engaging donors moving forward. Here’s a quote from Gail J. McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, nicely summarizing the survey findings:

“This survey shows how social networks and charitable giving are intersecting and building on one another. These social philanthropists are giving online to charities and sharing the news on social networks, which then often leads to more social activity and more giving by their friends. I believe this trend will only grow in the future.”