Positive social media coverage increasingly drives charity donations, shows Gorkana survey

For the second business quarter (April-June 2016) Gorkana’s Charity Attitudes Benchmarking Survey shows that positive social media coverage is increasingly influential in driving donations to charities.

The percentage of people, out of 1000 respondents, who said they had donated to charity in this period remained the same as the first quarter of the year at 23%. However, the reasons people cited for donating to a charity have changed.

Although positive press coverage is still the dominant reason behind donations, the number of people citing it decreased quarter-by-quarter by 10 percentage points to 29%. Meanwhile, the impact of positive social media content on their contribution increased as the percentage of people driven by this factor rose from 18% to 25%.

However, there are still differences between audiences. For example, mainstream media content had the biggest impact on people earning between £20-40k pa. As factor, social media had the biggest influence on younger respondents.

In addition, for the second quarter, the proportion of people who recall having seen negative coverage about charities fell by 18 percentage points to 24%. Those who said negative coverage would ‘definitely’ affect their decision to donate was also down by five percentage points to 46%.

Popular social media content  shared across this period related to events including Mental Health Awareness Week, the London Marathon and the UNICEF  Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford.

Orla Graham, senior client insight manager at Gorkana, said: “The proportion of respondents who recall having seen negative coverage about charities during April-June fell by 18 percentage points. However, this did not correspond to a change in donations, suggesting negative coverage does not necessarily lead to a fall in donations.

“Unsurprisingly, social media had the biggest influence over younger respondents,” she added. “This is perhaps due to several high profile charity events during the period, such as UNICEF’s Soccer Aid match. Content around the match was shared widely by younger celebrities like One Direction’s Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson.”

  • With access to 4.5 million potential respondents, Gorkana gives you the ability to shape your communications strategy quickly and accurately by conducting instant, cost-effective surveys and poll a representative sample of the UK population.
  • To find out more about surveys, Gorkana’s Charity Attitudes Benchmarking Survey and the monthly Gorkana Charity Barometer, which helps charities and agencies benchmark media activity in the sector, please contact Gorkana.
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