The charities and not-for-profit sector is part of Australia’s DNA with the oldest charities in Australia dating back more than 200 years. Throughout history the way in which Australians have engaged and donated to charities has changed. In the last few years, the charity and not-for-profit sector has experienced significant shifts in donor expectations, digital disruption and deinstitutionalisation.

Donors are looking for a personalised experience

The days of set and forget generosity are on the decline with donors of all ages expecting a more personalised experience. Where once the personalised experience was provided for major donors, it has now become a mass donor expectation. This is in line with a broader societal shift towards customisation; where personalisation is not a suggestion but an expectation.

Donors are expecting a more personalised giving experience

The creation of meaningful touchpoints

In addition to a personalised experience, givers are looking to build relationships with the organisations they partner with. In many areas of society there is a swing away from the institution and a growing desire to connect to a cause and to people.
Givers are looking for meaningful connection and involvement. The challenge is that this can mean something different to everyone. Givers are not always expecting to be practically involved, but even just understanding the impact of their specific donation can create a sense of connection.

Digital disruption

The rise of the digital has opened the door for new charities and not-for-profits to enter the scene, creating an increasingly competitive landscape for charities. New charities and not-for-profits can enter the market and excel quickly because of their creative, digital and agile approach. This can create challenges for legacy not-for-profits and charities who may be slow to change and have relied heavily on their reputation in the past.

New charities can enter and thrive quickly due to technology

“We’ve seen an increasing level of choice for donors with the amount of new charities that are competing with larger, well-known and trusted charities. They are able to compete relatively quickly because of their digital and creative acumen. In the last ten years you could rely a lot more on your name and trust in the market whereas digital has really brought in a fragmentation of choices.”
Richenda Vermeulen Founder & CEO, ntegrity

Growing scepticism of charities

Over time Australians have started to question the efficiency and effectiveness of charities. They are more cautious about which organisations they support, with the digital age allowing potential givers to research the organisation thoroughly before deciding to engage with them. Givers are looking for organisations that can clearly show the difference their contribution is making.

The rise of lifestyle giving through social enterprises

The rhetoric of Australian society is increasingly focused on making consumer decisions that have a positive impact. People are looking for ways to fulfill a need while still doing social good.

The benefit of social enterprises is that Australians receive something tangible and usable for their support that they generally would have purchased anyway. The impact this will have on Australians’ generosity towards charities and not-for-profits, however, is yet to be fully realised.

People are looking to fulfill a need while doing good

“Society as a whole I think is more open to doing good. Making sure that from their purchases, to the decisions they make they have a positive impact on the world, people and the environment”.
Daniel Flynn Co-founder Managing Director, Thankyou


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