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Donor Survey Results

Charity Navigator polled its users to learn more about the philanthropic response to the Haiti earthquake. Nearly 2,000 of you responded. Here's what we uncovered:

  • The majority (81%) of our respondents did donate to the Haiti relief and recovery efforts.
    • 59% donated to just one charity.
    • 39% of supported two to five charities
    • 1% supported six or more charities.
  • When asked if our users were confident in how charities spent the $1 billion raised to support the relief efforts, nearly 60% were either very confident or somewhat confident. Only 17% were not at all confident.
    • This is very different from the donor sentiment after Hurricane Katrina. A year after that disaster we conducted a similar poll and found that less than 8% of respondents were very confident in how their Katrina-related donations were used.
    • Perhaps one of the reasons why donors are more confident with how their Haiti gifts were used is that 67% of the respondents choose charities that they had previously supported. In fact, 49% of the respondents said that they regularly support the charities they choose to donate to after the Haiti earthquake. In contrast, the majority of respondents (52%) to our post Katrina poll directed their donations to charities that they had not previously supported.
  • By and large, respondents were very satisfied (45%) or somewhat satisfied (29%) with how the charities they supported responded to the earthquake in Haiti.

  • A promising discovery for the charities on the receiving end of all this goodwill is that 81% of the respondents indicated that they would be open to the possibility of supporting the charity's work in Haiti again in the future. However, only 24% are interested in supporting the same charity’s work in other parts of the world.

  • Many factors influenced donors' decisions to support specific nonprofits. Those factors that were most influential included the following:
    • (40.5%) the charity’s results providing this type of aid after other disasters
    • (20%) media coverage of the charity
    • (12%) the charity’s prior experience working in Haiti
    • (9.5%) a friend or family member’s recommendation
    • (8.5%) Charity Navigator’s analysis of the charity
  • Very few people were persuaded to give based on:
    • (0.5%) an appeal received directly from that charity
    • (2%) the charity’s annual report
    • (3%) a celebrity’s endorsement / involvement
    • (4%) the charity’s website
  • And the good news for the philanthropic sector is that it appears that donor fatigue has failed to materialize as the majority of donors (91%) viewed their Haiti donation as an 'extra' gift in 2010.

We thank everyone who took the time to answer our survey.

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