The survey walked donors through various scenarios comparing various levels of beacon completion and overall ratings (zero to four stars). Even when an organization had earned just one additional beacon, donors always preferred the charity with aditional beacons. The preference was strongest when an organization was highly rated on Impact & Results. As one donor succinctly commented, “I like all the detail I can get!” Another shared, “A 4 Star organization w/Accounting & 2 more rates my donation.”
These results mirror Charity Navigator’s internal analysis of Giving Basket donation data from the first quarter of 2023. This analysis found that donors are more likely to give to organizations that have earned additional beacons beyond Accountability & Finance. The increase in donations (an additional 4.8 gifts and $2,706 donated in Q1) was the largest if the organization was highly rated on Impact & Results. Organizations received an additional $516 in donations with the addition of any beacon. Donors aren’t just saying they prefer robust ratings; their donations confirm it.
Savvy donors are now more interested in more than just Accountability & Finance and are prioritizing organizations with high scores across multiple factors, especially Impact & Results. This survey and other analyses demonstrate that the presence of additional information (beacons) can significantly influence giving decisions.