Social Impact Insights
Our blog provides insights for social impact professionals in business and nonprofits. We offer advice on making the greatest impact in your organization by giving clear real-world advice on important topics of today.
Taking popularity contests into consideration is not something that first comes to mind when engaging in charitable work. While we would hope that all organizations doing nonprofit work on behalf of a variety of causes are receiving the aid they need, this is simply not the case. There are differences when it comes to the type of causes that people like to fund. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for less “popular” causes to raise money, but that more innovation and dedication may be required to raise funding for their goals. Those willing to rise to the challenges of these obstacles can still do great work for their causes.
Funding Priorities Around the World
Donors around the world have different viewpoints on organizations they are willing to fund. A study from WealthInsight has shown that, overall, philanthropists are most involved when it comes to funding cultural institutions, academic institutions, and healthcare. In 2017 alone, health related charities saw a 15.5 percent rise in donations from American households. Causes that seemed to be less popular among donors in the world include religion, sports, human rights, and military causes. However, preferences vary by region with those in the Americas and Europe seeing more donations to health and culture causes while education dominates donations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
There are also more variations when you investigate each sector. While health may be a top priority for many philanthropists, areas in health that touch on issues like mental health, addiction, or sexual health see significantly less donations than health organizations that address topics like cancer. For example, the nine cancer charities in the top 100 fundraising charities have a combined income larger than the 13 charities in the top 100 related to other health issues.
Facing the Road Ahead
There’s plenty of actions organizations can take if they are looking to boost their donations. The key is showing others the importance of advocating and supporting the cause the organization is passionate about. Take an active role in educating about the cause and show evidence of the impact a donor’s funding can make. Continue to appeal to the public’s emotions and take advantage of opportunities to elevate the nonprofit’s profile.
A good reference is an article published in the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing touching on “unpopular causes and how they can achieve fundraising success”. There may be a tough road ahead but, holding on to a positive outlook and having specific strategies on the fundraising journey can play an important role in how successful an organization is.
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