The Yougov research into giving to charity during the credit
crunch that was undertaken in June and published in August provides a couple of
intriguing insights into what people may or may not do in the upcoming

They may well be less likely to donate goods to charity shops
(down from 70% to 65%), but there were massive jumps in those who would recycle
a mobile phone or printer cartridges (ok – we know they will only do it if it’s
easy, but Greensource couldn’t do much more to make it easy – they’ll even come
and pick them up from you). People were also more likely to participate in sponsored
events, but what I was really interested in seeing was a rise across the board
in people who would be more likely to buy a virtual gift.

In most charities core market of ABC1’s the intention to buy
was up 25% – from (9% last year to 12% this year). Similar jumps can be seen
across the sample with an increase of a third in London and just under 20%
amongst those aged 55 and older.

I’m not sure why this might be the case. Perhaps people concerned about their economic situation next year will be less likely to spend money on normal fun gifts and
will want to combine their charity budget with their Christmas one – creating
their own special two for one deal.

It’s insights like this that are important to us in
fundraising. We know cash is going to be tight. Donors are going to have a need
to make their money go further. By responding to that need, we will continue
to be successful. Raising money during the recession is not just down to
mailing cheap packs to segments with the highest response rates. It is down to thinking
about what our donors need and giving it to them.

Just take a look around the various virtual giving sites and
sites and see what you can find. This, this or even this might find it’s way to
a special friend of mine this year.