Increase Charitable Contributions By Giving Donors More Information, Study Says

If donors just had access to the information they want, charitable contributions would increase by $15 billion, a recent study revealed.

Money for Good II concluded that charities are not revealing enough impact and effectiveness data, the most urgent piece of information donors want. By sharing such critical information and influencing just 5 percent of charitable giving, it would move an estimated $15 billion to nonprofits in need, the study concluded.

"We live in a world of reactive giving, where we give to our brother-in-law to support his marathon; to our friend hosting a fundraiser; to a phone call or mailing we receive," the study quoted Greg Ulrich, director of advisory services at Hope Consulting. "Nonprofits need to show just how effective they are in meeting their mission—and most importantly, donors need to look for that impact information before they make a charitable gift. Changing the system will be hard, but not impossible."

The study researchers surveyed seven focus groups of donors, advisors, and foundation grantmakers to find out what, if anything, could influence the amount that they grant and give. Participants answered questions about their current giving, information preferences and how they would change their philanthropic practices if their preferences were met.