After more than a year and a half of the world feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some industries remain limited, while others have adapted to continue progress one way or another. Donor behavior is one facet of philanthropy that has shifted for the better.
According to a survey conducted in March 2020 by Fidelity Charitable, 54% of donors planned to maintain their regular giving habits, while a surprising 25% planned to actually increase their donations. Younger generations have also pledged to donate more of their time and resources in the wake of the pandemic. 46% of the millennial generation, specifically, said they would start donating or continue to donate to COVID relief organizations.
In terms of what exactly donors aimed their philanthropic sights on, health-related nonprofits were of the most important. A majority of the population was concerned about the health and safety of frontline workers and people who were considered “at-risk.” However, knowing that nearly every industry in the world was impacted in one way or another, a portion of donors wanted to ensure that arts and entertainment did not fall by the wayside as well.
While the pandemic’s impact on donor habits has been trending positively, there are still a few fields that have been, and will continue to be, negatively impacted, such as volunteering. With social distancing being strongly encouraged, if not made mandatory, across the world, nonprofits that rely heavily on volunteers have seen a steep decline in their returns. Fidelity Charitable found that almost half (47%) of all volunteers stated that their time spent volunteering would either decrease or stop altogether amid the pandemic.
Another problem many donors have been facing is a general lack of information on where they should contribute in order to support combative efforts against COVID-19. One-third of the donors surveyed stated they were unsure what pipelines of philanthropy would be best to truly aid the fight in ending the pandemic. The number of confused donors only increased with age, as 35% of Baby Boomers stated they did not have enough information, versus 27% of millennials.
The fact that donations have continued and a clear need to help remains on the minds of donors is a positive sign in itself. For individuals not working in any facet of the healthcare industry, donating your time and finances is a guaranteed way to make an impact, as small as it might be.