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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Over-65s twice as likely to set up charity direct debit

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Research reveals giving habits of different age groups.

Over-65s are twice as likely to set up a charity direct debit online than those aged 18-24, new research has revealed.

The survey, for social enterprise Reason Digital, found that the majority of over-65s had donated to charities, either online or through a street collection.

In total, 44% of charity supporters donate online, compared with 52% who give money offline.

Facebook and Twitter were found to be the most influential online platforms for inspiring charity engagement amongst the public, with one in four people interacting with a charity’s Facebook page in the last year.

Of the 2,000 people polled, 15% of over-65s said they weren’t passionate about any of 25 suggested causes while younger people were four times as likely to be motivated by a cause they had seen online.

Mental health support is four times more popular for 18 -24-year olds than older people, and climate change is the most important cause among 20% of this age group.

Matt Haworth, co-founder of Reason Digital, said: “Our research has led us to a number of recommendations we feel the sector needs to act on. Digital marketing should consider a much wider audience as 4.48 billion people are now online across the world. Charities should ensure their comms aren’t leaving people behind. Baby boomers are very much active online and currently more generous than young people.

“We would encourage fundraisers to expand their digital skills in preparation for when the crossover between online and offline donations happens. Charities could also consider whether offline fundraising products can be translated to online and even focus on which services could work digitally - the potential this could create in reaching more people in need is huge.

“Charities should strive to emphasise their environmental and positive mental health credentials to motivate a younger audience as these are the causes they are most passionate about. These challenges and opportunities should not dissuade us from embracing digital. They should be the signal that our sector is needed more than ever to bring balance, compassion, and assistance to people in the ways that they now communicate with each other and interact with the organisations that serve them.”