Donating online by credit or debit card is the most popular way of giving, according to Nonprofit Tech for Good's second annual Global Trends in Giving Report, which questioned over 6,000 donors in 119 countries and six continents.


The 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report, which reveals donors' giving habits and preferences,  was researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good and sponsored by the Public Interest Registry. 579 (10%) of the donors questioned were in Europe, predominately the UK, Spain, France, Germany, and Ireland.


The majority of European donors are female, with 39% identified as Gen Xers, 34% Millennials, and 24%  Baby Boomers. 


Popular causes

According to the report, the top five causes across Europe are children and youth, international development, animals and wildlife, health and wellness, and human and civil rights.


44% give to organisations located outside of their country of residence, compared to 31% globally, and 37% donate in response to natural disasters.


Giving preferences

Donating online by credit or debit card is the most popular way of giving in Europe with just under half (46%) prefering to give in this way, compared to 54% globally. 20% preferred to give by bank or wire transfer, 11% via PayPal, 10% in cash, and 5% by direct mail or post. More than half (52%) are regular givers.


In terms of the channels that most inspire people in Europe to give, social media comes top at 32%, followed by email (25%), and the  organisation’s website (20%). Of those inspired by social media, Facebook (53%) has the largest impact, followed by Twitter (21%) and Instagram (16%). The large majority (68%) of Europeans say they prefer to be thanked for their donations by email.


Almost half (47%) of people in Europe also say they donate to crowdfunding campaigns that benefit individuals, with the top five causes being start-up costs 
for a social enterprise (39%), medical expenses (16%), volunteer expenses (15%), education costs (11%), and disaster relief (10%). Of those that give to crowdfunding campaigns, 16% say that they give less to organisations as a result.


Just 10% of European donors have included a gift in their Will, dropping beneath the global figure of 15%.


In addition to giving, the survey looked at donors’ lifestyle choices. Mirroring the global figures, around 6 in 10 people in Europe volunteer and attend fundraising events, while the vast majority (92% and 84% respectively) say they vote and sign online petitions, compared to 91% and 72% globally.


Data protection

The survey also questioned respondents on data protection, finding that 82% do not want organisations to share their contact information with other organisations. 91% say they want organisations to make a concerted effort to protect their contact and financial information from data breaches.                


The global picture

Overall, the survey shows that globally, 45% are regular givers, with giving online via credit or debit card the most popular choice, chosen by 54%. Just under a third (31%) of donors give to NGOs and nonprofits outside of their country of residence, 41% give in response to natural disasters, with social media the communication tool that most inspires giving. The top causes globally are children and youth, health and wellness, animals and wildlife, human and social services, and hunger and homelessness.