Do You Give Back?

Published by Joe Matassino on

A question fundraisers were never asked…until now.

Your answers were revealed at last week’s AFP conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Responses to the survey “How Philanthropic are Fundraisers?” came in from 19 countries from places as diverse at Nepal, Greece, Brazil, Canada, Australia and South Africa. In all, 591 responses conveying why it is important for fundraisers to not only ask for gifts, but to make them as well.

Results first reported on 101Fundraising.org from a pilot survey conducted by the AFP Brandywine Chapter in Wilmington, Delaware. The survey went global, more recently promoted in AFP International’s eWire newsletter.

Andrew Watt, President and CEO of AFP wrote “As fundraisers, the heart of our work is the impact we have—on our organizations, on our communities and on the world. It’s the core of our profession: inspiring others to get involved and create impact. But what about our own personal ability to get involved and create impact? Do we walk the walk as well as we talk the talk?”

Your responses were overwhelmingly: yes.Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 1.59.32 PM

This was not a competition to see where fundraisers are the most generous. It was a declaration of the philanthropic nature of individuals in the fundraising profession. While North American fundraisers seem to give slightly more money and time everyone throughout the world proved to be very generous. See for yourself.*


Do you make financial contributions to the organization you work for?

  • 74.9%   Yes, I consistently make financial contributions.
  • 17.3%    Yes, but not on a consistent basis.
  • 7%         No, I do not make financial contributions.

On average how much do you annually give to your organization? (Measured in US dollars and the Euro)

  • 6.2%     $/€ 1-50
  • 11.2%    $/€ 51-100
  • 20.9%    $/€ 101-250
  • 17.8%    $/€ 251-500
  • 15.7%    $/€ 501-1,000
  • 20.1%    $/€ 1,001-2,500
  • 7.7%      $/€ 2,501 or more

On average how much, in total, do you annually give to all nonprofit organizations?

  • 2.5%      $/€ 1-50
  • 2.1%      $/€ 51-100
  • 7.4%      $/€ 101-250
  • 12.5%    $/€ 251-500
  • 16.5%    $/€ 501-1,000
  • 20.3%    $/€ 1,001-2,500
  • 38.4%    $/€ 2,501 or more

The causes you are most likely to donate to include:

  • 61%        Arts
  • 54.8%    Conservation/Environment
  • 80.7%    Education
  • 70.3%    Health Care
  • 59.7%    Human Rights
  • 28.7%    International Affairs
  • 78.9%    Poverty
  • 53.5%    Religion
  • 74.1%    Youth/Family

Are you a current and active volunteer for other organizations in your community?

  • 78.6%    Yes
  • 21.3%    No

On average how many hours do you currently volunteer annually?

  • 13.4%    1-20
  • 25.8%    21-50
  • 28.3%    51-100
  • 32.5%    101 or more

Read what a few of you had to say about why you give…

“I find it easier to ask for money for our organisation when I can say honestly that I support it too.” – UK

“I firmly believe in the mission.” – Iceland

“It is important to me to give back to my community and to demonstrate to others the importance of the mission of our organization. If a donor ever asked me I would want to be able to tell them we are in it together.” – United States

“To set an example and because I believe in the cause.” – New Zealand

“I have given to them since I was a child. Now I’m lucky enough to work for them & I can see the difference it makes for myself, it compels me to keep doing it & now I’m able to at a higher level.” – UK

“Trust in our work.” – Switzerland

“I strongly believe in the work of the organisation and I feel that if my job is to try and raise other people’s money to go towards funding it, I have a moral obligation to do so myself.” – UK

“To support brave and important work. And it feels good.” – Holland

It also feels good to share these positive results with our fundraising community. I thank you for your time and participation and, quite honestly, your inspiration.


* The survey results reported by AFP International may differ slightly because they reflect responses from only AFP members. The results reported in this article have take into account all responses regardless of AFP affiliation.


Joe Matassino

Joe Matassino

Joe's sole purpose in working for the nonprofit sector has been to leave a permanent, visible impact on our world. After spending more than 20 years in smaller, grass-roots nonprofits, he took a leap in the world of higher education and is currently the Director of Sponsored Research and Foundation Relations for Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.


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