Weekly Now: Crowdfunding Donors Favor Familiarity

A new study finds that people are more likely to give to friends and family in crowdfunding campaigns. Also: Detroit replaces its auto show with a “car crawl.”

If you want to get someone to support a crowdfunding campaign, it helps if they’re familiar with you first.

A new study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds that more than half of crowdfunding or social media donors (52.5 percent) favored giving to family members or close friends in 2019, while less than a third (29.3 percent) were willing to donate to a stranger’s campaign. And friends received significantly more on average—$79 per donation, compared to $10.

Charitable organizations did slightly better, at 47.1 percent, while noncharitable campaigns drew less donor interest.

Crowdfunding has become a more important fundraising model, especially with an increased focus on supporting social justice and COVID-19 needs, according to the report, titled ‌Charitable Crowdfunding: Who Gives, to What, and Why? [PDF]. Crowdfunding donors tend to be younger and slightly more diverse than donors to traditional fundraisers.

And there’s still room for growth: While more than 90 percent of survey respondents said they were aware of crowdfunding, just 31.7 percent had contributed to a campaign.

“What is very clear is that crowdfunding now is an important part of the philanthropy landscape and that is likely to continue going forward,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs and Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School, according to The NonProfit Times.

Other recent headlines:

Detroit tries “car crawl” in place of auto show. With the city’s marquee event, the North American International Auto Show, canceled for a second year in a row, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is trying something different to showcase the Motor City’s new vehicles. Teaming with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the association is hosting the Motor City Car Crawl, in which auto dealers will display new vehicles in parks throughout the downtown area. The August 7 event will be designed in a walkable format, include live entertainment, and help raise money for local charities, The Detroit News reports.

With an acquisition, a student training program goes national. The Home Builders Institute is aiming for a younger audience with its latest acquisition. HBI acquired the Future Builders of America, which helps train students in the building trades, last month. FBA, which was started by the Florida Home Builders Association, will now expand its mission across the country. “The Future Builders of America has been the great pride of participating Florida schools, students, and sponsors,” Ed Brady, HBI’s president and CEO, said in a statement reported by the Business Observer. “With FBA now a part of HBI, we have the potential to serve thousands more young people nationwide.”

Prove Your Value to Recent Grads

To attract recent grads to your association, you may need to think beyond membership. In a recent blog post, WBT Systems suggests that affordability and value are key elements to win over potential younger members—which may not necessarily look like membership at first.

“Pay attention to the special needs of young professionals,” the article states. “If they’re just starting out as a small business owner, solo practitioner, or freelancer, they’ll need basic business management programs. If they’re going the corporate route, they’ll need help navigating office politics and learning how to lead and manage others.”


How can associations build great affinity programs? Michael Hickey has four key tips.

Raising membership dues is always tricky, even more so amid a pandemic. Lisa Boylan shares how one association thought through the issue.

Just because a panel discussion isn’t in person doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective. Event pro Kristin Arnold says that virtual events are a great setting for panels.

(AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!