Sarah Ford | November 14, 2014

Six-In-10 Americans Believe Social Media Is An Effective Form Of Activism, According To New Cone Communications Research

After learning of an issue online, 80% of Millennials are more inclined to donate or support that issue

BOSTON, November 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ – A “like” can go a long way, according to the newly released 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say they are more inclined to support social and environmental issues in a variety of ways, including volunteering, donating and sharing information, after first “liking” or “following” an organization online. Moreover, Americans see their online activities as a positive way to make an impact on the issues they care about, as six-in-10 believe tweeting or posting information online is an effective form of advocacy or support. 

Digital Transforms the Way We Give

Long gone are the days of writing a check at the end of the year to get a tax break. Digital is changing not just how, but where and when donations are made. Of those who made a donation in the last 12 months, nearly four-in-10 did so via digital channels, such as online (27%) or via mobile device (11%), while 23 percent did so via regular mail. And although the leading recipients of online giving remain nonprofit organizations (47%), nearly one-in-five Americans would prefer to give their money directly to an individual in need (18%) or to a corporate campaign raising funds to address a social or environmental issue (12%). 

When it comes to giving online, there is no traditional time to make that donation. Americans are most likely to give online at various times throughout the year or when asked (29%), or following a major disaster that needs immediate support (24%) versus around the year-end holidays (12%).

“As crowdfunding contributions top $5.1 billion globally, digital is truly transforming the way we give,” says Gerard LaFond, vice president, digital engagement, Cone Communications. “Thanks to the ease of online giving, people can make a direct impact on the world around them by helping a neighbor in need, an entrepreneur starting up a small business or a charity close to their hearts. This is a game-changing shift for the nonprofit sector and fundraising efforts.”

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