The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way we prefer to interact with people beyond our inner circle. The poor person in the street asking us for assistance morphed into a “supposed” infection threat. This is not what we like to be, but it is the way we all have become to a greater or lesser extent.
Fascinating Work Emerging from British Medical Journal
We came across an essay we would like to share, before we relate the conclusions to the online giving trends in 2022. The research was conducted under the aegis of the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit of University of Glasgow, and is we believe credible.
The Impact on Four Distinct Domains of Social Relationships
The four domains considered during the research are social networks, social support, social interaction and intimacy. All of these were deeply affected by the way we responded to the public health threat. Moreover, we believe they also affected the way people prefer to give to charities.
One thing is for sure, a stranger knocking on the front door or calling on the phone became less welcome in the short to medium term. We are now more selective about whom we interact with, and the norms for that engagement too.
How We Regulate Our Social Networks
The researchers detected a swing to what they call homophily, being preferring to interact with people more like ourselves. This especially applies to our core networks. Although the trend is less evident in our broader circle where we accept greater diversity.
How This Affects Dynamics of Social Support
Social support refers to the psychological and material benefits of social interaction. The pandemic has made us less interested in spontaneous social sharing. We now prefer a more measured process that allows us time to decide. There has been a swing towards sourcing emotional support in the online space.
Moving On to Social and Interaction Norms
Before the pandemic we greeted each other with gestures and embraces according to our culture. However, the team working under the watchful eye of Glasgow University noted that our desire to maintain our distance introduced a sense of awkwardness and vulnerability. We avoided this where we could, by communicating remotely.
These Trends Caused Us to Shun Intimacy
Those three trends taken together have made us somewhat more distant people. We are more comfortable interacting at arm’s length, over the phone, or by email. It is an open question whether this trend will reverse. However, the implications for charitable giving could be with us for a long time.
Implications for Charitable Online Giving in 2022
We Want To Discover, Not to Be Found
A decade of unwanted emails has made us suspicious of cold call e-messages. We became adept at seeing past the valuable information, and spotting the hooks. The viruses attached to apparently harmless content turned us away from even opening messages.
People no longer wait to be asked for donations. This trend is particularly noticeable among city-dwelling, Generation Z metrosexuals with disposable income. They live in the world of social media at more than arm’s distance from their friends. But beware of pushing hard because they are alert for ulterior motives.
Smart charities are learning to play that game in 2022. They are joining special interest groups, where they contribute to the conversation without promoting their cause. That’s because sooner or later people will want to know more about who they are. When they click on their profile, they will find opportunities to give.
We Are Learning That Chat Bots Add Value
Chat bots are those incredibly polite, and non-pushy popups that offer advice and answer our questions with decorum. However, there is more than their chat-reply-chat-reply game of virtual table tennis. That’s because they are actually very effective marketing tools.
Charities are growing smarter at using chat bots for recurring donations, because they automate repetitive tasks, and answer questions promptly any time of the day or night. Once we set them up there’s little more for us to do, until the caller tells the chat bot they are ready to give.
Online Donations Are Becoming More Generous
Five years ago many people were still hesitant about payments over the internet. Since then security improved by leaps and bounds, and moreover many people had to e-shop during lockdowns. This trend is evident in e-gifting too, with online donating growing 9% in 2021.
Forbes Magazine believes this trend is continuing in 2022 in the broader philanthropic sector. In America, for example, charitable giving remains at an all-time high, especially due to a strong desire to help people in difficulty. Without a doubt online giving is making this easier, especially when a new development makes us want to do something now.
More People Are Inspired to Give Freely
Forbes Magazine closes its article by confirming the rate of giving is continuing to increase in 2022. That’s because 74% of millennials now consider themselves philanthropists, compared to just 35% of Boomers. This suggests the former group, now aged 25 to 40, are more inclined to make the world a better place.
Forbes speaks of a generation moving from charitable giving to charitable living. This is a lifestyle where every decision takes into account its social implications, as we become more consciously aware of living in an interconnected global society.
Technology is Increasingly Becoming Key
The younger generation is always the one that carries society forward. The current group is enmeshed in digital technology, and charity must follow that trend. Virtual reality is full of new, innovative ways to give. Here we think of donate buttons, QR codes, block chain, crypto currency and the like.
These apps will gain in popularity until newer ideas replace them. We can’t predict what the future will be like. But we can say with certainty that the poor and disadvantaged will always be with us. And with that, our duty to share some of our resources with those in need.
Online Giving Trends In 2022
We hope you enjoyed this article about the top online giving trends in 2022. Make sure to read this article for the top 15 charities to support in 2022.