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Cancer Charities: Who Donates and Why?

Cancer Charities: Who Donates and Why?

All last month, the men of SurveyMonkey united in support of men’s health for Movember. Who knew that wee moustaches could be capable of such big things? Even though now the moustaches on our men have been shown the door by way of our Great Shave event, the fight against cancer continues on. One of our formerly mustachioed Monkeys, Andy, got to thinking more about the valuable work that cancer charities do every single day and about the people who donate to them. Let’s hear it, Andy!

Throughout the whole month of November, me and my moustache were pretty tickled that we could help fundraise and spread awareness of prostate and testicular cancers. As I unleashed the glorious disaster that was the hair on my upper lip upon an unsuspecting world, it got me to thinking…just how many people donate to cancer charities and what are people’s primary motivations behind donating? I also wondered which cancer charities tended to get the highest number of donations. My own hunch was that breast cancer charities might be the most prominent because of the many significant connections they have with professional sports teams and with popular athletic events like the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, I set out to test my hunch and get my questions answered. Here’s what I found out.

Of the general population, 84% made a charitable donation within the last year and of those, 69% donated to a cancer charity. The American Cancer Society received donations from 34.2% but what was interesting was that nearly half (47.3%) of the respondents donated to a cancer charity associated with breast cancer like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Susan G Komen for the Cure. Hunch approved! Also, well over half of respondents (63%) said that they had made a donation within the last year but they would consider donating to a cancer charity specifically.

So what seemed to be people’s biggest reasons for donating to these kinds of organizations?

Having a family member with cancer definitely proved to be the biggest influence on people. Men were also more likely to donate to a cancer charity if they themselves have had or had cancer. They also reported being the most influenced by the media or by professional sports affiliations to cancer charities. All that pink on the NFL football field this year for breast cancer awareness? Definitely helped support these amazing charities’ work. Our female counterparts however tended to be more influenced by major events or by celebrity endorsements of cancer charities.

Our respondents were nearly evenly split when it came to the type of charity they would donate to with 52.2% donating to a general research or support fund and 47.8% donating to a fund related to a specific type of cancer research. In an open response question, respondents’ overwhelming opinion pointed to breast cancer as being the most common type of cancer.

Lung and prostate cancer came in second and third. Women were identified as the most likely to be diagnosed with cancer by 58% of respondents, men were ranked second with children coming in last.

A huge number of our respondents (89.2%) said that they associated the color pink with cancer awareness and with charities. 98.3% of respondents over sixty years old, said they had donated to a charity within the last year and of them, 77.6% donated to a cancer charity.  The likelihood to donate to a cancer charity increased along with the age of the population.

To find out more how you can help support cancer research and charities like the ones Andy talked about, you can visit their websites directly at: 


The Breast Cancer Research Fund:

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure:

Want to get the feedback you need from your target audience? Get started with SurveyMonkey Audience today!

Image courtesy of BigStockPhoto

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