IMPACT

The No. 1 Cause Men Care About The Most

03/27/2015 10:01 am ET | Updated Mar 27, 2015
Paul Kennedy via Getty Images

Women give more charity than men do, but that gap could potentially be closed if groups paid closer attention to the causes and messaging that speaks most to males.

Noticing the nonprofit industry’s tendency to focus its efforts on targeting females, consulting group Good Scout conducted a study on men’s giving habits. It uncovered that men are most drawn to organizations that support children and that they respond to appeals that vary vastly from those that inspire women to give back.

“As strong as the response from women can be, over-targeting women causes us to fail to include men,” the Good Scout study noted. “As an industry we need to ask not if men will engage with causes but how we should work to motivate them.”

The organization surveyed more than 1,500 men across the U.S. of different ethnicities, ages and social status. It found that 52 percent of participants support -- or would support -- charities that help children. That was the most popular cause across all age groups.

And while men’s monetary donations have dropped, their volunteering rates have “skyrocketed” over the past few years.

The group noted that with more effective outreach efforts, nonprofits could get men to willfully open up their wallets.

While men are active on social media, they use it predominantly for research and reading news, the study noted. They’re less likely than women to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate and share information, which is why nonprofits need to tailor how they effectively reach men.

Men are more likely to respond to a message about a charitable issue that’s communicated at a networking event, through text message or with a video shared on a site they frequent.

They also appreciate learning about a cause through word of mouth, from a friend or family member, which is why organizations also need to beef up their peer communication methods.

Since men shared their overwhelming proclivity for children-related organizations, those groups need to effectively zero in on this demographic.

“This suggests the family dynamic may play an even larger role in motivating and activating men at every age to engage with causes,” the Good Scout noted. “Perhaps there is a general opportunity as a sector to look at how we are creating events, defining our impact, messaging through marketing and aligning with companies … Infusing family in smart and strategic ways to motivate men to engage with a cause could just move the needle for your mission.”

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