Joanne Donor | Our Donor Research

In 2018, we surveyed those who had donated to the ACF from that year. The results were surprising! We’ve painted a picture of who the average donor is and her name is Joanne Donor.

Meet Joanne Donor!

For fundraisers: the key things we learned from this survey:

  • Donors are more likely to support artists and organisations if they believe in your mission or vision.
  • The social impacts or outcomes can the best way to describe why your project is important – it’s not necessarily what you’re doing that will convince a donor but the outcomes it will have. How does your project make a difference? Does your project link in any way to other causes that donors care about such as community, environment, aid, health, education?
  • The two most important factors for ACF donors are ‘contributing to a strong arts sector’ and ‘making a difference in the community’
  • Donors are most likely to hear about your fundraising campaign in one of these ways:
    • In person from you or your organisation
    • Social media
    • Direct email
  • Thanking your donors is a MUST but this does not need to be public
  • Donors feel the tax deductibility provided by the ACF is a very positive feature, and the more you are asking the more key this becomes to your messaging.
  • Donors are highly likely to give to the arts again in the next 12 months – so keep them engaged!! A key factor for donors in deciding to give to you again down the track is whether your project is worthwhile, compelling, and has links to a cause.

Here are some other findings from the survey which we think you’ll find interesting:

  • 46% only want to donate to artists or organisations they have experienced
  • 42% would consider donating to artists or organisations they don’t know but who pique their interest
  • 96% believe that donations to the arts are good for society
  • 72% believe that making a difference in the community is important
  • 61% of donors main reason for giving was they believe in the mission or vision of the arts organisation or the artist
  • Donors liked to be thanked privately, with 77% of donors also appreciating regular email contact (up to once a month)
  • 94% of donors say it’s easy to donate through the ACF

Stay tuned for future surveys. If you’d like to share your suggestions with us regarding the ACF, we’re all ears! Email:

*Disclaimer: This is a snapshot based on those donors who responded to our survey, so it doesn’t represent all donors and definitely every donor is different!  Please use this as anecdotal info only, to help you think about who you might approach, but don’t forget to make your reach targeted and wide.