The first survey of Chinese who give or have given monthly donations to charities was conducted in November 2018. The survey was carried out by the Fundraising Center, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, the Shenzhen One Foundation and Lingxi, and promoted by charities that do relatively well in getting this kind of monthly support, such as Friends of Nature, the Aita Foundation, the Shanghai Kindness & Wisdom Foundation and the Stars Youth Development Center.
The survey was distributed through emails, mobile phone messages, and various channels on Wechat, and 1,932 people responded (around 10% of those surveyed). From a back-of-the-envelope calculation, around 0.002% mainland Chinese population are monthly donors. Many of the respondents resided in Guangdong (21%) and Beijing (13%), with 57% identifying as female and 43% as male. 72% of the respondents were between 20 and 40 years old, mostly company employees (39%) or students (14%). 41% of the respondents reported earning below 5000 yuan per month.
As to the how and why of their monthly support, 79% of respondents said they had already experienced giving to charity prior to giving monthly. In a multiple choice question, 1120 respondents answered that they started on monthly giving because they wanted to provide long-term help to those in need, while 598 respondents did so out of support for the idea of regular giving. The causes that respondents cared about the most were education (1158 respondents), environmentalism and animal welfare (599 respondents), and helping disadvantaged groups (595 respondents). 782 respondents learned about monthly giving via direct promotion by charities, such as through their Wechat and Weibo accounts and websites. When considering who to support, they were most concerned with what the donation would be spent on (1177 respondents), what changes would the organization make (1124 respondents), and whether the organization was trustworthy (1041 respondents). 16% of respondents had ceased their monthly giving, and 12% out of this group did so because of a lack of feedback on the projects they were supporting.