Over 69 per cent of adults said they were prompted to give to the recent Burma Appeal by television reports.
Newspapers came second, with 12 per cent saying an article persuaded them to donate. Only 6 per cent cited online media coverage, making traditional media by far the most influential fundraising channel.
'We always knew that television and newspapers were essential to fundraising', says CAF's head of research Liz Goodey.
'But this survey tells us that without them, charities trying to deal with disasters such as the cyclone might never receive the level of support that they need.'
But the survey also found that more people were donating online than in previous disaster appeals.
Goodey urged charities 'to ensure their message of how to give online is clear to potential donors'.
Over 1002 UK adults were surveyed in May by GfK NOP.