Study shows why donors aren’t exactly flocking online

If you spend a lot of your time trying to make online fundraising take off, here’s some info that will probably annoy you: the 2009 Consumer New Media Study from Cone. Some of the findings:



  • 60% of those surveyed have used some form of online or new media to support a cause, through email (33%), Web sites (29%) social networks (27%).
  • 85% of respondents say new media provides them with an opportunity to learn about new issues.
  • 80% believe it provides another way to support their favorite causes.
  • But only 18% have made a donation through new media.

(That 18% strikes me as unrealistically high. Likely the product of self-reporting — some who think they should or would give online say that they have given online.)


The self-reported barriers to online involvement in the survey:



  • 39% said they didn’t trust their effort would actually help the cause.
  • 31% said they’d rather spend time and/or money supporting causes offline.
  • 27% said they didn’t see any existing results or impacts.
  • 22% said they felt overwhelmed by the number of causes on new media.
  • 19% said their favorite issue, cause or organization doesn’t use new media.
  • 17% said they didn’t understand the tool or application.

Other than the second one, which is a media-use preference, we can help overcome all these barriers by doing stuff right online.


Download the study here (PDF; registration required).


Comments

2 responses to “Study shows why donors aren’t exactly flocking online”

  1. Interesting study. A key point is this study is on online media, not online giving to nonprofits in general – an important distinction. At this stage, online media is still primarily a way to engage with community rather than to extract dollars from people, but that does not detract from its value — nor its potential for fundraising down the road.

  2. Interesting study. A key point is this study is on online media, not online giving to nonprofits in general – an important distinction. At this stage, online media is still primarily a way to engage with community rather than to extract dollars from people, but that does not detract from its value — nor its potential for fundraising down the road.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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