Online giving study: build strong and direct connections with donors

You do know about the new Online Giving Study just released by Network for Good and created by them and us at TrueSense Marketing.

It’s available here (PDF; registration required).

There’s a ton of must-see stuff for anyone who raising funds online. Here’s just one of the many findings:

This chart shows giving over a three year period by online donors using three different venue types through Network for Good. The difference in performance among the donors is startling.

OGS_byVenue

Blue line: Donors who gave through a charity’s website. These donors gave an average of $180 in their first year with a charity. After two years, their average cumulative giving had risen to $257.

Green line: Donors who gave through giving portals, like Charity Navigator or GuideStar. These donors gave $120 in their first year, and after two years, their cumulative giving had only risen to $168.

Orange line: Donors who gave through a social networking site, like Facebook Causes or Change.org. These donors gave $113 in their first year, and only managed to add another $10 over the course of three years.

Meaning: a donor’s relationship with the charity makes a financially significant difference over time. The more connected they are at the beginning of the relationship the more subsequent giving. Giving portals create a loose connection between charities and donors. Social networking sites build very little connection at all.

What does this all mean?


  1. Put most of your online fundraising efforts into getting donors giving on your own website. Portal and social network giving will happen, and that’s fine It’ just not where the revenue is.
  2. Do your best to move donors from the low-connection venues to your website.


Comments

4 responses to “Online giving study: build strong and direct connections with donors”

  1. Thanks for the donor and charity trend summary.
    http://davidpidsley.com

  2. Thanks for the donor and charity trend summary.
    http://davidpidsley.com

  3. This isn’t necessarily a causal trend though is it?
    People donating on your own website are existing and/or traditional donors so they give more for longer.
    People donating from other portals are normally sponsorship donations – they are supporting their friend/family, not the cause, so they give less and are less loyal.
    Isn’t it who they are that is important, not the portal they happen to be donating from?

  4. This isn’t necessarily a causal trend though is it?
    People donating on your own website are existing and/or traditional donors so they give more for longer.
    People donating from other portals are normally sponsorship donations – they are supporting their friend/family, not the cause, so they give less and are less loyal.
    Isn’t it who they are that is important, not the portal they happen to be donating from?

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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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