The secret to making online and offline fundraising grow together

Charitable giving is growing at a faster rate (up 7% last year) than giving in general (up 1-3%).

What does that tell us? Well, according to npENGAGE at What’s Really Driving the Increase in Online Giving? it’s not because we’re getting better at online fundraising. The growth is mostly “cannibalization from other channels.”

And that’s because older donors are increasingly online. Which is dynamite news! The dependable older people who are the life-blood of charitable giving are moving into the rich and cost-effective digital channel.

… to increase your online giving you need to continue to invest in direct mail and other traditional sources of fundraising revenue. The more integrated the messaging across channels, the better fundraising results you will see.

Direct mail and online giving are increasingly tangled up together. More and more donors are smoothly moving back and forth between traditional and digital media. And we have no real control over what they do.

If direct mail fundraising were to suddenly “die” (as some say it already has), it would drag online fundraising down into the grave with it.

So be like your donors. Get comfortable with both channels. And make sure your donors are getting the same messages — with the same look and feel — in both places. That’s how you can maximize overall revenue.


Comments

2 responses to “The secret to making online and offline fundraising grow together”

  1. The coordinated use of multiple channels mirrors what consumers do in the for-profit world. Contrary to persistent predictions, the use of print catalogs and flyers is actually increasing along with the rise of the digital consumer.
    It’s because of the difference between demand generation and demand fulfillment. The Web is great for fulfillment — researching the best TV and then placing the order. But catalogs do a better job of sparking interest in that pair of shoes you didn’t know you needed.
    Same thing with fundraising. Print is the push or reminder needed to move someone to donate. The donation page is a convenience for the fulfillment part of the process.
    So rather than cannibalism, think of print and online as parts of the same system that perform different jobs.

  2. The coordinated use of multiple channels mirrors what consumers do in the for-profit world. Contrary to persistent predictions, the use of print catalogs and flyers is actually increasing along with the rise of the digital consumer.
    It’s because of the difference between demand generation and demand fulfillment. The Web is great for fulfillment — researching the best TV and then placing the order. But catalogs do a better job of sparking interest in that pair of shoes you didn’t know you needed.
    Same thing with fundraising. Print is the push or reminder needed to move someone to donate. The donation page is a convenience for the fulfillment part of the process.
    So rather than cannibalism, think of print and online as parts of the same system that perform different jobs.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog