All of this talk dealing with social media and viral fundraising leads you to think, “Well, who exactly is donating online?” Social media has revolutionized the methods in which people receive their information, and it is making it harder for people to find exactly where everyone is. In my past blog posts, I have examined the different tools that non profits are using to get donations, but now it’s time to answer the question of who.
According to Rebecca Higman and Katya Andresen in an article on the Nonprofit Technology Network, research shows that online donors are growing rapidly and tend to be under 40 with gifts of around $100 dollars, while older generations tend to give offline and more consistently. These donors are the leading source of new revenue for non profits, and even though online giving represents a small segment of the donations an organization receives, this form of giving is steadily on the rise. Sites like Network for Good, a non-profit helping non profit organizations fundraise and get donations, are a prime example of a useful tool when trying to develop an online donation presence.
A study published in 2008 by Target Analytics says that younger donors will give larger gifts because they have a higher and disposable income than the traditional donors. The retention rate of online donors is lower because their larger gifts occur less frequently, and they are less loyal to giving repeatedly to a non profit. When donors see your cause on social media site though, it is also possible for them to give more frequently, but in lesser amounts. When a donor gives to a non profit’s website, they are more likely to return to the site than giving on a social networking site like the Facebook Causes application, although if they are reached on a social networking site, they will tend to give there.
The key to online fundraising though is ensuring that your marketing strategies are integrated because in order to have consistency in your donations, all of your publications, branding, and communication strategies should drive people to your website. It is vital to figure out exactly where your donors are coming from and what sites they are on so that your donor traffic can be geared to one central location and one specific method of payment in order to promote long-term giving. It is important to reach your target audience in a variety of ways though because the organizations with the strongest donors integrate their communication channels. In order to maintain the donors, whether online or offline, it is important to interact and cultivate them as a supporter in order to ensure their return and commitment to your mission.