As giving habits and trends continue to evolve so do the technologies that support all nonprofit fundraisinginitiatives. Yesterday, I wrote about the 2012 Nonprofit Fundraising Trends According to Industry Report released by Blackbaud titled 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry that highlighted some of these developments. This report was based on survey responses captured by 1,516 nonprofits in 9 countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands and the U.K. The areas that were analysed included staffing, donor recruitment, retention and other fundraising related activity. The research also looked at trends in online giving and mobile technology that is clearly having an impact on fundraising as evident through some of the insightful results including:
Online Giving. As reported in previous Blackbaud Index posts, online giving generally represents less than 5% of overall donation revenue. However there continues to be growing potential to increase supporter engagement and fundraising through this channel. 56% of respondents in the U.S. and Canada reported an increase in online donations and 16% and 15% respectively reported having received over 25% of their total donations via online. Those who cited an increase report factors such as website improvements and accessibility, strategic communications (i.e. newsletters and emails) and implementation of new software/technology as reasons for the increase.
Mobile Technology. Mobile technology initiatives are expected to more than double in the coming year according to most participating nonprofits. Most popular initiatives include mobile optimization of websites and email communications, as well as the use of QR codes which is also expected to more than double in the coming twelve months. Although 40% of respondents plan to fully optimize their websites, most reported to not currently using SMS/Text giving yet but plan to consider it as one of their initiatives in the near future. Overall 1/3 of respondents that received individual and corporate gifts intend to use at least one mobile technology within the next year.
Donors Perspective. Blackbaud recently published another report titled Donor Perspectives: An Investigation Into What Drives Your Donors to Give which had a section that explored how donors interact with nonprofits through mobile technology. Over 4,000 donors in the U.S., U.K. and Australia responded and the results seem to support the direction nonprofits are taking in their integration of technology into their fundraising initiatives. Most notable results included that almost half reported using their mobile device to read email and visit websites and less than a quarter have made a donation through SMS/Text or on a nonprofits website through their mobile. Perhaps donors are still adapting and learning to trust online and mobile channels or they are not being given the opportunity.
Mobilization. The growth in usage will eventually lead to universal acceptance and nonprofits must be ready to meet the demand. This is evident as a higher percentage of donors in the surveyed countries (approximately 50%) reported using their mobile phones to view websites but only 1/3 of the nonprofits surveyed in the same countries cited already having websites optimized for mobile browsing. 2013 should certainly see an increase in nonprofits implementing and maintaining mobile initiatives as the demand continues to grow. Finally, the demographic of mobile users tend to be younger in age, as the younger the respondent the more likely they were to use their mobile phone to interact with and make donations to a charity. There needs to be a focus on engaging millennial donors and those younger as they have the potential to be life-long supporters.
A focus on maintaining and growing online and mobile technologies will become a critical component of successful engagement and fundraising initiatives for nonprofits in 2013 and beyond. Resources such as these industry focused reports can help establish processes and practices that are more ‘donor’ focused which can lead to improved fundraising results. I will continue to explore the findings from The Donors Perspective survey including donor motivations, preferences and behaviours next week.