Online Nonprofit Fundraising Continues to Grow According to Annual Survey
Online giving continues to be the fastest nonprofit fundraising channel across North America. I have written about various industry reports and research analyzing online donation activity like the monthly Blackbaud Index, the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report and the Digital Persuasion, How Social Media Motivates Action and Drives Support Causes. Two recently released studies by The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that online fundraising in 2012 rose by 14% in comparison to the previous year representing a total of just over $2.1 billion in fundraising revenue from 22.6 million donors, 11% more than 2011 and averaging $94.
These online fundraising results are much stronger than the Giving USA results that I featured last week of 1.5% growth in overall fundraising. Also although based on 149 large nonprofit, online donation only represent 2.1% of the median share. The research also pointed towards some interesting trends that helped increase online donations through 2012.
- Monthly Giving – One excellent strategy that nonprofits have been using to increase online giving is asking donors to become monthly or regular donors. 6 groups from the research cited that 50% or more of their online donors participated in a regular contribution program. As an example Young Life saw an increase of 42% in 2012 of monthly donors helping raise $24.8 million. Their success was possible through aggressive promotions of online giving and revamping their website to make it donor friendly. “You talk to any nonprofit organization that relies on fundraising, and they’ll tell you online monthly giving is the most reliable giving. They’re the least likely ones to stop giving.” – Scott Nilsen, Vice President for Development Services, Young Life
- Incentives – Depending on the type of organization, some nonprofits can offer cost-effective incentives to help increase online donors. KQED, a San Francisco based public radio station raised their online revenue 10% by offering online donors who gave an established minimum an incentive of accessing a break from solicitations through a special live online radio stream. Diversifying online initiatives creatively can motivate online communities and help increase donations while engaging supporters.
- Young Donors – Focusing on the younger demographic is another tactic that some organizations have used successfully. The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit increased their online donations by approximately 200% by targeting a younger demographic of supporters aged 45 and under with tailored events in which they could connect with this segment of their community and strengthen their relationship with the organization. Knowing your donors and tailoring online campaigns specific to their needs can improve long term fundraising results.
- Timing of Giving – Weekdays are the strongest online giving days, with Thursday topping the list with 18.4% of total weekly donations, while other weekdays ranged from 16.6% to 16.9%. However Mondays had the largest average gift size of $166.96. Peak giving times throughout the day ranges from 9am to 1pm with the highest average gift size being $168.92 and occurring in the 9am hour.
Nonprofits are expecting online fundraising to continue to grow with almost 20% expecting online donations to account for 20% of overall donations and 75% of survey respondents setting goals of more than 10% in the coming years.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.