Online Fundraising: Slowly but Surely

Let’s face it if you are an organization that is actively fundraising, you probably have some strategy for online donations. From the creation of the donate now button to email donations and mobile apps, more and more resources are being devoted to attracting online donations. Even though this technology has been around since the late 1990s, donors and organizations have been slow to fully embrace the technology.

A recent article by the group Nonprofit Tech for Good highlighted some stats regarding online fundraising. Among the findings were these positives:

  • On average non-profits raise 7.6% of their revenue online.
  • 30% of giving occurs in December with 10% during the last three days of the month.
  • Email accounted for 26% of all online revenue in 2017, up 15% from 2016.

There were also some challenges:

  • Over the last 10 years, donor retention rates have been consistently weak, averaging below 50%.
  • 66% of donors say they would use two-tap giving and earn badges and redeemable points but this type of app doesn’t exist.

So what conclusions can we draw from these data points?

On the positive side, we are seeing donors make online donations and this figure is growing, albeit slowly. Donors are using online donations to facilitate year-end giving. An average December gift according to the results is approximately $236. Also, email engagement resulted in 26% of online revenue meaning that if the message connects with the donor the email doesn’t always end of in the trash but instead can lead to a donation. These rates will only continue to rise over the next several years.

On the negative side, the most troubling data point relates to donor engagement or lack of engagement as retention rates are very poor. Organizations have yet to crack the online code of keeping their patrons engaged. Coincidentally, these retention rates are similar to offline retention rates which means that there is a great amount of churn in patrons and their donations.

So given this information, what changes to current strategies are needed? One data point might provide a clue. 66% of donors say that they would use two-tap giving. This gamification of donations might be a key to engage patrons and retain them. While no app currently exists to fill this need the underlying concept of online donor benefits is really no different than the donor benefits that organizations have been giving their offline donors for decades.

You can read the full article here:  10 Must-Know Stats About Online Fundraising

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