A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships

Research in the U.S. says those giving through a charity’s website give twice as much as those giving through sites such as Facebook.

A just released study of online giving looks specifically at the online giving experience and finds it is directly tied to donors’ likelihood of giving more – and more often.

From the study introduction:

Not so long ago, all fundraising was done face-to-face. Houses of worship passed the plate. Alms were given to the needy where they were. Do-gooders persuaded people they knew to support their work.

Charitable giving happened in the context of personal relationships.

Then charities began to learn the techniques and disciplines of marketing and advertising to expand their reach to more supporters.

What the new breed of professional fundraisers quickly discovered was that the path to success was getting relational with donors – being as much like the old-line, personal methods as possible.

That’s true with major gifts, direct mail, broadcast media, telemarketing – and as this study suggests, with online fundraising, too.

Discussions of online fundraising tend to focus on technology and the latest new bell, whistle or widget. Raising funds online is not about technology, any more than raising funds through the mail is about paper. It’s about the relationship between the nonprofit and the donor who wants to support a cause. People who give online are no different from other donors in that they expect a relationship – not simply a transaction – with the organization they support.

The Online Giving Study is available for download.