Last week, Network for Good released The Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships in conjunction with TrueSense Marketing. The study examines $381 million in giving through Network for Good's platform, including 3.6 million gifts to 66,470 nonprofits from 2003-2009, and takes into account the online giving experience not only on nonprofits’ websites, but also via donation portals and social networks.
Some key findings include:
- Just as the strength of the donor-charity relationship heavily influences offline giving, the online giving experience has a significant impact on donor loyalty, retention and gift levels. Small improvements to the online experience can make a big difference in donations.
- Giving on social networks is significant, but donor loyalty is highest on charity websites that build strong connections with donors. Personality matters on these websites: The loyalty factor for donors acquired through generic giving pages is 66.7 percent lower than for donors who give via charity-branded giving pages.
- Analysis of cumulative online giving (i.e., giving added up over time) via different pages powered by Network for Good shows that donors who gave via charity websites started at the highest level and gave the most over time. Those who used giving portals started lower and gave less over time. Those who used social giving opportunities gave the least initially and added little afterward.
- Recurring giving is a major driver of giving over time and should be strongly encouraged in the giving experience.
- A third of all online giving occurs in December, and 22 percent of annual giving happens in the last two days of the year. Online giving (by dollars) on Dec. 31 is concentrated between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in each time zone.
Based on the findings, here are four actionable tips for fundraisers to maximize e-philanthropy:
Encourage recurring gifts
Recurring giving is one of the key drivers of donor value, the study says. To encourage recurring gifts, nonprofits should: