Conference Corner: Know Your Online Donors
Simply put, people who are comfortable shopping and paying bills via the Internet are more likely to donate money online to your nonprofit organization, says Michael Johnston, president of Toronto-based nonprofit consultancy Hewitt and Johnston and author of “The Fund Raiser’s Guide to the Internet” and “The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet.”
Johnston, who spoke at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Day Washington 2004 conference in September, has observed slight changes in the typical online-donor profile. According to one client-based study conducted by his firm, more women than men are giving online — 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent, respectively. And, of the affluent, highly educated Web donors, more than 60 percent prefer to give via Electronic Funds Transfer — an option resisted by early Internet adopters.
Understanding the kinds of gifts you are receiving online (“in memoriam” gifts, responses to action alerts, etc.) will help you provide a better Web experience for donors, Johnston says. “Consider conducting online surveys to gauge your donors’ preferences through services like www.surveymonkey.com,” he says.