Getting to the Heart of the Donor
There's much debate underway regarding the effectiveness of traditional fundraising sources. We're hearing a lot about social media, the importance of websites, emerging technologies and the transitioning of direct mail to electronic media.
In response to the rising crescendo of uncertainty, the Heart of the Donor™ research took a comprehensive look at donor behavior. For the purposes of this article, we will look at how donors are giving.
It's important to acknowledge up front that while the channels donors use to give are driven by their comfort and preference, it is equally true that they are also driven by the channels made available to them by the organizations they support. Recognizing that reality, we evaluated 10 different methods of giving, asking donors whether they have used each one in the past 12 months. First, let's look at the raw numbers.
As you can see from the graph to the right (click slideshow), two giving channels clearly stand out from the rest: point-of-purchase collection boxes (where donors drop change into a box or bucket placed by a charitable organization) and direct mail. While these are the only two giving channels that a majority of donors have used in the past 12 months, these are certainly not the only giving channels of importance.
A third of all donors have given online in some form, including 44 percent of donors who use the Internet. Three out of 10 have given through work; 26 percent have given through presentations at their places of worship. Almost one out of four donors has given through receiving a phone call from an organization, and 18 percent have given through a television or radio advertisement or program. Fifteen percent are using automatic withdrawal, 14 percent have given through a gift catalog and 8 percent have given by text message.