Study Examines the Giving Behaviors of ‘Social Donors’
Great news, nonprofits! Charitable giving is on the rise, but you already know that, don’t you? Not only do you know and understand this from your own donors’ giving behaviors, but also because Giving USA reported that giving hit over $410 billion in 2017. With the new era giving, there’s a new type of donor on the rise—and they’re called “social donors.”
Who are these “social donors”? These are donors who give through event-based and peer-to-peer fundraising. Here at NonProfit PRO, we also consider these donors those who advocate on the nonprofit’s behalf through social media and word-of-mouth. Leading mobile fundraising company OneCause released a study in December called, “Social Donor Study: Understanding Motivators & Giving Behaviors,” where it explored the unique motivators, giving behaviors and engagement preferences of social donors.
Here were the study’s key findings:
- Many social donors aren’t deeply committed to a nonprofit.
- Social networks are critical to the success of event-based and peer-to-peer fundraising.
- Ease, mission and impact are top motivators.
- There’s great opportunity for increasing social donor retention and conversion.
- Social donors care more about impact than recognition.
What’s most surprising in the series of key findings is that social donors aren’t deeply committed to a nonprofit. The first question that was raised was… why is that?
The report shows that 51 percent of social donors are somewhat or unfamiliar with the organization prior to donating and 38 percent of social donors giving to the nonprofit for the first time. While a good amount of social donors are fairly new to the nonprofit, it also gives the nonprofit a lot of leverage in terms of retaining donors—and it all boils down to three things: education, communication and impact.
The number one thing that donors want to know about is impact, according to Kelly Velasquez-Hague, vice president of donor engagement strategy at OneCause. “Overwhelmingly, there's a gap right now with folks who are hearing about impact. The number one thing that's going have the biggest impact on converting donors is that they feel like their gift made a difference. The importance of not only having impact when you're creating experience, but the importance of having that in your follow up, it's the key for conversion,” she said.
She continued, “We look at donors who have heard nothing back from a nonprofit, as far as the follow-up, that's about nearly 20 percent, which is kind of crazy to me because you’re leaving 20 percent on the table.”
Through our research at NonProfit PRO, we have learned that nonprofits are not taking the opportunity to establish a strong relationship with their constituents; it’s shown in the 2017 and 2018 peer-to-peer fundraising studies. So it’s vital that nonprofits take a bigger step in reaching out to new and existing donors to show them why they should take on a bigger “social donor” role at their organizations.
To build on that, OneCause shares strong action steps that nonprofits should take to drive their relationships with donors forward:
- Create giving opportunities with new donor personas in mind.
- Focus on the giving experience.
- Keep the mission and impact at the forefront.
- Unleash the power of social influence.
To download the full study, click here.