Survey Says: ’Tis the Season to Give Online
Many people who make charitable donations this holiday season will do so with the click of a mouse. A recently released survey, conducted by JupiterResearch, shows that more than half of U.S. residents plan to donate to their favorite charities this holiday season via the Internet.
Convio, the Austin, Texas-based provider of on-demand CRM software and services for nonprofits that commissioned the survey, estimates U.S. online giving to reach more than $3 billion during the 2008 holiday season.
That means nonprofits need to make sure their efforts to attract supporters via their Web sites and other electronic communication mediums are inspiring and engaging, and move people to donate.
More than half of online consumers say they plan to donate via the Internet this holiday season. Convio founder, chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Vinay Bhagat says that’s one important reason why nonprofits need to ensure 1) that their Web sites and other e-philanthropy efforts are up to par and meet consumer expectations; and 2) that their offline communications drive potential donors to online giving options. Not meeting these requirements, Bhagat says, could amount to an invitation for donors to give elsewhere.
According to survey results, a charity’s Web site is the most useful tool among those who plan to donate online this holiday season, followed by e-mail appeals sent from family and friends. Charity evaluator sites also play a role for 10 percent of online adults in their decision-making process.
Bhagat says this is a cue for nonprofits to keep their Web sites current.
“Little things like refreshing the copyright year on your Web site so that people will know your content is current helps,” he says. “In addition to making it easy to donate, make sure there are a number of ways the constituent can engage with you so that you capture their name and e-mail address to begin developing the relationship.”