The advantages of online fundraising over the traditional ones has often been theorized in the popular literature. Be it in terms of the unimaginably large number of people one could reach, spread across large geographical distances or the relatively easy access to finance which is not dependent on a few big investors.
According to recent data released by Blackbaud Index (which tracks $20 billion in U.S. charitable giving month to month), overall giving for the three months ending in August was down 0.8 per cent as compared to the same three-month period of 2016.
Conversely, online giving saw a rise of 9.8 per cent when the two periods are compared, reinforcing our point, on the upper hand of online fundraising over traditional ones.
This disparity between overall fundraising and online fundraising is present at the sub sector level too. Arts organizations saw a decrease of 0.9 in overall fundraising, while its online fundraising saw an increase of 16.5 per cent, which was the second highest of all sectors.
Human service organizations saw a 0.6 per cent overall decrease but the third largest online increase at 14 per cent.
Healthcare organizations saw an overall increase of 3.1 per cent and an online increase of 8.1 per cent. Public society benefit organizations which were the biggest gainers in overall fundraising at 5 per cent were also the biggest gainers when it came to online fundraising at 18.7 per cent.
International affairs and education are two sectors which underwent an overall contraction when it comes to overall fundraising but saw an increase when it comes to online fundraising.
Now, coming to organization level data, large organizations, those with a revenue of $10 million or more struggled the most overall, seeing a decline of 2.4 per cent but were the biggest gainers online, with a rise of 11.5 per cent.
Small organizations which are defined as those with revenue of $1 million or less, were on the opposite end of the spectrum and witnessed an overall growth of 2.4 per cent and an online growth of 4.4 per cent. Medium sized organizations saw an increase of 0.4 per cent overall and a growth of 9.3 per cent online.
Looking at all the recent data and figures, together with the sectoral and the organizational break up, we could safely concur on the fact that online fundraising is the way to go. It is not only an attractive option in terms of raising funds but also a tested community building exercise where you form deeper bonds with the people contributing to your cause by keeping them in the loop all along.