Mega growth in Online Giving: trends driving the increase

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Mega growth in Online Giving: trends driving the increase

We are sure you must have noticed a year on year increase in your online giving. According to the 2018 Charitable Giving report published by Blackbaud, there is a stark difference between the growth rate of overall giving and online giving. Although overall giving remained flat- growing at a rate of 7-9%, online giving growth showed a tremendous spike. Overview of fundraising from the same organization in the United States over a 36-month period showed a 9% increase in overall giving whereas a 17% increase in online giving. 

An approximate of 8.5% overall fundraising revenue, excluding grants, was raised online. Mobile and other digital channels are playing a vital role in nonprofit fundraising. 24% of the online transactions were made using a mobile device which clearly reflects the growing trend of mobile giving. The graph below shows year-wise percentage of total fundraising raised through online giving

year-wise percentage of total fundraising raised through online giving

So, what’s driving the increase in online giving?

Right from the penetration of technology in the life of people to improved fundraising marketing strategy, several factors are driving online giving. Features like text to give and text to donate have further spiked the online giving trends in the recent times. 

Donors of 65+ age are online

A report by the Pew Research Center reveals that the fastest-growing age bracket on Facebook is 65+. Smartphone usage among the 65+ age group has grown from 18% in 2013 to 42% in 2016. So, why are we so concerned about this particular age group? A major segment of donation comes from the age group of 65+. According to Blackbaud, the average age of donors is 62. The steep increase in social media and online usage by this group clearly reflects in the donation methodology, which is making a transition from offline to online. 

Improved online donation technology

Fundraising for nonprofits has never been so easy. The recent years have seen a tremendous change in terms of incorporating technology into fundraising, making the task relatively easier. Donor management software and online fundraising platforms have fundamentally changed the way nonprofits work and communicate. Not only these tools allow nonprofits to better manage their donor data,, but they also allow donors to give anytime, anywhere. Online donation pages have been there for years but weren’t tapped enough to reap the benefits. With these easy to use donations tools, that fully integrate with your donation page, nonprofits are able to create functional branded pages that look great on any device; the improved experience makes online giving really easy for donors.  

Marketing strategy 

Incorporation of technology into fundraising has also scaled up the marketing strategy. Boosting your fundraising with actions like newsletters, direct emails – embedded with URLs and Call To Action (CTA) buttons – have visible results. According to Wikimedia fundraising report 2016-2017, donations via email campaign touched 42.98% in FY 16/17 from 37.87% in FY 15/16. Hence, emails increase your fundraising by prompting donors to make a donation. 

The takeaway for fundraisers

So how are these trends going to impact online fundraising for your organization? Let’s take a look at some of the key learnings that should be a part of your online fundraising strategy.

  • 1. Tap 65+ donors who are online. Include them in your multi-channel communication strategy. Include them in your quarterly communications and talk about the impact they can help create.
  • 2. An important consideration should be given to social media while you formulate an online giving plan.   Not everyone who engages with your content online will be willing to donate, but social media marketing when done right can help you foster stronger bonds, connect with like-minded community members and spread the word quicker than any other medium at your disposal today.
  • 3. Use donor management software to stay on top of your campaigns and donor data online. There are plenty of user-friendly fundraising tools available for all nonprofit sizes and needs that can help you streamline the donation process – for your donors and your team members. Not only that, most software now help you integrate with a member management system, create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, and the apps you use every day – making your job incredibly easy.
  • 4. And lastly, invest in email marketing. We have discussed in our blog posts earlier that nonprofits are growing to the fact that it might be easier to retain the donors they have after all; the cost of acquisition for new donors is higher in the long term. It is also a lucrative communication tool for engaging donors, providing multiple opportunities to interact and is a great reminder for your donors to take action. 

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