Here’s Why Online Fundraising Doesn’t Work

No Loyalty Ahead

Are online donors really fickle? Or have nonprofits not figured out online retention yet?

You may be wondering why online fundraising seems to work so great for a few organizations and really poorly for others. And you may have heard that online givers are flaky or fickle, which was reinforced by Blackbaud’s research that concluded that online-acquired donors are more valuable in the long-term than traditional mail-acquired donors, but only if the online donor has been converted to offline giving.

Here’s what Blackbaud says . . .

“We found that over time, i.e. year after year, large percentages of online-acquired donors switch from online giving to offline giving — primarily to direct mail. The reverse is not true, however – only a tiny percentage of mail-acquired donors give online in later years.

Whatever the reasons behind this behavior, the conclusions are clear.

It is imperative to move online donors to offline giving as quickly as possible.

However, it is not worth the time, effort and cost to try to convert offline donors to online giving. It is also clear that online efforts alone are not sufficient to fully fund any nonprofit effort.”

When I first read that, my reaction was, “Seriously? Who are these people who start giving online and then prefer to go to check writing?” It just seemed really weird to me, because I am writing fewer and fewer checks and can’t imagine a situation where I would switch to writing more checks. But I am always telling people “you are not your target audience” so I figured I just didn’t understand the full dynamics of what was going on here.

But then I saw Julie Damon’s post entitled “Move Your Online Donors Offline . . . You Must Be Crazy.”

Julie thinks something is fishy. She says:

“I’m wondering if the real issue with online donors being one-hit-wonders isn’t that the donations are made online, but that many nonprofits don’t have a great process in place to retain donors that are NOT obtained through direct mail campaigns.”

She also notes that the data in the Blackbaud report came from nonprofits that receive more than ¾ of their gifts through direct mail. Julie says, “I’d be very curious to know whether or not they had an equally robust ONLINE program or if they just chose to focus more of their attention on their lucrative direct mail programs.

Those could be plausible explanations for the results that would NOT require nonprofits to immediately move their online donors offline, but rather build up, and focus on, online processes to make sure those donors stay online and happy. In other words, focusing more on offline acquisition could DRIVE YOUR ONLINE DONORS OFFLINE. No one addresses this possibility, which to me makes a LOT more sense.”

Katya Andresen, from Network for Good (which processes online gifts for nonprofits) agreed.

I’m with Katya and Julie. It makes so much more sense, on every level.

What if online fundraising doesn’t work because nonprofits drop the ball?

Nonprofits need to figure out how to make online donor retention work. This is all still very new, compared to several generations of experience with direct mail, and there’s a whole lot to be learned yet. I do not see this as online versus offline. I want to know what we need to do  to retain online donors — it’s a huge, great, still unanswered question — but insisting that they write a paper check after the first online gift just seems ludicrous to me. (I realize that a lot of fundraising is very counter-intuitive, but still . . .)

How about going back to basics:  expressing gratitude to the donor, reporting back with results, and offering additional ways to get involved. We know these approaches work with direct mail so why not online too?

Online stewardship of donors just isn’t happening like it should.    

I say this with confidence because of the story I will share with you in tomorrow’s post. I made gifts to twenty national nonprofits in the final days of 2011, and guess what happened next? Read tomorrow to find out.

 

Loyalty Photo by BigStock

Share This Post On
  • http://www.facebook.com/DaigNut Steve Daigneault

    so the other thing that makes me question the premise that donors are only going online to offline is the fact that appends to offline names with email address files perform very well to online appeals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.gienapp Rebekah Jordan Gienapp

    So, in my own giving I give most frequently by mail but sometimes online. One reason I don’t give online more is that nonprofits so often end up sending me duplicate or even triplicate mailings because they don’t manage to match up my online giving with the record they already have from my giving by mail. It irritates me, and I work in a nonprofit, so I can’t imagine how irritating it would be to your average donor.

  • Pingback: All Donors Were Not Created Equal—But Treat Them That Way - Nonprofit Hub()

  • http://www.cbsexe.com/9/penetrando-a-cuatro-patas-a-una-madurita/ visit

    I simply want to say I’m newbie to blogs and seriously loved this web-site. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You certainly come with exceptional articles. Kudos for revealing your blog.

  • http://www.downeastthunderdesign.com advanced dental care

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • http://www.ourcoloradoclassifieds.com search jobs company

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  • http://www.coastalocliving.com bedroom furniture uk

    Simply wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is just excellent and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  • http://www.fearofpetloss.com Earnest Lindie

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  • Pingback: Brian Lock Insurance()

  • http://xxxkylierose.com/9/penetrando-el-culazo-de-black-angelika/ great website

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://www.cumshotsurprisetgp.com/9/corriendonos-en-las-tetas-de-maria/ read link

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  • http://www.albumsexo.com/9/reventando-el-culo-de-una-portuguesa-rasurada/ full content

    I’m extremely pleased to find this site. I need to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new stuff on your web site.

  • http://www.sexovisa.com/40/llenando-la-cara-de-paula-de-semen/ great website

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  • http://www.sexo-cam.com/12/corrida-en-la-boca-de-amanda-x/ browse article

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the net. I am going to highly recommend this blog!

  • http://www.sexoilustrado.com homepage

    I was very pleased to discover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book marked to check out new things in your site.

  • http://www.hot-porn-site.com helpful site

    You are so awesome! I don’t believe I have read anything like this before. So good to discover another person with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  • http://www.sexoviajes.com click this site

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • http://www.spankschoolgirls.com/32/tetona-catalana-follando-muy-duro/ follow this link

    I really like reading a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  • http://www.dans-porn-links.com/22/tremenda-paja-de-cindy-dollar/ good link

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you need to write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people do not discuss such topics. To the next! Cheers!!

  • http://www.please-bang-my-wife.net like this

    The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  • http://lesbianporns.net/13/colombiana-tetona-haciendo-una-mamada-caliente/ read website

    I quite like looking through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  • http://www.zugs-teen-xtacy.com how much is yours worth?

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  • http://www.freshfreepornvideos.com click to read

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  • http://www.sluttymilfmom.com/12/corrida-en-la-cara-de-susy/ great website

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • http://pornarmy.net continue

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • http://www.crusadeforcollecting.net shops for lease

    I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and excellent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • http://www.sexonfire.net/12/dando-polla-gorda-a-gina-snake/ discover more

    I enjoy reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

  • http://www.smutlinxxx.com/26/haciendo-gemir-a-una-escort-de-lujo/ browse website

    It’s hard to find educated people for this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Pingback: sex toy websites()

  • http://www.ieee-sd.net Samuel Laurelli

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  • http://www.beyourporn.com/9/corrida-en-las-tetas-gordas-de-donna/ follow this website

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  • http://mp3mp3.org emprunt immobilier

    Voir ce excellent site web : courtier pr?t immobilier

  • http://nudeporngalleries.com/6/convenciendo-a-una-madurita-morena-para-follar/ great link

    May I just say what a comfort to find a person that really understands what they are talking about on the internet. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people must read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.

  • http://www.THEBUBBLECOLLECTOR.COM real estate investment class

    Hi there, I found your web site by means of Google while searching for a similar topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • http://www.alimentsedelweiss.com healthy foods

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  • http://www.freepornrevenge.com home

    The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  • http://www.fistinginactiontgp.com click for info

    It’s difficult to find experienced people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • http://www.weareteens.net/20/tremenda-mamada-de-mi-companera-de-trabajo/ read article

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  • http://www.teennudesite.com her explanation

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.