Depending on how you interpret the 2009 statistics, online giving is the greatest thing since sliced bread or is over-hyped and still represents a small piece of overall donations. Today’s Agitator.net post challenges us to think beyond the numbers. Some major points:
- Are new online donors simply moving over from other channels, or are they really ‘new’?
- What’s getting in the way of some nonprofits that are not seeing increases in online giving?
- If your organization has experienced a jump in online donations, do you understand why?
- Are you taking advantage of integrated strategies to coordinate your online and offline appeals?
- Can new online donors be ultimately upgraded to higher levels of engagement – as you would normally want for offline supporters?
- If some donors are contributing because their friends or family asked, can you expect them to have a relationship with your nonprofit directly to encourage future support?
- Are you doing enough testing of online messaging, as carefully as you would do for offline?
Online fundraising isn’t a magic bullet, as those who simply add a donation button to their web site without any further effort soon learn. Similarly, if you send out regular email marketing messages but don’t analyze who’s opening and actually reading them (and who unsubscribe), you’re missing the boat. Regardless of your 2009 online numbers, you can probably do better in 2010 by taking the time to answer some of these questions.
For more online fundraising tips, download this new Online Fundraiser’s Checklist, review 25 Tips for Better Fundraising Copy and note the recent boom in mobile fundraising (hint – this channel won’t only be effective after earthquakes). More people are online, but fewer are using the traditional desktop of laptop computer. Apple’s new tablet is coming soon to add yet another option.