Many Great Reports Out This Week

The Online Giving Study from Network for Good and True Sense Marketing offers a comprehensive look of ephilanthropy, covering a 7 year time span and a wide range of nonprofits.  Many others have already discussed its results – see Frogloop, The Agitator and Wild Apricot.  What I particularly liked:

  • online fundraising is about relationship building, just as has it was for traditional development.  This is a great reminder for nonprofits that focus only on the technology, or who treat online as a very ‘different’ channel than offline.
  • most online givers still go through the nonprofit’s own website to donate, less frequently to giving portals and social giving sites.  More importantly, those who give through the charity’s site tend to donate more over the long term than other givers.
  • recurring giving should always be offered as an option.  Perhaps eventually it will be used as often in the US as it is elsewhere in the world.
  • those who give in December have a higher long term value than donors in other months.  Do you need any more of a reason to make sure your year-end appeals go out this month?
  • ‘disaster’ givers have lower long term value and lower retention.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use stewardship strategies to build a relationship with these contributors.

Idealware’s updated Open Source Content Management Systems Report takes another look at Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Plone.  Drupal still offers the most flexibility and has the support of a large international community.  But all of these tools are potent;  Wordpress is especially noteworthy for its ease of use and has developed into much more than a blogging tool.

Pew Internet’s first survey to focus on Twitter concludes that 8% of Online Americans Use Twitter which may seem like a low number, but nevertheless offers some interesting insights into the groups that are most active.  For example, while it may be no surprise that young people (18-29) are heavy users, the report also concludes that African Americans and Latinos are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as white users.  And even if you know if your constituents are on Twitter, their usage may differ greatly;  the report contrasts those who check multiple times / day for updates (25%) with those who never check for new content (20%).  My take: while it may have started out as a social service, that’s not the case now and your nonprofit should be using Twitter to connect with your audience.

Finally, in response to Apple’s reluctance to facilitate nonprofit fundraising on the iPhone, Beth Kanter has pledged to switch to an Android phone.  (I’m getting one too, but decided to do so before the recent controversy featured in the NY Times erupted.)  I believe the Androids will eventually overtake the iPhones, even with Verizon getting the iPhone (finally) soon.