The opportunity to donate to charities is all around us. The pairing of non-profits and technology makes it easier than ever for donors to give and organizations to receive. Checking out at a local grocer means adding a dollar to your bill to help feed a hungry family. You scroll through a favorite social media page and see posts from far-off friends raising money for an unexpected health crisis. A text message notification reveals its time to pay the utility bill which also features an opportunity to donate to the local animal shelter. But does easier translate into more for non-profits? Is it really that important for a non-profit organization to have an online giving platform and mobile donation app?
Donor Digital Data: Charitable giving studies for 2015 revealed the following data:
- December was the strongest month of the year for charitable giving. 30% of annual donations were received during December, 2015, with the most revenue generated the last three days of the month.
- Donors preferred to give on Thursday with Tuesday as runner-up. 20% of donations were made on Thursday, 19% on Tuesday.
- Thursday’s average donation amount was $151.
- 97% of charitable gifts were given through a desktop computer.
- 90% of gifts were a one-time thing.
- One-time gifts averaged $137 with recurring gifts averaging $52.
- The most giving times of the day were 10am-11am, 1pm-3pm, traditional work hours. That means the majority of giving took place while people were on the job.
Traditional v. Digital: There is no doubt that statistics reveal giving trends are going digital. While overall charitable activities were up 2% in 2015 as compared to 2014, online giving was up 9%. But, exactly, where are people giving online? Who are these donors?
More than half of online donations are given on a particular branded charitable organization web page. The strongest givers, with a gift size average of $183, were employees donating through an employer-sponsored cause in the form of payroll deductions, company sponsored charity events and workplace fundraisers.
E-mail fundraising efforts grew in 2015. On average, 4.4 cents was raised per e-mail. For every 1,000 e-mails delivered to a potential donor’s mailbox, $44 in revenue, on average, was generated. It may not sound like much compared to digital giving that took place directly on a non-profit’s webpage. However, e-mail generated revenue for charitable organizations actually grew by nearly 20% last year. It far outpaced the previous year’s 12% growth.
Every opportunity to digitally connect with donors gives a non-profit the chance to grow. Sharing content and joining a non-profit’s email list are just as important to a non-profit’s growth as a supporter’s donation.
Out of all charitable giving, only 3% was non-digital. For charities dependent on cash or checks, this is bad news. The Salvation Army reported raising nearly $145 million through their holiday season Red Kettle cash donation campaign, which is the backbone of the organization’s annual fundraising. Such numbers simply can’t compare with the amount of money raised for donations online.
The Winning Digital Recipe: What does all this data mean? To take advantage of the obvious generosity of donors, a charitable organization needs all the elements of a winning recipe:
- Connect with an online giving platform that donors trust.
- Create a mobile app.
- Connect with employers interested in sponsoring your non-profit’s cause so that you can tap into the contribution resources of a company’s employees.
- Create the opportunity for potential donors to share content and sign-up for e-mail notifications.
All In One Place: Online giving performs strongly for a number of reasons that are all tied to together in the same place:
- No pressure.
- Opportunity to research the organization before giving.
- Donors can set-up a recurring donation.
Today’s donors are not just technologically savvy, they are also informed, consumers. While online and considering giving a gift, a supporter has the opportunity to learn about a non-profit’s cause. That is why it is so important for a non-profit to be connected with the right giving platform. Just as a brick and mortar storefront’s success is all about location, location, location, the same can be said for any organization’s cyberworld address. When donors arrive at a site that they know is as reputable as it is easy to navigate, they not only give with confidence, there is a greater chance that they will become a regular benefactor. So, whether you are a non-profit or a donor looking to connect with the right cause, get connected in the right place.