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2 min read

Meet Donors Where They Want to Give: Online

woman in glasses studying data on a computer

Most people are generous by nature.

You don’t need to look much farther than a social media feed to see it. The messages come from good-hearted people just wanting to help someone or some organization that may suddenly be in a tough spot.

Online giving is popular for a couple of reasons. One, it’s often easy, at least for crowdfunding campaigns, to see where the money is going. But, perhaps, the more important reason it’s growing in popularity is that it’s becoming simpler — a few clicks and you’re done.

Or, at least that’s how it should work.

The reality is that for most nonprofits the digital giving experience isn’t as easy as it could be, and that lack of simplicity could be costing them donations.

It doesn’t have to. You need to make the donation process simple. Before you do, you need to locate where they are.

Tracking Down the Donors

Making your own donor audience or any potential donor search far and wide for how to give to your organization is not customer centric. They may already know about the cause and your mission, so giving them all their preferred donation tools upfront makes your donors happier and more willing to come back.

For instance, according to the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, 63% of people in North America prefer to give online. This is up from 60% in the previous report. What inspires people to give in the first place? Email continues to hold strong as 33% of people said they are inspired most to give because of a digital mail advert. Not far behind was social media as 18% of donors said they were inspired through a social media posting. Specifically, 56% came from Facebook, and 21% from Instagram.1

When it comes to getting your donors to give again, 48% said email was the best way to inspire repeat donations, while social media communication came in second at 18%.

In the same report, too, 19% said they were inspired because of a print ad, so investing in the traditional paper and ink still holds some value. But even then, one stat stood out that all nonprofits should know about digital giving.

92% of donors say that nonprofits must invest financial resources in digital communications in order to stay relevant.1

To further drive home the point, online giving is continuing to be at an all-time high. According to the new Blackbaud Institute Charitable Giving Report, 12% of total giving occurred online in 2021, remaining near record highs.2

Let’s digest those numbers for a bit.

When a growing majority of donors say they prefer to give online, and a high percentage of donors are inspired to give – and give again – through an online format, we see a pattern that today’s donors live online.

Other forms of giving besides digital should always remain. This includes donating by mail and noncash giving. But when nearly all donors say that digital communications is of high importance, even if they aren’t giving through digital, this shows where donors everywhere are currently residing.

It’s this online life that has conditioned donors to expect a simplified experience. You can thank Amazon and other online retailers for that. With the ability to buy with a single click and no-questions-asked returns, all hassles have been removed from the retail experience.

Now, consumers are demanding it not just from retailers but anyone who provides them a service, whether that’s a utility or a vendor in the workplace. And they have those same expectations of the organizations they give to.

1 Nonprofit Tech for Good: Global Trends in Giving Report

2 Blackbaud: Blackbaud Institute 2021 Charitable Giving Report Reveals Record Year for Generosity with 9% Growth in Giving

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