7 New Online Giving Figures & Tips For Web Fundraising Success

By eleventy marketing group

A new study of 115,000 nonprofits shows online donations rose 14% last year from 2011 to $2.1-billionResults from two new studies conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy show online giving is surging. According to a recent post on The Chronicle‘s website: “Online gifts to America’s nonprofits are growing far faster than any other types of donations”.

In today’s post, we point out some interesting online giving stats recently revealed by The Chronicle, and use the results to provide a few tips to help your nonprofit increase your online fundraising success moving forward.

If you read the eleventy blog with any regularity, you know we’ve been reporting on the meteoric rise in online giving for a while. See this eleventy blog post from April which details a study showing an even-greater increase in online nonprofit donations in 2012.

Study Results Show Online Giving Skyrocketing

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently conducted two studies. The first looked at giving totals for 115,000 nonprofits provided by three different online-fundraising processors. The second study looked at just the online donations received by 149 large nonprofit organizations. Here are some notable stats from both of these studies:

Online donations rose 14% in 2012 to $2.1 billion, according to a study of 115,000 nonprofits

Web contributions to the nation’s biggest charities also grew 14% to $785 million, according to a study of 149 large nonprofits

Online giving saw far greater growth than the overall rise in donations in 2012 (which Giving USA reported at 3.5%)

Despite the growth, online donations made up only 2.1% of all donations in the survey of large nonprofits

Nearly three quarters of the groups surveyed say their goal is for online donations to account for more than 10% of their overall fundraising efforts in the next few years

1 in 5 nonprofits expect Internet gifts to account for as much as 20% of their overall donations in the next few years

6 groups said they earned at least half of their online-giving totals from people who committed to monthly giving

Key Takeaways for Online Fundraising Success

In analyzing the online fundraising results of numerous nonprofit organizations, The Chronicle unearthed some telling findings—many of which you can use to boost your nonprofit’s online fundraising efforts. Here are a few key takeaways…

Online fundraising has vast growth potential

Despite the overall 14% increase in online giving, many nonprofits actually saw much larger increases in online giving last year—showing the great potential the Web brings as a fundraising tool. For example, the American Lung Association said nearly 30% of its gifts were made online. Meanwhile, Christian charity Young Life reported a 37% bump in online giving over the previous year—raising $24.8 million via Web alone.

Online giving often results in a much higher give

It has been frequently reported that online gifts are typically larger than those received through the mail. The Chronicle notes that nonprofit The Environmental Defense Fund reported gifts from first-time donors were nearly double those of first-time direct mail contributors. The director of membership for the organization said new donors typically give $40-$50 online versus $20-$25 via direct mail.

Online fundraising is a great way to get people involved

Online fundraising is even more effective when you give donors and volunteers a way to get involved. The Chronicle reports that Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation raised $678,000 last year in part by encouraging current and former patients to create fundraising Web pages to raise money for the hospital. Parents of one patient alone raised $67,000 via online fundraising.

Online offers a great place to experiment with giving incentives

With unique interactive capabilities, the Web offers nonprofits a great venue to test some new fundraising initiatives and see what donors go for. For example, San Francisco public radio station KQED raised $270,000 online by offering donors who gave $55 or more access to an online radio stream that did not include the breaks in programming for pledge drives found in the station’s typical Web stream.

Fuel Your Future Online Fundraising Results

Statistics over the past few years show online giving to nonprofits making huge gains. As mentioned in the stats above, many nonprofits are working to build online giving into 10-20% of their overall donations over the next few years. But nonprofits can’t just expect it to happen—you have to go out and make it happen.

Like all marketing efforts, you have to work to engage your audience online. You have to leverage the unique aspects of the online medium to connect with donors. Use the successes experienced by the organizations mentioned above as inspiration to fuel your own online fundraising efforts in the coming year.

Need help reaching more donors on the Web? Contact eleventy today to learn more about our online marketing services or our innovative online fundraising platform.