Multichannel Donors Give More: Survey

Posted on by Larry Riggs

Donors who give both offline and online are the most valuable to nonprofits, according to a new study from Convio.

According to the report, donors who give both through both channels contribute an average of $123.29 per year, 46% more than direct mail-only donors who give an average of $28. Forty-three percent of the dual-donating households have annual incomes of $100,000 or more, and are more likely to be married than their single channel counterparts.

The gender divide doesn't seem to be that great when it comes to who gives by what channel: 55% of offline-only donors are men, while 56% of online-only donors are women.

"We've known for quite some time that a multichannel approach to constituent engagement is key for nonprofits to be successful," said Dennis McCarthy, vice president of Convio. "The results continue to prove that nonprofits need to adapt the way they engage externally with their supporters, as well as the way they organize their efforts internally. Integration is crucial on both fronts."

What does this mean to smaller nonprofits, many of whom still raise most of their money through direct mail?

McCarthy concedes many of these organizations are "not as sophisticated as for-profit firms" in terms of pinpointing and predicting customer buying habits and may have some difficulty affording systems that allow them to thoroughly segment their donor giving practices as much as larger ones. "It's a harder thing to do, but it would be ideal to have technology to understand who multichannel supporters are," he says.

Social media networks have not yet become an effective fundraising medium, despite their growing popularity. "While social media is something people might be rushing into without thinking it through, it's a good way to communicate with supporters," he says. "I don't know that it's a great acquisition tool as much as direct mail or perhaps email and websites.

He notes that some larger nonprofits such as the American Red Cross have internal units that handle social media issues but many smaller nonprofits lack the staff or even volunteers do so.        .

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