After reading a recent nonprofit donor engagement benchmark study, I wanted to share these key engagement fundraising stats:
- 78% of donors give to more than one charity with 47% of those folks giving a majority (67% on average) of their annual total donation amount to the charity which they feel most connected.
- 30% of donors fundraise on behalf of the charity that they’re most involved with at least once a year (with 18% doing that several times a year).
- Donors like digital media and 36% prefer to find out information about their favorite charities from their website (35% visit their favorite charity’s website from “a few times a day” to “daily”), 28% from email, and 6% from Facebook.
- Older donors give more than younger donors to their favorite charity and they prefer more traditional media like direct mail, websites, email and the telephone over social networks, mobile texting, etc. It’s interesting to see that websites and email are now referred to as “traditional”.
- Sadly 21% of donors reported that they were never thanked after giving a donation.
- 65% support their favorite charity because “they believe in the cause” and/or wanted to “help make change happen” and 20% do so because they “have friends or family who support this cause,” 19% because they “know someone who has received services”, and 15% because they “want to connect with others in the community and/or those who share my values.”
- Significant numbers of donors spend time trying to get their friends and family involved with their favorite charity and found it easy to succeed in this action with 80% saying it was “easy” or “very easy” to do so. Interestingly they tend to forward emails and eNewsletters more than they share content on social networks.
So what do you do with these stats? Here are my MarketSmart suggestions:
1. Seek to become your donors’ favorite charity by making investments in providing engagement opportunities.
2. Make it easy for donors to promote your mission and recruit friends and family members to participate and give.
3. Look at your donor base and where the 80/20 rule applies. If most of your revenue is coming from a certain demographic, develop engagement offers and opportunities that suit that group in an effort to optimize the time and money you spend on engaging them and solidifying the relationship. Don’t try to create engagement offers for everyone. You’ll water down your efforts and do everything only marginally well. And don’t do Facebook just because someone in your office thinks that’s the way to go. Do what your most valuable donor would want you to do. A smart focus will yield tremendous results.
4. Use digital means as much as possible because those channels are easy, inexpensive and provide scale without much effort. And don’t forget to use tracking technologies to monitor and score your donors’ engagement levels online in order to zero-in on the ones who are most passionate. Then pick up the phone and get out of the office. Go see ’em!