Online Fundraising Guidance Flows from Convio and Network for Good

January 4, 2012; Source: Sage Nonprofit Solutions | For those of you doing online fundraising, we’d love to hear your take on this assertion: According to the online donation processing service Network for Good, a full 22 percent of all of the year’s online donations come in on the last two days of the calendar year. Is this your experience for the past year? As the year ended, did your online campaigns do better than usual? Let us know!

Meanwhile, this article in USA Today reports that according to Atlas of Giving, donations to charities may be down during the first half of next year, because the elections will be making their own call on donor pocketbooks.

We’ll be interested to see if that prediction pans out. . . .

In the same article, Convio provides the following advice to online fundraisers (paraphrased below):

  1. Charities should build social as well as dollar capital online. Engage with donors and encourage engagement among them so they can help you build your program and organize your appeals.
  2. Reinforce this by promoting face-to-face, peer-to-peer engagement among donors.
  3. In promoting that peer-to-peer engagement, pay attention to the natural gathering times of donors. Tap into existing events.
  4. Tailor and customize your communications to address the donor as personally as possible. Pay attention to who they are.

There is really no dearth of information flowing out of such sources now. The wise fundraiser keeps an eye out for it but is always testing against his or her own experience.—Ruth McCambridge

About

Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.

  • Kate Olsen

    This is Kate Olsen, Senior Manager of Partnerships at Network for Good. Thank you for including our data in your piece. The end of the year is indeed an important time for fundraising, especially given that the tax year-end is so prominent in the minds of donors. We have seen a consistent trend in December fundraising accounting for 20-30% of overall annual donations year after year. This figure is for donations across all giving channels (directly on nonprofit websites, through social media outposts like Causes on Facebook and many other third-party websites in the Network for Good system). However, the statistics for donations through donation pages we host for nonprofit customers follows a similar trend. Additionally, we see nonprofits who invest in a custom, branded donation page achieve 5 times more in donation dollars than nonprofits with a generic, third-party donation processing solution. These trends reflect donations through Network for Good only.