WP Remix

6
Jan

Blackbaud recently released its annual report of trends in online giving and, if you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know that once again the trend was positive. In fact, it must be categorized as a ‘really really positive’ trend.

An analysis of giving to more than 2,000 of its users leads Blackbaud to report growth of 46% over last year. If you’re keeping score, that’s after 40%+ growth in ’08 and 50%+ growth in ’07. Keep looking back and you’ll see the same story repeated year after year. Maybe this internet thing is here to stay!

Steve MacLaughlin, Director of Internet Solutions for Blackbaud, has a nice presentation detaling these findings (see below) as well as a presentation on “The Changing Nature of Online Fundraising” (also below) that I found interesting. He incorporates the Blackbaud data with some Pew research that I’ve mentioned before and some other interesting tidbits and advice. Additional info can be found on his blog at www.blackbaud.com/connections (I stumbled upon the 2nd presentation when looking at the first, and while I haven’t dug deeper yet I anticipate more interesting reading when I do. I also learned that Steve is a fellow Indiana University graduate and while we haven’t met I would assume that means he’s an all-around good guy.)

If I had to point out three take-aways from this information:

1. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times more – the internet should not be thought of as a ‘young donor tool’ because people of all ages use the web to surf, shop and support. Look at your own data if you don’t believe me;

2. The 2008 Giving USA data shows more than $15 BILLION given online. That’s a B folks. It’s still a small piece of the pie compared to the rest, but it’s not insignificant and it’s not all $10 gifts. If you aren’t paying attention or investing resources in your online programs, you should be;

3. I don’t believe, in the near future, that online gifts will surpass phone or mail for most. It may happen someday, but for now let’s say it’s 3rd place and gaining steam. Successful organizations will think of them holistically. You don’t have a phone program, a mail program, an online program and a face-to-face program. You simply have a program. Many pieces, working together, make up that program – think integration;

3B. See above. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I’ve told the story before of the person who told me they were considering an elimination of direct mail because e-mail was cheaper and everyone preferred it. Wrong. Again, repeat after me: holistic. Donors have preferences. The various channels we use to communicate/solicit have advantages and disadvantages. Choose wisely, listen to your donors, measure your results, and allocate your resources accordingly.

Presentations are below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. . . . .

Two unrelated comments:

1. In the ‘Changing Nature’ slideshow, there’s an Apple II on slide 6. I had that exact computer. I’m sure my iPhone is 100x more powerful, but it made me miss the one I had many years ago.

2. My new year’s resolution was to blog more frequently and consistently. It’s January 6 now and my last post was 15 days ago. Hope you’re doing a better job with your resolutions!

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