Studies give ambivalent message on internet fundraising


Alliance magazine


People who go online to donate to charity for the first time often do not make later gifts on the internet, says a new study. Looking at the experience of 24 non-profits, the study suggest that while the internet can be a valuable fundraising tool for charities, particularly in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, it is not a replacement for direct mail or other forms of fundraising.

The study conducted by Target Analytics found that, of those who did make additional gifts after an initial online donation in 2006, 37 per cent never gave another gift online, while 18 per cent gave electronically in one year and through other channels in another. ‘The simple fact is that people come online to give a gift once and don’t repeat,’ said another respondent. However, another study, the Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study, found online revenue of non-profits increased 14 per cent in 2008. According to Convio CEO Gene Austin, ‘Compared to traditional marketing and engagement channels, online marketing and fundraising held up well. The study results prove that online marketing should be a key component of any nonprofit organization’s strategy to raise money, empower constituents, and build a solid database of donors and supporters.’

New York Times, 17 March 2009

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