Four elements of multi-channel performance
The exponential growth of the Internet, while offering near-limitless possibilities for nonprofit fundraising, has also led to the questioning of traditional methods of fundraising.
At the recent Fund Raising Day in New York, sponsored by the New York chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, representatives of The Mellman Group and the A.B. Data Group offered several key findings about fundraising in a report titled “Comparing Apples to Oranges to Pomegranates: A National Review of Direct Mail, Online and Multi-Channel Donors.”
Among the findings:
- Direct mail donors have been replenished, even as a new group of online donors has emerged. In 1995, the belief was that direct mail donors were dying out. Not so. They are aging, but they are being replaced.
- Direct mail and Internet donors are two different segments that inhabit two different universes. Direct mail donors still rely on traditional forms more than online donors, but, in addition to being younger, online donors are more educated and more liberal than direct mail donors.
- Donors tend to be spontaneous, flexible and reactive in giving. Most donors give because they were asked in a piece of mail or email (not at an event, on a telephone call or via banner ad), and direct mail donors carefully plan their giving more than online donors, although both like flexibility.
- Donors value public education/grassroots mobilization, accountability for how money is spent and demonstrating real progress toward goals. Online donors emphasize outreach; direct mail donors prioritize accountability.