As nonprofits continue to fight for recognition and donor dollars, they’ve greatly moved their fundraising efforts to the internet. There is good reason why. That’s where the money is and, according to a new study, will continue to be in the near future. The driving force behind online giving? Social media.
The 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report indicates that more and more donors continued to move to online giving in 2017. This annual research project examines how donors prefer to give and engage with their favorite causes and charitable organizations. It is sponsored by the Public Interest Registry and researched by Nonprofit Tech for Good.
According to the report, 61 percent of donors surveyed said they prefer to give online. The rise in online giving is directly correlated to the rise in social media. Forty-two percent of online donors worldwide cite social media as the tool that inspires them most often to give. Of these donors, 62 percent say that Facebook inspires them the most. Fifteen percent say Twitter. Ten percent say Instagram.
The report also revealed that if a donor gives money they will most likely give time as well. Two-thirds of the donors surveyed said they have volunteered with a nonprofit within the last 12 months. Most were inspired to get involved after participating in a fundraising event (44 percent) or email (22 percent). Interesting enough, volunteers were less likely to be inspired by social media (15 percent).
It appears that social media fundraising garners the best results for giving, but live events garner the best results for encouraging volunteering.
When they were not giving online donors were split evenly on their preference between direct mail and fundraising events — 14 percent each.
Mobile giving lags behind all other methods with only about 6 percent give via mobile. However, 66 percent say they would use a mobile app that allows two-tap giving and earns badges and redeemable points. Despite a decade of improvements in mobile giving, the app that donors want doesn’t yet exist.
Below are some additional findings of the report:
- Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers all prefer to give online – 62 percent, 59 percent, and 59 percent respectively. In fact, the generations are almost identical in their giving preferences with one exception: Direct mail is popular with Baby Boomers (19 percent), less popular with Gen Xers (11 percent) and the least popular with Millennials (10 percent).
- 38 percent of online donors worldwide say that email most often inspires them to give and 57 percent say that email is how they first learned about a fundraising event that they recently attended.
- Donors in North America are unique in that they are predominately women (75 percent), ideologically liberal (63 percent), and Baby Boomers (42 percent). Of all donors worldwide, North American donors give the most to the cause of religious services and faith. 62% prefer to give online which is also the highest rate in the world.
- In the United States, the causes most donated to reflect a generational and ideological divide indicative of recent political and social upheaval. Millennials give the most to support human and civil rights. Baby Boomers are most supportive of religious services and faith. And in the middle is Gen X giving the most to help animals.
- Of those volunteers, 97 percent felt that their volunteer work made a positive impact and consequently, 97 percent of these volunteers also donated money to the organization that they volunteered for.
- Liberal donors are most likely to give to human and civil rights while conservative donors are more likely to give to religious services and faith. Across the ideological spectrum, children and youth is the cause most likely to inspire giving while peace and non-violence is the least likely to inspire giving.
- Religious services and faith is the number one cause donated to by Baby Boomers, however, religion is much less of a factor in giving for Gen Xers and Millennials who are more inspired to give to causes related to animals, human and civil rights, and women and girls.