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What You Need to Know about the New Online Giving Index

This is a guest post from my colleague Kate Olsen at Network for Good, author of our new Online Giving Index.

Network for Good has a unique perspective on the experience and behaviors of charitable giving across several distinct channels including: individual charity websites, charity portals and social giving (peer-to-peer) websites. Chances are, as a networked nonprofit building relationships with supports via Web 2.0 tools, your organization is receiving contributions through all of these venues.  As your online fundraising partner, Network for Good wants to share some of what we’ve learned about online engagement with supporters across all three channels.  To that end, we’ve created The Network for Good Online Giving Index with insights and trends to inform your charitable engagement.  This Index builds on data and observations from The Online Giving Study (if you haven’t explored this study yet, it’s a must read for all nonprofit fundraisers!) and will be updated quarterly to provide timely and relevant snapshots of the state of online charitable giving.


Highlights from the Online Giving Index 2010

•Online Giving increased across all channels in 2010, in keeping with overall migration of individual giving toward online and technology.
•Charity Websites with a branded donation page received more donations and at higher average values than those with a generic donate page.
•Portal Giving experienced significant growth in donation volume driven by Haiti earthquake response and a strong December fundraising season.
•Social Giving (including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer giving sites) experienced modest growth.
•December: 10% of donations made via the Network for Good platform came in on the last two days of the year. The majority of these donation dollars came in through charity websites with a branded donate page.
•Haiti Relief: Unlike past humanitarian disasters responses, only 27% of funds raised went to the Red Cross which historically received the majority (60%) of donations.  Technology is leveling the playing field for smaller organizations to get support during disasters.

What does this mean for your organization?  Building relationships with supporters matters – a lot. 

All evidence demonstrates that supporters who experience a seamlessly integrated, personal and branded donation process are more loyal and more generous.  That means that a little investment by your organization in customizing your donation process, personalizing your thank yous, and understanding where and how supporters are engaging with you on and offline, can result in powerful impact.  New supporters are finding you all the time online: through Causes on Facebook, or a personal fundraiser on Crowdrise, or from a great review on Charity Navigator.  That means your organization can’t always control the donor experience, but you can control what happens after.  If you cultivate these new donors and demonstrate the personality and purpose behind your brand through your outreach, chances are that new donors will join the ranks of your loyal and generous supporters.  If your organization is not sure where to start, our Learning Center and Webinar Series can help.  Just remember, ‘relationship’ is the watchword of 2011, so make sure everything your nonprofit does this year is centered around deepening relationships with your supporters, new and old alike.

Be sure to sign up here to receive quarterly updates to this Index.

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