Online giving isn’t just for “30-somethings”

in Online Fundraising

Making donations online is “… an important option for donors who are 60 years of age or older.” That’s from a study done in November 2011 by Dunham+Company. They queried donors who had made a $25 donation in the past year by any method.

For the over 60 crowd, one out of two donors (51%) have given online.

Here’s the “positive” catch: Once people in this age group start giving online, they make more online gifts than younger donors – they give more frequently. Data shows the mean number of online gifts is 14 for 60+ donors.

This compares to only 11 for those under forty; and it’s hot on the heels of the 40-59 group with 15 mean online gifts.

Marketing and fundraising lesson learned #1: Continue to make online giving an option for this demographic. Strive to increase the number of supporters that donate this way.

However, the study also revealed that one out of four donors who started to make an online gift stopped; they didn’t complete the process. This refers to ALL age groups and not only the 60+ group.

How can you get more donors
to complete the donation process?

In other words: How can you reduce the number of donors that abandon the online giving process?

Quick side-note here: In the consumer world this is known as “abandoning the shopping cart.” I mention this because there’s a good chance you personally have made an online consumer purchase. I want you thinking about what frustrated you … I want you to see the parallels between a consumer purchase and making an online donation. You and your staff can learn from these personal experiences which ought to help you improve how donors support your nonprofit online.

First you need to know WHY they didn’t make the online donation. The number one reason among all age groups is: They want more reassurance about security.

Reason number 2: Clarify what I’m supporting throughout the process.

Reason number 3 and number 4 very close: “Make it fewer steps” and “Make it simpler”

I found it interesting that all age groups want more reassurance about making a financial purchase (donation) online. It’s the less than 40 group that surprised me by ranking this as their number one reason.

Other reasons for abandoning the online donation process include:

– Improve confirmation of my gift amount
– Make it faster
– Make it remember me the next time (i.e., auto-populate many of the fields for them)
– Make it more personable

I hope most of these reasons sound familiar. If not I encourage you to read the related posts I have listed below at the end of today’s article.

Marketing and fundraising lesson learned #2: Make it easy, fast, simple and convenient for the donor. Let them know how their money will make a difference and give them plenty of proof that their online donation is secure.

You’ll never get 100% of the 60+ or the 49-59 groups to give online. Even a fourth of the under forty group have not made an online donation.

Nonetheless the study once again shows the value of integrated campaigns. Give donors choices on how they give and through what channel. Recognize that across the industry the most valuable donors are among those who give via multiple channels.  And on average, donors use at least three channels.

Related posts:

Giving once. Giving twice. SOLD! to the charity with the right message

Donor choices and integrated campaigns

10 suggestions to cultivate website visitors for more conversions