Understanding Donors Motivations for Online Giving.

Todays post is by Guest Author Scott Neilson. Scott is the CEO/Founder of FundBunch, which provides tools and services to allow individuals and organizations to be more effective in their online fundraising efforts and he shares his insights into what motivates donors to give online

There are lots of motivations for why donors choose give online, but essentially they can be summarized as a combination of three reasons:

  • Convenience (63.4%).  It’s fast, convenient, and allows quick action on an urgent need.
  • Direction (20.3%).  They were asked to give online
  • Incentives (15,4%).  Credit Card rewards program, managing personal cash flow.

Source:  American Express Charitable Gift Survey, November 2007

Nearly two thirds of online contributors stated that convenience was the primary reason for giving online.  Nothing else is close.  And that is what you should expect.  Giving is an emotional transaction.  Once you’ve reached your audience with a compelling message about your cause, you need to make it easy and convenient for them to contribute.  If your donors have to work, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunity.  And few things are worse than missed opportunity.

The other main reason that contributors chose to give online is you took the initiative to ask for the contribution.  Just having an online presence itself does not lead to contributions.  You must still be active in asking for contributions and directing your supporters to a convenient way for them to contribute.

As an online fundraiser, you need to make sure that it’s easy for your donors to complete their transaction.  Eliminate multiple pages in the contribution process where they can drop out.  And be considerate of their time.  Don’t require them to complete unnecessary information about themselves they isn’t required to process a payment.  This is not the forum for building profile data. 

Most importantly, ask people to contribute online.  Just having a website and expecting contributions makes you a ‘fund-accepter’, not a ‘fundraiser’.  And that is not where you want to be.

You can reach him at scottn@fundbunch.com or visit his site at www.fundbunch.com

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