Inside Philanthropy

A blog on philanthropy and nonprofit news and issues. A publication of Philanthropy Journal.

March 15, 2007

Online fundraising needs personal touch

As PJ reports today, a new survey says online donors give more but are less likely to keep giving.

The study, by Target Analysis Group and Donordigital, also says online donors seem to be more valuable over time.

The internet and email clearly have changed the marketplace for giving.

Online giving after Hurricane Katrina, for example, was unprecedented, and some nonprofits and universities have found that donors are more likely to give, give quickly and give more in response to email appeals.

Email and online giving will be particularly important with younger donors who have grown up communicating online.

But as the new study indicates, technology is no substitute for the personal touch.

A growing body of research underscores the critical importance of developing personal relationships with donors.

That means understanding their interests and values, involving them in your organization by building on those interests and values, and keeping them informed about the impact their giving is having on the people you serve.

While technology can help build those relationships, charities first need to develop an organizational culture and strategy rooted in the understanding that donors are critical partners to fulfilling the organization’s mission.

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