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Trends in Online Giving and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

economicsThe information in this article comes from a presentation titled "Your Donor in the World Economy" delivered recently by The CashLINQ Group, that provides merchant services and software solutions for nonprofits, ministries, and small-to-medium businesses.

Of the data collected and presented, a couple of very interesting trends appeared. One of those was that despite the fact that giving traditionally falls during a recession, there are other numbers that have continued to trend upward. For example, traffic to a pool of 100 of their clients’ web sites has continued to increase by about 20% each year from 2006 to 2009. This is important to note when considering the fact that many organizations have placed increased focus on donor solicitation through their sites. While “traditional” funding may be coming up short, and increase in web traffic offers new opportunities for growth in a still expanding area of fundraising.

Probably the other most significant trend noted in the presentation was the fact that the size of individual gifts seems to be falling but the number of gifts is increasing. This means that individual donors may be choosing to contribute smaller amounts of money but to do so more frequently. The result is a smaller “ticket” amount (total per transaction), with potential to keep a steady pace or even increase overall donations over time.

What’s the lesson to be learned from this data? Don’t ignore your organization’s web site, as it may be one of your best options for fundraising in the current recession! Look for creative ways to increase web traffic: Start a YouTube page, a Flickr account, a Facebook fan page, etc. Subscribe your donors to text messages and email newsletters. Use Twitter and LinkedIn to garner their attention and loyalty. Each of these methods offers a new way to reach out, grab their attention, and get them to visit your site and leave a contribution.


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