On December 8, 2010, Network for Good and TrueSense Marketing released an analysis of online gifts made through the Network for Good platform between 2003 and 2009. The Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships examines 3.6 million gifts totaling $381 million made through charity Web sites, giving portals, and social networking sites by 1.879 million unique donors to 66,470 different nonprofits of varying sizes and types.
The primary conclusion? “It’s still about relationships.” The vast majority—64 percent—of the donations in this study was given through charity Web sites. Another 26 percent was made through online giving portals, such as the Network for Good site and GuideStar, and 10 percent through social networking sites, such as Causes on Facebook, Change.org, and YourCause.
Further, donors who gave through online donation pages that looked like the rest of a charity’s Web site made larger gifts and were most likely to increase their contributions over time than donors who gave through generic pages not branded to specific charities. “The level of connection to an organization that a donor experiences online is directly tied to their likelihood of giving more—and more often,” the study asserts. “… there’s no excuse for not improving the online giving experience with the donors who do want a relationship. … even a small nonprofit with limited resources can and should make meaningful connections with their donors online.”