Friday, May 21, 2010

Where do online donors go?

As part of our benchmarking study recently, we were asked to look at the subsequent behaviour of new onetime cash recruits.

In other words, of donors that are recruited online, where do they go once 'on board'? What about DM donors? Do they follow the same stream or veer off into other vehicles.

Here's what we found:

- DM recruited cash donors tended to keep doing what they did originally. 90% subsequently kept giving through the mail. No surprises there.

- The same mostly rang true for telephone recruits, 85% continuing to give via the phone and almost 15% through the mail.

- For online recruits, slightly more varying (and perhaps surprising) results. Around 75% continued giving through the method of recruitment, around 15% then gave through the mail, and the remainder through a combination of other channels. This is shown below.

What's the upshot of this?

Whilst some of this may appear on face value a little startling, all is not what is seems at first. In other words, the reason a large chunk of 'online' recruited donors moved across to donate offline is not necessarily indicating too much about their giving behaviour.

More about their giving requests and cultivation. The fact is many of us have much more sophisticated and coherent offline fundraising streams. Therefore if the numbers are small (ish) we tend to include donors in the bucket that allows the most flexibility, largest volumes, has the most frequent communications.

And often that's the mail.

I'm not suggesting it isn't noteworthy - it dispels somewhat the myth that online recruits won't give offline, but contextually I think it says more about programs than behaviour.



sameiko said...

so there must be value in more sophisticated online campaigns then?

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Increasingly, yes.

Multi staged and multi channel campaigns are the way forward (to find and recruit monhtly/regular donors).