Online Giving is Trending Up: Here’s the Data You Need to Guide Your Strategy

At a recent AI online training “10 Tips for Improving Your Online Giving Site,” consultant and blogger Lynne Wester of www.donorrelationsguru.com reviewed recent data on online giving and what this data means for your giving site and email solicitation strategy. Here are several key takeaways that we recommend sharing with your colleagues.

Let’s take a look.

What Can Be Gleaned

First, Wester shared relevant stats from Blackbaud’s 2013 study of online fundraising for nonprofits:

  • Revenue growth in online giving has risen 11.6% in the past year.
  • The average online donation in higher education: $150. “These are not just $10 donors,” Wester notes. “These are people who are of value to us, and it’s important that they have a quality experience on your online giving site.”
  • The average online donation in higher education is higher than the average online donation for any other kind of nonprofit organization.
  • The average one-time online gift to a nonprofit in 2012 was $60, but the average monthly online gift was $19, or nearly $240 a year. “It’s crucial that you set up your online giving site to accept monthly giving.” Also, higher education saw a 73% growth in monthly online giving in 2012 – “so if you don’t yet have a monthly online giving program, it’s time to get on board.”

Timing: Where This Really Gets Interesting

When is the sweet spot for sending a solicitation for an online gift? Wester shares these stats that can help to guide a nuanced strategy for soliciting online gifts:

  • Wednesday is the most popular day in terms of sheer number of transactions, but also sees a small average transaction amount. “If you’re going to drop an email solicitation,” Wester remarks, “you may want to drop it Tuesday or Wednesday.”
  • The average online donation made at 5:00 am is $140, more than double the 9:00 am average of $65. “Everyone thinks that if I drop the email solicitation at 9:00 am, I’ll get more. But those who wake up at 4:30 am in the morning for no reason or can’t sleep actually give more money than those who are just now coming in to work. So if your email solicitation is sent in the middle of the night and someone reads it, they are going to give more.”

Perhaps the “sweet spot” for dropping an email solicitation is 2:00 am Wednesday morning.

Set Up Your Online Giving Site for Success

Want to dig deeper? We recommend adding Lynne Wester's online training “10 Tips for Improving Your Online Giving Site” to your training library. This comprehensive primer includes:

  • Elements of a well-designed page that retains donors and converts visitors into donors
    • Simplicity
    • Low number of clicks to give
    • Less time to complete transaction
    • Tax receipt
    • Acknowledgement
    • Response to SM interactions
  • How to make your mobile giving site work for you
  • Best practices:
    • Streamlined page design
    • Minimized call to action
    • Demonstrated impact of giving
    • Multiple payment methods  (monthly, bi-annually, annually, EFT)
    • Complete acknowledgment

Learn more here.