The Future of Donor Acquisition Is Digital

Monthly giving is seeing double-digit increases in year-over-year growth, and for good reason.

Nonprofits depend on a continuously scalable base of donors and revenue to fund their important missions and services. Among the many options in an organization’s fundraising portfolio, monthly giving offers a more reliable, steady income stream that is resilient to economic ups and downs.

However, for many nonprofits, growing their base of donors is challenging and expensive. While direct mail is a significant contributor and the primary acquisition channel for many nonprofits’ direct marketing fundraising programs, it has become increasingly less efficient.

Combined with the changing habits of consumers and the massive shift to online across industries, it is easy to understand why nonprofits are struggling to fill their donor pipeline.

Nonprofits need a new acquisition tactic in their fundraising portfolio; one that helps them reach current and future generations of donors, many of whom prefer to engage online and in a cost-effective, scalable model.

Consumer Shift to Digital

U.S. consumer media habits continue to shift to online, with a crossover point expected in 2018—when the average daily online media consumption will exceed all offline media (e.g. TV, print and radio). Today’s donors are increasingly digital, with most of the U.S. adult Internet population engaging daily in Facebook (172 million users), watching digital videos (221 million users) and listening to digital audio (121 million users). The smartphone in everyone’s pocket is constantly being used to snap photos, post updates on social networks, text and call friends. Increasingly, consumers are using dual mobile devices (e.g. tablet and smartphone), increasing their consumption of media and interaction online.

Nonprofits are responding to this trend and increasing their commitment to online fundraising.

Merkle’s “2017 Nonprofit Digital Benchmark Report” researched the online practices of 79 nonprofits with annual revenue of $10 million or more. The research discovered that large organizations commit 16.2 percent of overall direct-response budgets to online fundraising to bring in online revenue equal to 15 percent of total direct-response revenue. This is an increase from other industry benchmarks in recent years, which reported online revenue between five and 10 percent of direct-response revenue. The findings demonstrate the increasing role digital is playing in the industry, and that the biggest organizations continue to expand their commitment to online fundraising, in order to meet donors where they live—increasingly online and via mobile—and in an effort to reach younger, more digitally active donors.

Digital Acquisition: Why Monthly Giving?

Donors are online. Yet nonprofits lack a scalable, cost-effective acquisition solution to reach them. But there is a way forward.

Monthly giving offers a solution to solve both problems while building a more stable and sustainable base of donors. It’s among the fastest growing fundraising tactics for nonprofits, and when leveraged with digital acquisition, it can accelerate growth.

  • Investment Returns Higher Value Donor:While digital acquisition requires up front investment, focusing on monthly donors drives higher long-term value and return for the dollar.
  • Revenue Resilience:Sustaining donors’ annuity stream is resilient through economic ups and downs, providing steady, consistent support.
  • Audience Reach:Digital aligns well with the monthly giving audience profile, capitalizing on supporters’ increasing online media habits and preferences.
  • Scalability:Digital’s broad reach, addressability and targetability scale efficiently and effectively to

As more nonprofits make the investment in monthly giving programs, digital acquisition is becoming a huge driver of new growth, delivering both financial and strategic advantages that fuel progress and innovation. There is real opportunity for organizations willing to expand their digital experience and fundraising portfolio.  To learn more about digital fundraising strategy contact SJE Concepts, Inc. today!