In 2009, I made online donations to 13 different nonprofits: three organizations I’ve donated to before and 10 nonprofits I was supporting for the first time. How many of these 10 new nonprofits will I support again in 2010? One.
It’s not a negative reflection on the other nine nonprofits that I won’t be donating to them again this year. It’s simply due to the fact that my giving objectives are different in 2010. Last year, these nine organizations helped me achieve a specific outcome: maybe it was helping a friend who was participating in a fundraising event, responding to a crisis or national event, or being compelled by an especially good fundraising campaign.
While that may sound like discouraging news if you’re a fundraiser, it’s the reality of online fundraising: if we want to capitalize on the financial opportunities of online fundraising, we need to grow more comfortable with the balance of control changing.
That’s the point Bryan Miller of the Strategy Refresh blog notes in his new article The $93 Club and the 4Cs of Online Fundraising in the March 2010 issue of Civil Society Media’s Fundraising magazine:
Donors have their own online communities and, while being happy to help fund your work, they may simply not wish to join yours. Indeed there is a growing tendency for these types of donors to shift their fundraising between charities to achieve specific tangible impacts. So the concept of donors ‘joining’ you may well become less and less relevant in the future. Instead, fundraisers will need to get to know the key networkers within their supporter communities, work with them to help them achieve their specific aims, and be comfortable if they then move their support somewhere else.
You can read Bryan’s full article here (registration required).