The Tortoise and the Hare of Social Fundraising

05.24.2011By

Tortoise
Image by frefran

“1 in 4 emails turns into a donation.” This is what a recent Blackbaud study on social fundraising found based on its own “Friends Asking Friends” social fundraising model. Blackbaud, with the help of @shanesnow, developed an intriguing infographic to capture this and other key findings that represent the evolution of the social fundraising space.

Key findings shared include:

  • Participants who use online fundraising tools raise six times more money than those who don’t.
  • 60% of fundraising participants are between the ages of 30-49.
  • 50% of people who donated said they donated because “a friend asked me.”
  • Most fundraisers use a multi-channel approach to recruiting donations.

Beyond the Silver Bullet

They say an image is worth a thousand words. Well, the insights provided in this image could be worth not just words—but crucial donations. Two items stand out as key take-aways:

1. Social fundraising via social media is important to understand and apply—however don’t overlook the importance and potential email marketing efforts can offer as well. If there was an easy button to meeting needs and solving problems—fundraising would be the least of our concerns.

2. Though the number of avenues available to collect donations may increase, especially through social channels, a strategic and integrated approach is often the best course of action. Indeed, in this same study, Blackbaud found that fundraisers who used a holistic approach and combined social tools into their communications efforts — increased their fundraising by as much as 40%.

Blackbaud recommends four social tools to be thinking about given this information: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and ShareThis. While this is understandable, here’s what you might also want to consider before you jump into the tools:

Know your goals, identify your story, and connect with a vested community who want to invest in your mission for both the short-term and the long term. As Jonathon Grapsas, fundraising development director at the Pareto group, told Marketing Week: “Truly strategic fundraisers are less focused on now as opposed to thinking about tomorrow.”

Social might be sexy—but slow and steady wins the game. What do you think—Given this information, what would you recommend?

  • Lee Fox

    Great post Geoff.  One quick footnote I’d like to add relates to the habits of different generations.  Email is THE preferred tool for Boomers, but very few GenZ’s are finding the creation of an email account even necessary.  They can use SMS texts and Facebook mail for most online interactions.  So as we examine the future of philanthropy and online giving, we have to pay attention to the trends of the generation(s) that we are engaging.  ~Lee Fox (@KooDooZ)

  • Lee Fox

    Great post Geoff. u00a0One quick footnote I’d like to add relates to the habits of different generations. u00a0Email is THE preferred tool for Boomers, but very few GenZ’s are finding the creation of an email account even necessary. u00a0They can use SMS texts and Facebook mail for most online interactions. u00a0So as we examine the future of philanthropy and online giving, we have to pay attention to the trends of the generation(s) that we are engaging. u00a0~Lee Fox (@KooDooZ)

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  • Lee,

    Thanks for your comment and interest here as we hope to gather together everyone’s collective insights and input for the greater good. Given your interest in the generational differences, you might like this upcoming week’s post that gets into the Millennial study that was recently published as you make a great point on the importance of 1, knowing the community you want to reach, engage and empower and 2, knowing their media habits to help gauge where to invest time and resournces. 

    As a bit of a side, I was recently involved with some insight testing with teens and they gave us pretty similiar feedback regarding email, so I understand what you’re saying from both reviewing secondary research myself and being a part of some information gathering on the fore front as well.

    Best,
    Alex

  • Alex Bornkessel

    Lee,nnThanks for your comment and interest here as we hope to gather together everyone’s collective insights and input for the greater good. Given your interest in the generational differences, you might likeu00a0this upcoming week’s post that gets into the Millennial study that was recently published as you make a great point on the importance of 1, knowing the community you want to reach, engage and empower and 2, knowing their media habits to help gauge where to invest time and resournces.u00a0nnAs a bit of a side, I was recently involved with some insight testing with teens and they gave us pretty similiar feedback regarding email, so I understand what you’re saying from both reviewing secondary research myself and being a part of some information gathering on the fore front as well.nnBest,nAlex

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