Monday, June 25, 2012

New study results: Online plus direct contributions are best

I was very interested to read the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report that was released recently from Target Analytics.   While this research is focused on fundraising of all types,  I think it applies to parish contributions.

Several points in the summary of findings are what we would expect:
  • Online-acquired donors are significantly younger and tend to have higher household incomes that mail-acquired donors.
  • Online-acquired donors tend to give much larger gifts than mail-acquired donors.
But here was one of the big points to note:
  • Robust direct mail programs drive up the retention and long-term value of new donors acquired online. Without the ability to become multi-channel givers by renewing their support via direct mail, this group of donors would be worth far less. Other than monthly recurring giving programs, established direct mail programs area the best method for gaining repeat gifts from online-acquired donors.
 This next chart shows that while there is a significant percentage of online donations there is still a far greater percentage of donations from mail:

  So why do I think this is pertinent to parishes?  
          1.  Online giving attracts a younger and likely more affluent group of people.  While our data indicate that every age group uses Online Giving,  this is still our best way to engage younger people to contribute financially to our parishes.
          2.   We should continue to emphasize envelopes.  Think of them as ongoing direct mail.  Parishioners may want to use both Online Giving and Envelopes for various reasons. And if the parish has other projects then mail is a very effective medium. 

This is all kind of analytical -  in the end we must engage our parishioner base in our parish by focusing on our formation and by accomplishing our mission as Church.  At a more superficial level,  we do need to make the best use of the tools available to us.  This is also good stewardship!

Tell me how your parish makes use of electronic services, envelopes and direct mail...

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