With the continued explosion of social networks and connected smartphones, giving has increasingly gone digital. If the recent crisis in Haiti is any example, this new fundraising tactic can yield amazing results. This is all highlighted by the millions and millions raised from text messages and online donations, all within a couple of days.
In a recent study conducted by Forrester, it estimates that online giving in the U.S. alone to nonprofits was over $4 billion in 2009. In addition it found that over 111 million individuals plan to give over the Internet this year.
Of course this leads to individual charities having to become more strategic and innovative in their use of technology to raise money.
To that point, a study from Target Analytics in 2009 found online giving tends to come from younger people, newer to charities they support. This means that these online donors also tend to be tougher to retain.
So charities have a lot of work to do. They need to better understand how these donors and prospective donors are communicating, and then develop communication and fundraising strategies to connect with and engage these people.
One thing that charities need to do is get more information about their organizations on their websites. This comes down to stories that can help the potential donor better understand the work that you do on a daily basis. Donors give to nonprofits that work in areas that they care about, and building relationships with these individuals are critical. Stories can do this for you.
Ultimately, charities must work to develop a digital strategy that integrates with the larger overall fundraising strategy to reach, inform and engage donors.
Here is a great podcast on the use of digital in the fundraising efforts around the disaster relief in Haiti.