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Who are your online donors?

Online donations are on the rise. According to the 2016 Charitable Giving Report, online donations for nonprofits for large organizations grew by 7.9% from 2015 to 2016, with online donations making up 7.2% of all fundraising in 2016.

So, who are all these online donors? Understanding who they are and what makes them tick will help you capture their attention and their dollars for your cause.

Online donors come in all ages.

Earlier research showed that online donors were typically under the age of 40, but that just isn’t true anymore. Your online donors come in all ages, and that includes senior generations; the average age of a donor in the U.S. was 62 in 2016. Another study, released in 2011, shows that more than 50% of donors over the age of 60 give online and give more frequently than younger age groups.

When building your online campaign, you’ll need it to appeal to all age groups. All segments of your donors enjoy the convenience of online giving.

Online donors expect you to be mobile.

Forty percent of Americans under the age of 35 used a mobile device to donate in 2012. Half of those donors also used their mobile devices to find information about nonprofits. In 2016, overall mobile giving grew to account for 17 percent of online gifts.

Because of this, your nonprofit’s website should be accessible from a tablet or smartphone. Donors are increasingly using mobile devices to check you out online which means you need to utilize responsive design on your website and have secure and easy-to-use mobile donation forms for when your mobile audience is ready to make their donations. Check out our previous post on how to optimize your website for mobile viewing to get started.

Online donors give during the week.

2006 study of trends in online donors found that most online donations were made during the week, not the weekend. That holds true six years later in a 2012 survey that finds the least amount of online donations made during the weekend, while Monday and Wednesday are the days with the highest quantity of online donations are made. However; Wednesday also has the smallest average gift size for online donations. The largest gifts are donated on Thursdays.

Because of this data, you’ll want to make your fundraising campaigns visible online during the week, not just at weekend events. Use social media strategically to promote your campaign. Schedule SMS messages to reach potential donors during the week on days they are more likely to give.

Online donors are affected by seasons.

It probably isn’t surprising that donations increase in December. But what is surprising is that online gift-giving more than doubles in the month of December. There is an ebb and flow to how much donors give when. A study of online giving throughout 2012 shows how online gift sizes fluctuate by month and nonprofit sector.

Keeping and analyzing your own records of giving from month to month may show an even more specific pattern for your organization. Use this information to adjust suggested donation amounts for your campaigns during different times of the year.

The popularity of online donations is overall about convenience for the donor. It’s faster and easier to donate online than to mail a check or cash. Secure mobile donation forms make it safe and convenient to donate anytime from anywhere whenever your supporters are thinking of you.

Make it easy for everyone to support your nonprofit online by understanding who your online audience is, when they give, why and how to offer options that accommodate them.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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