Donors Shifting Offline At Around $300

More than one-quarter of donors surveyed are comfortable making donations of $500 or more online but the overall donor preference begins to shift to offline giving at about the $300 level, according to a recent survey by St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Community Brands.

“The Donor Experience Study: A deep dive into donor experience and expectations,” came up with three key findings within the survey results:
How donors give is driven by donation amount and familiarity with the organization;
Age and income determine preference for online giving; and,
There’s a growing preference for mobile giving.

Higher donation amounts are preferred to be made offline with that preference increasing along with the donation amount. Millennials and high-wealth donors (income of $200,000 or more) are the most likely to be comfortable donating higher amounts online. Donors from the Matures generation feel the least comfortable giving higher level donations online.

The average online donation by age was highest among Gen Xers ($319) and Millennials ($396), both above the overall average of $299. Broken out by income, those earning more than $200,000 had by far the highest average amount they’re comfortable giving online ($632), far higher than the next demographic, those earning $100,000 ($356).

The only preference for offline donations is when donors are giving to a new organization with which they’re unfamiliar. Donors prefer to give online for their regular annual gift, monthly giving and one-time contributions. Seven out of 10 surveyed donors made an online donation to a nonprofit. On average, about $300 is the highest amount donated that respondents would be comfortable giving online, although 27 percent said they would be comfortable giving $500 or more.

Some 71 percent of surveyed donors have made a donation via mobile device, and nearly half of those (46 percent) did so with their mobile phone through a website. Other options were less popular: through an app on their phone (15 percent); via phone text message (14 percent); and, through a tablet (14 percent).

Younger donors were more likely to have used mobile giving regardless of which options. The only category where Baby Boomers were close to Millennials or Gen Xers was giving via tablet, where all three demographics had about one in four donors using that option. Millennials and Gen Xers were almost twice as likely to use an option on their phone to give than Boomers and far more than Matures.

The report concludes with six recommendations for nonprofits:
Map out current donor experiences and identify areas for improvement;
Invest resources in mobile-first experiences;
Evaluate your online donation forms;
Identify opportunities to amplify your fundraising event strategy;
Incorporate impact reports in post-event communications; and,
Segment donor appeals and communications based on age and income.

Community Brands commissioned Finn Partners for an online survey of 1,000 online donors in the United States who self-reported giving to a nonprofit during the past 12 months. Those who only donated to an alma mater, school or place of worship, and those who did not donate to a nonprofit, were excluded. Surveys were conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 5, 2018 and all data were weighted slightly by region, gender, race, age, income and education.

The entire 24-page report can be downloaded at communitybrands.com/resource-library/whitepapers/2018-donor-study/