Chart of online giving trends

























Trendwatching: Tracking the growth in online giving to arts & culture groups

FROM TC: This chart from Blackbaud's Index of Online Giving to Arts & Cultural Organizations represents 158 organizations with combined online giving of $20 million. The chart represents the change in online giving each month from March 2010 to March 2011.


In one day, $1.4 million is raised online for Pittsburgh-area arts groups

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/13/11

Donations to local arts and culture groups exceeded goals in the first Art Day of Giving Wednesday -- bringing in more than $1.4 million. Contributions brought in over the 24-hour period will be distributed to 147 organizations in Allegheny, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties. The fundraiser was held by the Pittsburgh Foundation.  This is the first year a special campaign has been held for the arts and cultural groups. Last year's October Day of Giving raised $3.2 million, of which 25% -- or $800,000 -- went to arts organizations. Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, had hoped to top $1 million in the latest campaign. That goal was reached at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.  A matching pool of $475,000 committed by six funding groups will be pro-rated to guarantee each organization with contributors shares in the original pool.


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FROM TC: These next stories are not specifically about the arts, but should be of interest:


Study: Online giving grows in popularity, even with donors 65 or older

Chronicle of Philanthropy's Prospecting blog, 5/12/11

Most people, no matter what their age, now prefer to make charitable donations online, according to a new study [note: subscription required to read] of more than 17,500 donors.  The survey by Cygnus Applied Research in Chicago found that more than half of donors who are 65 or older now prefer to make their gifts online, with much higher percentages of younger donors saying the same.  It was the first time in the three years the survey has been conducted that a majority of donors in all age groups said they preferred to give online.  What's more, two-thirds of donors said they want all their communications to be electronic.  "It's getting pretty close to the point where charities can make all of their communications online," said Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research.  But Ms. Burk said charities would probably still want to use direct mail or telemarketing to call donors' attention to important issues, persuade them to go online to give, or thank them.


Study: The only donors who do significant multichannel giving are acquired online

Non Profit Times, 5/31/11

Multichannel giving has become popular for fundraisers as a way to build constituent support. But, the large majority of donors on file give through only one channel and use only direct mail [to donate]. The only donors who do significant multichannel giving are new donors acquired online, who switch in large numbers to direct mail giving in subsequent years.  That's among the findings of the 2011 Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report.  [It] shows "It is the ability of online-acquired donors to become multichannel donors -- that is, to start giving through direct mail -- that significantly boosts the retention and long-term value of this group of donors far beyond what they would be if online giving were the only channel available."  According to the report, "the presence of past multichannel giving for steady donors already on file, however, is far less predictive of higher value and retention than the traditional recency, frequency, and monetary giving amount factors that have [been] used for decades."  A total of 28 major national nonprofits participated [in this study]; data was downloaded from each organization's fundraising database... [with total] transactions for over 15 million donors and more than $1 billion in revenue.  Among the findings, online-acquired donors:

are significantly younger and tend to have higher incomes than mail-acquired donors.

tend to give much larger gifts than mail-acquired donors.

tend to have slightly lower retention rates than mail-acquired donors.

have much higher cumulative value over the long term than mail-acquired donors.  However, long-term value varies depending on the donor's original gift level. The substantially larger gift amounts given by online-acquired donors can mask issues with retention.

switch in large proportions to offline sources -- primarily to direct mail. The reverse is not true, however; only a tiny percentage of mail-acquired donors give online in later years.

The complete analysis, including a list of participants in the 2010 online benchmarking groups, can be found at


Six online fundraising tools you may have never heard of

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog, 5/24/11

You got to give it to the social good entrepreneurs. Seemingly every week a new fundraising or cause awareness tool hits the Web for nonprofits to experiment with, and though donation processing fees must be applied or ads sold for these social enterprises to be sustainable, it's clear that their motives are altruistic. That said, here are six new fundraising tools for nonprofits to explore:

1.SwipeGood enables donors to round up all of their debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and allows them to donate the difference to the charity [of] their choice.

2. Philanthroper. You know those daily deal sites? They're another one of those. But instead of selling something, they share the story of a new 501(c)3 nonprofit every day. And if you'd like the nonprofit, you can give them $1. They're trying to make doing good a habit.

3. GiveBack allows donors to create their own foundations (giving portfolios) where they can follow their favorite nonprofits, donate directly, and allocate dollars raised through their online shopping portal.

4. Give A Tweet was founded to leverage the real-time power of Twitter to make it easy to donate to non-profits. Donors can either give directly to nonprofits, or match another donor's gift. It's a creative way for business brands on Twitter to get recognized for their philanthropy.

5. Cauzoom allows nonprofits to create projects/"cauzs" that can then be crowdfunded or endorsed by individuals and businesses.

6. BroadCause is a social good platform where individuals can join cause communities and nonprofits can create wish lists, events, and fundraise. Integrated with Twitter, there is also a corporate giving component where brands can sponsor your nonprofit's cause.

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