News, Charities

How charities can build better relationships with their “social donors”

Nonprofits often assume that donors who buy event tickets or sponsor someone in a walkathon are hard to get onboard as regular supporters because of their loose ties to the cause.

But roughly one in four of these donors is open to the idea, according to a study released this month.

So how can charities keep these “social donors,” as the study calls them, involved?

Social donors want to know whether their money made an impact: Fifty-nine percent of those interested in giving annually or monthly to an organization said their decision most depended on whether they felt their initial gift had mattered. Despite this, 19 percent of social donors were never contacted again by the charity they supported – indicating that a lot of nonprofits are leaving money on the table.

OneCause, a fundraising and technology company, worked with Edge Research to administer an online survey of more than 1,000 of these donors in October. The participants had attended a charity event, sponsored someone in a fundraising event like a walkathon, or contributed to a social-media fundraising event in the previous 12 months.


Motivation to give again

Three variables must be in place for social donors to become regular contributors: recognition of a charity’s name or mission, an enjoyable giving experience, and motivation to make another, similar donation.

Among the findings:

  • 59 percent of social donors gave to a charity that they had previously supported, while 38 percent of respondents gave to a charity they had not previously supported.
  • Among donors who bought event tickets or sponsored someone, 31 percent felt the organization should recognize volunteers. Only 18 percent of event donors and 21 percent of sponsorship donors wanted the charity to recognize top volunteer fundraisers.
  • Social donors across all generations most prefer organizations to contact them by email.
  • 55 percent of social donors gave their first gift to an organization because they wanted to support the person who requested their gift.
Read the full story at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
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