Heart of the Donor, a new study by Russ Reid, provides some very good information on who gives to nonprofits, why, and how.
For example, according to the report:
- Men and women are equally likely to be donors.
- People who give to a place of worship are far more generous than people who don't give to a place of worship.
- Parental involvement is one of the strongest predictors of charitable behavior, i.e. parents who don't volunteer or donate have less charitable children than parents who are involved with nonprofits.
In reviewing the report, I was intrigued by the analysis (see below) of how people learn about organizations they've never heard of before. After all, knowing how, when and where people find us is a key marketing challenge. By knowing how new "leads" come into the organization, we can determine how to best spend our marketing dollars.
This study confirms what I've long suspected. Websites are THE key source of information about charities that are new to prospective donors. Thus, websites are important - not just because they enable online donations - but because people use them to research charities they've never heard of before.
What does this mean for your nonprofit?
You've got to get your website into shape! There are TONS of resources out here to help you; simply search for "nonprofit website design." Please do it now before the new neighbors come over. :)
Also, take heed of your reputation online. Sign up for Google Alerts so that you receive updates every time your organization shows up on the Web. And, consider blogging so that you can control what is said about you and your cause.
New donors are hard to find. Don't make the mistake of turning them off when they discover you. Instead, transform your website into a warm and welcoming place and invite folks over to stay!