Comparing Apples to Oranges to Pomegranates: A National Review of Direct Mail, Online and Multi-Channel Donors
KeyFindings • Direct Mail Donors Have Been Replenished, While A New Group Of Online Givers Has Emerged • Direct Mail And Internet Donors Are Two Different Segments That Inhabit Two Different Universes • Donors Tend To Be Spontaneous, Flexible, And Reactive In Giving • Donors Value: • Public Education/Grassroots Mobilization • Accountability For How Money Is Spent • Demonstrating Real Progress Toward Goals
Methodology • Poll of 1,200 National Progressive Donors • 600 Direct Mail • 600 Online Donors • Conducted March 12-20, 2007 • Margin Of Error +/- 2.8% Overall; Higher For Subgroups
Direct Mail Donors Have Been Replenished, While A New Group Of Online Givers Has Emerged
Who Are Today’s Progressive Donors? How Do They Compare To Our Base Over A Decade Ago? 1995 Progressive Donors 2007 Progressive Donors They Are Mostly Women… Gender Is Now Balanced… 50% 50% They Are Still Well Educated… They Are Well Educated… 30% college educated 46% post grad 26% college educated 46% post grad 37% 63% More Identify As Strong Partisans And Are Increasingly Liberal… They Identify As Democrats… 84% Democrat (54% strong) 40% very liberal 30% somewhat liberal 79% Democrat (42% strong) Media Has Changed, Which Has Created New Donor Channels They Are Not At The Extreme Liberal End Of The Ideological Spectrum… 25% very liberal 37% somewhat liberal Direct Mail Online
Rather Than Dying Out, As Seemed Possible In 1995, The Pool Of Direct Mail Donors Has Been Replenished, Though It Continues To Age Direct Mail Seems To Be A Lifecycle Phenomenon; It’s More Efficacious With Older People As Explained In 1995: “In 2005, more than 2 in 5 of the progressive donor base will be dead.... It is imperative that attempts be made to reach out to young progressives to replenish this critical donor base.” <40 years old 40-59 years old 60+ years old
Direct Mail And Internet Donors Are Two Different Segments Inhabiting Two Different Universes
Online Donors Are Younger, More Educated, And More Liberal Than Their Direct Mail Counterparts Religious Attendance Ideology Age Education Gender Mean Direct Mail 68 yrs Online 52 yrs Very Lib Mail 35% Online 45% lib mod male 60+ month+ female <40 40-59 coll< coll post grad seldom or less
Direct Mail Donors Rely On Traditional Media Forms, While Online Donors Are Web-Centric News Sources Internet Penetration 38% most often news papers 19% Mean Hours Online Direct Mail 13.4 Online 23.3 14% local tv news 14% cable news 13% online news/ mags 15% 35% 9% radio 15% friends/ fam political websites/ blogs 12% DK Direct Mail Online other home both home & work no access work
Direct Mail Donors Rely On Offline Sources, Including Earned Media, To Learn About Organizations, Whereas Online Donors Rely On Email And Websites Which of the following is the way you MOST OFTEN find out about a progressive organization to which you make a contribution? Second most? Direct Mail Donors Online Donors newsp/mag article 27% most often 12% direct mail 25% 10% news/tv segment 18% advertisement 7% word of mouth 7% 7% email from org 40% most often org website 11% online blog Dem party website don’t know
Three Quarters Of Online Donors Contribute Online Consistently, While Nearly The Same Proportion Of Mail Donors Are Consistently Offline Which of the following methods do you use when making financial contributions to progressive organizations? Direct Mail Donors Online Donors Send a check in response to mail Pledge on phone Attend event Donate online in response to email Browse a website Donate online in response to blog email Click on banner Other don’t know
Online Donors Make Most Of Their Contributions That Way, While Mail Donors Do Not Overall, what percent of your financial contributions to political or progressive organizations do you make online? Direct Mail Donors Online Donors Don’t know Don’t know 0%-25% 76%- 100% 76%- 100% 51%- 75% 26%- 50% 0%-25% 26%- 50% 51%- 75%
A Substantial Minority Of Online Donors Will Forward Email To Encourage Others To Donate Few Direct Mail Donors Will Do So How likely would you be to forward an email from a political or progressive organization to encourage others to make a financial contribution online? Direct Mail Online 11% 29% 6% 59% Likely Unlikely Don’t know
Though Convenience Was The Most Important Reason To Donate Online, It Is About Much More Than That Ranked by % one of the most important Giving online is more convenient I could use my credit card I followed a link that was sent to me by an organization I trust I browsed the organization’s website before I made a contribution I could donate the moment the thought hit me The money would get there faster than through a phone or mail donation
Most Contributors Donate Because They Were Asked In A Piece Of Mail Or Email Responses To Events, Phone Calls Or Banner Ads Are Much Less Common Which of the following methods do you use when making financial contributions to progressive organizations? [multiple responses accepted] Which one method do you use most often when making financial contributions? Sending a check, in response to a mailing from a candidate or organization 26% most often Donating online, in response to an email from a candidate or organization 31% Browsing an organization’s website and making an online contribution 12% Donating online, in response to an email from a blog or an online community 9% Making a pledge over the telephone 9% Attending a fundraising event 6% Clicking on an online banner advertisement to contribute Other Don’t know
A Majority Of Progressive Donors, Including The Largest, Have No Set Budget For Their Financial Contributions Do you have a budget when deciding the total amount of financial contributions that you make to progressive organizations, political candidates, and political parties in a typical year? Yes No
Donors, Especially Those Online, Prefer To Be Flexible In Making Contributions I carefully plan out my donations each year in advance. I know what organizations I will donate to and how much I will give. I tend to strike a balance between planning out my financial contributions to organizations and being flexible and spontaneous in responding to requests I am very open-minded when it comes to deciding which organization to donate to and how much to give. 12% strong 28% strong 28% strong (darker shading=stronger intensity)
Donors Value: Public Education/Grassroots Mobilization Accountability For How Money Is Spent Demonstrating Real Progress Toward Goals
Donors Prioritize Education And Grassroots Advocacy Over Lobbying Congress Or Suing In Court To which of the following progressive organizations would you be most likely to contribute to this year? educating the public about progressive issues working at the grassroots level to develop support for progressive policies encouraging Pres. candidates to commit to clear stances on issues impt to the progressive comm. lobbying Congress to pass progressive legislation lobbying Congress to block Bush’s agenda challenging the legality of right wing legislation in federal courts blocking radical judicial appointments to federal courts Don’t know
Donors Want To Support Groups That Educate The Public, Spend Money On Programs Not Overhead, And Demonstrate Real Progress Ranked by % absolutely essential Mean Do more to educate the broader public instead of just their own donors Describe what percentage of the money goes to overhead vs. real programs Demonstrate that they are making real progress on their goals Explain more clearly exactly how the $ they collect is being spent, showing a track record… Keep their issues visible through television, radio, newspapers or other media Be more accountable to donors regarding how they spend contributions Provide news updates that give you the latest information on the cause Offer more opportunities besides contributing, for people to become involved Works on issues that have a direct impact on your community Provide reviews of the org from outside sources like trusted progressive bloggers and indp auditors Offer more convenient ways to make contributions or donations Create an online community where like-minded people can communicate directly with each other
Online Donors Emphasize Broad Outreach, While Direct Mail Donors Prioritize Accountability To Maintain Support
While A Majority Feel They Know Where Their Money Goes, Few Are Certain Large Donors Are Most Confident When you think about the money you contribute to progressive organizations, do you feel as though you know a great deal about where your money goes, something about where your money goes, not too much or not much at all about where your money goes? 18% Great deal Know where Don’t know where Don’t know
Lessons Learned: Strategic Implications For Non-profit Fundraising
Donors Are Searching For Organizations With Real Accomplishments And Genuine Accountability… • 74% Want More Accountability • 79% Want Broader Public Education • 75% Want You To Keep Issues Visible • 80% Want/Demand Financial Transparency
Reports Of The Death Of Direct Mail Fundraising Were Greatly Exaggerated • The Fundraising World in 1994 and Today • Lifestyle Issue Not a Generational Issue
Multi-ChannelMarketing Opportunities • Online and Direct Mail Donors: You will not get both kinds of donors unless you engage in both kinds of marketing. • Break Down Fundraising Silos: Donors have a lot in common. • Synergism and Integration can expand donors’ horizons and make them Multi-Channel donors.
How To Get Single-Channel Donors To Jump To Multi-channel Contributors… • No Stone Unturned • Timing is Everything • Every Risk Has Its Reward • Don’t Treat Potential Multi-Channel Donors Like Direct Mail Donors • Graphics • Personalization • Message Discipline / Message Consistency • Spontaneous / Event-Centered • Opportunities – Dedicated URLs, 800#s, Mail-In Donor Forms
Secondary Channel Donations forOnline Acquired Donors Online acquired donors most often choose direct mail as secondary channel.
Secondary Channel Donations forTelemarketing Acquired Donors Direct mail is the secondary channel of choice for telemarketing acquired donors.
Secondary Channel Donations forDirect Mail Acquired Donors Online is the secondary channel of choice for direct mail acquired donors.