Comparing Apples to Oranges to Pomegranates:
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Comparing Apples to Oranges to Pomegranates: A National Review of Direct Mail, Online and Multi-Channel Donors Key Findings Direct Mail Donors Have Been Replenished, While A New Group Of Online Givers Has Emerged

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Comparing Apples to Oranges to Pomegranates:

A National Review of Direct Mail, Online and Multi-Channel Donors


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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


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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



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Who Are Today’s Progressive Donors? Of Online Givers Has Emerged

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


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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



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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


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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


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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


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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


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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%


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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


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Though Convenience Was The Most Important Reason To Encourage Others To DonateTo 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



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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


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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


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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)


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Donors Value: Making Contributions

Public Education/Grassroots Mobilization

Accountability For How Money Is Spent

Demonstrating Real Progress Toward Goals


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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


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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


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Online Donors Emphasize Broad Outreach, While Direct Mail Donors Prioritize Accountability To Maintain Support


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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


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Lessons Learned: Are Certain

Strategic Implications For Non-profit Fundraising


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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


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Reports Of The Death Of Direct Mail Fundraising Were Greatly Exaggerated

  • The Fundraising World in 1994 and Today

  • Lifestyle Issue Not a Generational Issue


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Multi-Channel ExaggeratedMarketing 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.


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Lessons ExaggeratedFromCampaign2008


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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


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Secondary Channel Donations for Contributors…Online Acquired Donors

Online acquired donors most often choose direct mail as secondary channel.


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Secondary Channel Donations for Contributors…Telemarketing Acquired Donors

Direct mail is the secondary channel of choice for telemarketing acquired donors.


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Secondary Channel Donations for Contributors…Direct Mail Acquired Donors

Online is the secondary channel of choice for direct mail acquired donors.


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