There are so many myths about online giving. Here are five that need to be busted.

1. Older donors don’t give online
Wrong. A higher percentage of donors 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 give online than offline. 25% of donors aged 65 and older give both online and offline.

2. Major donors don’t give online
Wrong. 77% of nonprofits had at least one online gift of $1,000 or more last year. The median online gift above $1,000 was $3,500 in 2009. Also, a higher percentage of donors with annual incomes greater than $50,000 and beyond $100,000 give online than offline.

3. Online donors don’t give offline
Wrong. 33% of online donors will switch channels to become offline donors. Compare that to just 3% of offline donors who switch to online giving. And don’t forget that multichannel donors are the most loyal and valuable donors to have.

4. Social media doesn’t raise money online
Wrong. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been successful raising money for Friends Asking Friends events. Check out the “Making Event Participants More Successful with Social Media” white paper to learn more.

5. One donation form is all we need
Wrong. The only thing worse than no donation forms on your website is using just one. Always use multiple donation forms for targeting, testing, and expanding giving options. And don’t forget about having donation forms on 3rd party and external websites.

For more trends and insights into how nonprofits are using the Internet, check out the new book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets


Steve MacLaughlin is a Director of Analytics at Blackbaud where they leverage the company’s unique data assets to accelerate positive results for the nonprofit sector. Steve has spent more than 15 years building successful online initiatives with for-profit and nonprofit organizations across the world.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Institute of Fundraising National Convention, Civil Society Conference, Resoure Alliance’s Fundraising Online, and a keynote speaker at such events as the Crescendo Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and supports its focus on both the growth and professionalism of the nonprofit technology field as well as building knowledge and information sharing capacity throughout the sector.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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