Email Fundraising is Still King

Photo by mattwi1s0n

Last week you saw the infograph comparing the generosity of Mac users and PC users. A conclusion from this Mightycause study was that–platforms aside–email fundraising is still the king of all online fundraising channels.

Donation Amounts are Bigger with Email

In the graph below (taken from the infographic), you can clearly see that people who donate by email give twice as much per donation than YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Stumbleupon.


This makes sense when you remember that joining an email list is generally something that more committed fans do, and one expression of that commitment is donation size.

Email Converts More Donors

Mightycause also found that 33% of donors came from an email. You’ll see in the graph below that all social media channels combined convert only 16%!

What does this mean for my nonprofit?

The first take-away from this is don’t ditch your email strategy in exchange for Facebook or Twitter. And don’t ditch your direct mail strategy either! Instead, strategically integrate them so that their sum is greater than the parts.

Second, understand that Mightycause’s data shows how people like to:

  • Find very cool causes. A Twitter user hears about your cause for the very first time. It’s highly unlikely they’d donate right out of the gate. Instead, focus on building awareness and relationships.
  • Stay connected to the cause. People become fans of your Facebook Page to consistently engage with you about topics they care about related to your cause. Understand that only a small percentage of them will donate, and that your job is to create genuine and generous content, and conversations with them.
  • And choose to express deeper commitments to some causes, but not all.

Finally, make it a goal of yours to become a complete Ninja at email newsletters.

How do you do email fundraising?

12 thoughts on “Email Fundraising is Still King”

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    I’m a little confused by the second graph. u00a0What makes it add up to 100%? u00a0Direct mail? u00a0Also, does the graph assume equivalent list size? u00a0(same number of people on email, vs. facebook, vs. twitter). u00a0Is it a comparison of conversion rates, total response rates, or total response volume? u00a0If email really has a 33% conversion rate, that’s awesome!

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    Ehren, I think I can answer that.u00a0nnThat second graph is a comparison of conversion rates, so it needn’t add up to 100%. Yes, 33% of all visits from the medium ’email’ convert (donate). The social networks have a much lower conversion rate.nnDoes that clear it up?

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    Mike, that definitely helps, especially if it was drawn from data representing a wide variety of causes. u00a0In my experience, what converts best, and how well, depends a great deal on a cause’s specific community.

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      Ehren – Thanks! “Mightycause also found that 33% of donors came from an email.” should be “Mightycause found that 33% of potential donors via email completed the transaction.”

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