Multichannel giving has become a popular objective of nonprofits as a way to build constituent support, but it is not widely practiced, a report released Tuesday by Blackbaud found.
Most donors give through only one channel and use only direct mail as their vehicle for donations, according to the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, which was developed by Blackbaud’s Target Analytics company.
The report found that only new donors acquired online do significant multichannel giving. Large numbers of these donors switch to direct mail giving in subsequent years. This is the group of donors for which multichannel giving is crucial for garnering repeat gifts and realizing true long-term giving potential.
“The Internet is becoming an increasingly important acquisition channel but has not proven to be as effective for retention,” Rob Harris, Target Analytics’ director of analytic products and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “It is the ability of online-acquired donors to use another channel—that is, to start giving through direct mail—that significantly boosts the long-term value of this group of donors. The most successful organizations have integrated online and offline marketing teams and CRM systems to develop effective multichannel communication strategies that can maximize donor value.”