Slowly but surely the hype and hope that has surrounded online fundraising for most of the past decade is giving way to facts, analysis and the development of sound general principles.

Nonetheless, there are many, many questions crying out for answers:

  • How does online giving impact long-term donor value and the overall success of fundraising programs?
  • At what point in the donors giving lifecycle do they tend to give online? And, has this changed over the past several years?
  • In what proportions do online givers give through other more traditional channels like direct mail?
  • And, to what extent does online giving either cannibalize or augument direct mail giving?

Thats why the announcement by The Target Analysis Group and Donordigital that they are launching a joint project to answer these questions and more is terrific news.

For nearly 20 years Target Analysis has set the gold standard as the go-to company for comparative analysis and benchmarking in the non-profit fundraising world. Their donorCentrics Collaborative Benchmarking Service for years has provided participants significant insights into trends and other key metrics involving acquisition, retention, upgrading/downgrading and donor loyalty.

Now, in the same manner, this pilot effort will enable participants to understand how online efforts help or harm lifetime donor values.

As of today Target Analysis and Donor Digital have signed up 12 national organizations to participate from a cross-section of mission sectors such as International Relief, Health, Advocacy and Enviornmental.

Rob Harris, a VP at Target Analysis, describes the project as follows:

We plan to do this on an annual basis. We will proceed in a fashinon similar to our donor Centrics service. We will receive transactional data downloads from each organization, work with the organization to standardize and interpret their dataset, produce a series of reports that show key metics around year-to-year fundraising performance, and then host a workshop where participants can get together, review the benchmarking metrics and share best practices.

The difference between this project and traditional donorCentrics, is that the intent is to provide much deeper analytics specifically around how online giving drives donor value.

Rob also pointed out that the pilot project will NOT be reporting on click-through or open rates and other such metrics that deal specifically with the techniques used to generate gifts. These have been covered by other studies such as the recent one by M+R Strategic Services.

The cost for an organization to participate in the first year is $3500. This may be the best online money ever spent! For more information contact Kathy Gallagher kgallagher@target.com at the Target Analysis Group.

Continue reading “Possibly the Best Online Money You'll Ever Spend”

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