I finally got through my reading pile to a report released about three weeks ago by Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research. The Wired Wealthy is an important study of the online behaviors and preferences of major donors (i.e., individuals giving cumulatively $1000 in a year to a given cause, through any means).

Twenty-three nonprofits provided research access to their donors in this category … typically the 1% of donors in their universe who give almost one-third of the money.

The report drips with valuable data and insights. In fact, if you raise charitable money and do not read this report, you oughta be fired!

On the other hand, the firms and individuals who produced this report, of course, deserve a raise! And kudos too to the groups who shared their donors for the project.

No single blog post can do justice to the richness of information in The Wired Wealthy. So I won’t dribble out a bunch of teaser factoids here.

Instead, to encourage you to read it yourself, I’m simply going to list some of the questions you will find answers to (or at least guidance on): 

  • Can you treat all your "Wired Wealthy" alike? The authors found three segments within the Wired Wealthy universe — Relationship Seekers, All Business and Casual Connectors. What are their critical differences and what are the implications for communicating with each segment online?
  • How do these donors relate to whiz-bang online stuff like videos and social networking tools and sites?
  • How do they grade (your) nonprofit websites? How often and why do they visit them? [Warning: some depressing news here.]
  • How much of (your) email communications do they read … and how do they grade them? [More depressing news! Clue: the report refers to an "inspiration gap."]
  • What kinds of online communication would be welcomed by all three segments of the Wired Wealthy?
  • Do they expect to be giving more money online in the future? How do they feel about direct mail?
  • What online activities do they undertake in support of the causes and charities they contribute to?
  • Just how important is it to be responsive to the individual preferences of these donors and to customize communications accordingly? [This is a Pass/Fail question!]
  • To what degree are nonprofits honing special online approaches to the Wired Wealthy, and are the right people involved?

If these questions — and insight into their answers — are not important to you, then either you are not a fundraiser, or you are not a fundraiser with a future!

Read The Wired Wealthy!


P.S. The Agitator has just completed its own DonorTrends survey of donor giving preferences and behaviors, as well as donor reputation rankings for about 100 leading nonprofits. This research updates key data from our 2005 DonorTrends survey, and will fuel a fresh series of white papers and briefs. Watch this space!


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