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Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Giving

As online giving continues to grow as a viable source of funds, nonprofits need to find solutions to make fundraising over the web an important part of their regular practices. In 2014, online giving made up less than 10 percent of overall nonprofit funds. While that's a fairly small segment, online growth was much more substantial than other channels. Between 2013 and 2014, overall fundraising increased 3 percent while online giving saw 12 percent growth.

Some organizations may get overexcited about this new opportunity and put all of their eggs in the online donation basket. Not only does this cause nonprofits to neglect traditional forms of fundraising, it may be doing a disservice to online campaigns as well. The goal is to reach as many individuals as possible. Individuals make up three-fourths of overall donations and online giving attracted millions of donors in 2016.

While this method is most popular with younger audiences - millennials are the most frequent contributors - older audiences give larger sums. Online donors age 40 to 44 give the most money overall. This proves important as older audiences become more familiar with digital transactions and online communication platforms. For example, people over 65 are the largest growing user audience on Twitter.

Research shows that online and offline fundraising works best when they are not mutually exclusive. Multichannel marketing - sharing educational content and fundraising campaign information online and off - has been proven to increase donor retention for both types of audiences. Integrated campaigns appeal to younger audiences who embrace technology but still like live events and want sit-down meetings, as well as older audiences that may need direct mail or other traditional strategies to introduce them to online giving options. 

By building fundraising campaigns with both audiences in mind, nonprofits can extend their appeal. At the same time, consolidating donation processes and payment processing creates complete visibility of cash flow. 

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