Online vs. Offline Fundraising

Many charities ask which fundraising channels should they be pooling their resources behind and focusing their efforts on. The truth of the matter? Charities need to be making good use of both online and offline fundraising channels. The conclusion made by Blackbaud in their “Multi-Channel Giving” infographic below is that if a charity succeeds in leveraging both online and offline fundraising methods they will have the opportunity “to increase overall giving per donor by up to 3X that of a single channel donor.”




Offline fundraising is still king in the charitable fundraising world. It brings in the bulk of donation revenues, 90% of donation revenues actually. Direct mail makes up 79% and other offline sources make up the other 11%. However, there is less growth in offline fundraising year-over-year, it is harder to acquire new donors offline, the offline donors are in an older age demographic, and earn a lower income compared to online donors.




Although it only makes up 10% of donation revenues, online fundraising has seen tremendous growth. This channel increased 34.5% to $20+ billion in 2010. Online fundraising is also more effective at acquiring new donors. More and more donors are discovering charities online and donating online because of the continued rise in internet usage, the smartphones everyone now has, and social networking websites becoming a part of people’s daily routines. Online donors are younger, earn higher incomes, donate more on their first time, and continue to give more over a length of time compared to offline donors. It is also easier to convert and get online donors to adopt offline methods. The vice versa is not as simple.


By combining these two groups, charities should be able to optimize their fundraising potential and achieve better fundraising results.



2 Responses

  1. I think what’s important too is how our donors are going to change over time. Everything is going online but especially the young people, who will be giving over a life time and that’s who I think we need to engage. Cheers!

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