Online donors seen as more generous, less loyal

People who give to charity online tend to give more, but are less likely to continue contributing, says a study of the online-giving transactions of a group of 12 diverse charities.

Growth in online donors overall is surging, with cumulative median growth of 101 percent over the past three years, compared to 6 percent growth for all other donors, says the study by Target Analysis Group and Donordigital.

The two groups analyzed the online transactional data of a dozen charities, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Defenders of Wildlife, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Mercy Corps.

For all but two of the participating groups, the median average revenue from online donors was more than double that of other donors.

And among all groups studied, the median average online gift last year was $57, says the study, compared to $33 for all other sources.

But those who give online, especially new givers, are less likely to repeat their gifts, with slightly more than one in four renewing, compared to a renewal rate of more than one in three for non-online donors.

Over time, however, online donors appear to be more valuable, the study says, with a three-year median value of $125 for donors acquired online, compared to $62 for those acquired through direct mail.

Overall, online donors are younger and earn more than other donors.

Among the groups studied, a median of almost half of non-online donors were 65 or older, compared to 13 percent for those who gave online.

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