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Direct Mail Drives Online Giving More than Email Appeals

Direct Mail

October 2010 -- More than twice as many online donors say they were prompted to give an online gift in response to a direct mail appeal compared to when they received an e-mail appeal, according to a 2010 national Dunham Company study  conducted by research firm Campbell Rinker.  The survey found that 14% said that a direct mail letter prompted them to give online versus 6% percent who said an email request prompted their online gift.

Further underlining direct mail's impact to motivate online giving, 1 in 3 donors (37%) who give online say that when they receive a direct mail appeal from a charity they use the charity's website to give their donation.

The younger the donor, the more likely they are to use a charity's website to respond to a direct mail appeal. One in two (50%) of generation X or Y donors say they give online in response to a direct mail appeal with 1 in 4 (26%) of boomers turning to online giving when they want to give as a result of receiving a direct mail appeal.

"The purpose of this study was to try and understand what is driving online giving and how important offline communication is the source of increasing income to charity. What we found was quite surprising," said Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham Company.  "Not only is offline communication important to driving online giving, it is actually much more important a catalyst to generating online gifts than we had anticipated."

One other important finding from the study showed that the power of fundraising through social media is also increasing, as 15% of respondents said their online gift was prompted by being asked to give by someone through a social media site. This is especially important to donors under 40 years of age as 1 in 4 (24%) said this prompted them to give whereas only 9% of donors over 40 said the same.

About:  The study was part of Campbell Rinker Donor Confidence Survey of 510 adults nationwide who had given at least $20 to charity in the prior year. All respondents were contacted via the internet August 24-September 8, 2010. A sample of 510 has a margin of error of plus/minus -4.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Source:  Association of Fundraising Professionals, Study Shows Direct Mail is a More Important Driver to Online Giving than Online Communications, October 19, 2010.