Study: Online Donations Up 60 Percent

Marking good news for churches and nonprofits, the number of donors giving online has jumped to nearly 60 percent. So says a national study of online giving commissioned by Dunham+Company.

According to the study, the percentage of donors who say they have given online has increased from 48 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2012.

The overall increase in online giving is largely attributable to a jump from 44 percent in 2010 to 58 percent in 2012 among the Baby Boomer generation (people born from 1946 through 1964). In other words, the survey indicates that the raw number of Boomers giving online has increased by almost one-third in the last two years.

Even donors over the age of 65 increased their online giving, from 29 percent to 36 percent. In addition, nearly two-thirds of females (64 percent) say they now have given online compared to only half in 2010.

"The growth in donors using charity websites to make their donations is moving up at a rapid pace," said Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company. "What is especially telling is the increased engagement of two critical donor demographics: Baby Boomers and females. Women make up the majority of donors in America, and Baby Boomers are by far the most important age demographic for charitable giving."

The study also found that households making $75,000 or more per year showed the most dramatic growth in online giving of all households. Nearly 7 out of 10 donors in these households stated they have given online. In the 2010 study, only 58 percent of donors in these households had made an online gift.

There was no sizable change in the behavior of those under 40.

"This study continues to reinforce the importance of a charity's website being optimized for giving," Dunham said. "Nonprofits must understand and respond to the reality that donors are increasingly inclined to make their contributions online. This includes older donors who are responding to direct mail or other offline communication. There is every indication this behavior will only continue to increase, which makes it critical for nonprofits to ensure it is as easy as possible for a donor to make a gift online."

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