New Research Unmasks the Wired Wealthy — Connect Better with Middle and Major Donors

New Research Unmasks the Wired Wealthy -- Connect Better with Middle and Major DonorsWhat makes people give online, and how can you motivate them to give to your organization?  Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research recently answered these questions via an in-depth study of some 3,400 wired donors who make four-figure or higher gifts to one or more causes. And get this — "or the nonprofits who shared data, this segment of donors represents just 1% of their active donor file, but 32% of their annual revenue," says Convio founder and Chief Strategy Officer Vinay Bhagat.

The results, available here in full, offer some useful guidance on closing the gap between your org and your donors and here are just a few of the findings you can use to refine your strategies. The wired wealthy are:

  • Very generous givers
    • Give an average of $10,896 eachyear to various causes, with a median gift of $4,500
  • Notably wealthy
    • More than twenty-five percent (25%) have household incomes above $200,000 per year. More than half have annual household incomes above $100,000.
  • Mostly boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
    • With the center of gravity falling right in the middle of the baby boom cohort.
  • Extremely wired
    • Have been using the Internet for an average of 12 years
    • Online an average of 18 hours per week
  • Give online and via other channels
    • Like the speed, efficiency and instant gratification of online giving
    • Will be shifting more giving to online over next few years.

Clearly, you have to be online in a sophisticated way that engages boomers to succeed in this competitive arena.

Here’s another vital finding: There are three main ways in which these donors want to relate to orgs they give to — all business; relationship seekers; casual connectors.

"The three clusters offer some important clues about what kinds of communications your wired wealthy constituents…value, and might also help temper organizational expectations. Moreover, [the clustering indicates] that most organizations have a long way to go to fully satisfy even the most modest donor demands and expectations. And, it argues strongly for implementing some sort of psychographic segmentation so that you can cultivate relationships with the very different, yet equally valuable…clusters."

You’ll find lots more data to guide your marketing and fundraising efforts in the full report.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 30, 2008 in Audience Research, Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Recommended Resources, Trends | 1 comment
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  • Vinay

    Nancy – thanks for covering the research. The team from Edge, SeaChange and myself from Convio really have enjoyed digging into the data. We aim to continue our research into this topic this year. We are also going to be presenting doing a webinar in May and presenting at the AFP/DMAW bridge conference in DC in late July.

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