Just An Online Minute... Online Fundraising

Politicians have found a way to monetize the Internet. Now a new study finds evidence that charities could see better results with online efforts if security and privacy issues could be resolved.

The Mindshare Internet Campaigns study surveyed 719 visitors to The Atlantic Monthly Online on feelings about online fundraising. The study found that 22 percent would contribute more to a charity or cause-oriented group if they donated online and no one who was either likely or more likely to donate would spend less money online than off.

While that's no doubt good news, it comes at a price that other Internet marketers have discovered already. You've got to convince a hesitant online audience that it's safe to give money and personal information over the Internet. Thirty-eight percent of the people who said they wouldn't donate online were concerned about personal or financial information being released over the Internet.

And e-mail marketing, at least in terms of getting the word out, is not only effective but welcomed. More than half (53 percent) of the people surveyed said they subscribe to the e-mail lists of the charities and cause organizations that they support. Twenty-two percent said they would prefer to be e-mailed every day, 36.5 percent weekly, 6.9 percent biweekly, 6.7 percent monthly and 28 percent "when there is really important news."

More than 55 percent of the survey respondents also pass the e-mail around, forwarding it to friends and family when it's relevant, the study found.

--Paul J. Gough

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