Donors Prefer Email For Nonprofit Messaging: Study

Charitable donors want nonprofit groups to communicate with them by email. But younger people are the most engaged with charities and most likely to plan legacy giving, according to “The New Best Practices for Connecting With Today’s Charitable Donors,” a study by Data Axle. 

Of the donors polled, 48% of those aged 18-29 prefer to give monthly recurring donations, as do 41% of people in the 30-44 age group. 

Those in the 18-29 cohort have the highest level of engagement. For instance, 60% tell friends and families about causes, 50% volunteer, and 36% attend charity functions.  And 20% serve on a board of a charity they support.  

Moreover, 21% of respondents aged 18-29 said they have already made plans for legacy giving, as have 17% of donors aged 30-44. Meanwhile, just 10% of respondents aged 45-60 and 16% of respondents over 60 had done the same.  

That said, 47.9% prefer email for nonprofit communications, and 21.2% like direct mail.



However, only 32% make donations via email. In contrast, 43.5% do so, unprompted, via websites. In addition, 19.1% contribute on a website after being prompted in another channel and31.2% via an envelope provided in a direct mail piece.

Nonprofit groups that study lifetime value will experience “greater long-term returns from engaging and nurturing younger donors; even though they might not have as much to give as older donors today, they’re very engaged with and proud to promote their charities of choice via social channels. Nonprofits need to foster that engagement,” according to the study.

Data Axle surveyed over 1,200 Americans who regularly donate to nonprofits.




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