Sunday, July 8, 2012

BIG’s Blog: How Fast the Switch?

The rise of online sales of consumer goods presages the fundamental shift in how consumers are altering their buying behaviors as they continue to adopt online technology into their lives.

So, too, online donations continue to grow as a percent of all giving, which mirrors society’s adoption of online technology.

But online donation growth is about only the final transaction piece, the dollar transfer mechanism. What about the more important shift of the actual behavior change of benefactor/donors away from direct mail towards online?

For a comparable, let’s look at the shift in actual reading behavior as demonstrated by the shift from printed books to e-books. While print books still dominate – just like direct mail fundraising solicitations continue to dominate – in 2011 total e-book sales rose to 19.3% of total book sales; up from 1.17% in 2008. Forrester Research predicts that by 2015, e-book sales will reach $3 billion or approximately 60% of the total book sales market.

So if online donations are growing year-over-year and actual readership is quickly moving digital, what does this mean for fundraisers?

I think 2015 will be a critical year. Just like the print book versus e-book shift, your fundraising group will shift from direct mail dominance to online dominance between now and 2015.

How does that shift change your fundraising organization?

What does it look like?


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