International Donors now Prefer E-mail over Mail Contact
More donors to international groups now say they prefer charities to contact them by e-mail (61%) over mailed letters (54%). Both of these methods were many times more popular than other methods such as telephone, text message, and in-person, none of which garner the support of over four percent of donors. Nine percent prefer not to be contacted by any method. The figures total more than 100% because donors could select more than one option.
The results come from Campbell Rinker's DonorPulse™ International study conducted in October and November 2011, which collected the opinions, perceptions, and preferences of over 2,600 donors to organizations that provide international relief, development, and child sponsorship.
This is a rise in preference for email and a drop in preference for letters. The last DonorPulse™ International study was conducted in 2008. Back then 71% of donors to International causes (and 63% of all donors) preferred postal mail, and only 33% preferred email (29% for all donors).
However, direct mail letters are still the champ in terms of generating donations: 43% of donors to International causes say they have given in the past 12 months because of a letter they received. E-mail comes in second at 28%, and fundraising events are third at 23%.
Letters were especially popular with older donors. There was a direct correlation – the older the donor, the more likely they were to have given because of a letter. This likelihood peaks with 61% of respondents over 70 years old having given because of a letter, compared to just 22% giving because of a letter for those under age 40.
Surprisingly, no such correlation was found between age and response to email solicitations. Apparently older donors have embraced giving via email to the same degree as younger donors.
These giving stats also represent a decline for giving due to letters and an increase due to giving because of email. In the 2008 study, 50% of donors to International causes gave because of a letter they received in the previous year, compared to only 15% due to an email. Since that study, e-mail has risen from 8th place popularity in methods of response to 2nd place.
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