How Do NGOs Use Web-based Technologies and What Are Donors’ Giving Preferences?
The nonprofit ‘Tech for Good‘ and ‘Public Interest Registry’, the not-for-profit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domains, have announced findings of the inaugural ‘2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report‘ which uncovers how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are using digital tools to communicate with their supporters. In addition to revealing how NGOs’ online communications, online fundraising and social media usage vary by continent, the report includes insights collected from donors on their giving preferences to help NGOs to optimize their own fundraising strategies.
The report details the findings from a survey of 2,780 NGO representatives from 133 countries conducted in late 2015. While digital platforms and social media are popular with NGOs in Australia & Oceana, Europe and North America, the survey found that NGOs in markets with a growing Internet infrastructure – including Africa, Asia and South America – are not using these tools as frequently. Other findings include:
- 90 percent of NGO respondents maintain a website and 70 percent of respondents use a .org domain
- Three-fourths of NGO respondents stated that they regularly send email updates to donors and supporters
- 46 percent of respondents stated that they maintain their own blogs
- 78 percent of respondents agreed that social media is effective for online fundraising
- While nearly all NGO respondents maintain a presence on social media, only 11 percent of respondents assign a full-time or part-time social media manager and 15 percent of respondents rely solely on volunteers
“There are myriad of digital tools available to NGOs around the world that can be used to engage the public. What we found in our research, however, is that economic and political factors and the quality of Internet infrastructure in each region affects how NGOs use these tools and how donors in each region respond to them,” said Nonprofit Tech for Good founder Heather Mansfield. “This worldwide research report was a huge undertaking, but a necessary one as the NGO sector becomes more diverse and global in scope.”
The report also includes insights from 355 donors from 27 countries who were surveyed about their giving preferences. Despite generational differences, many donors are evolving their giving behavior as they become more adept and have more trust in online technology:
- 62 percent of respondents prefer giving through online channels while 23 percent prefer direct mail and six percent prefer mobile apps or text message
- While Millennials are most inspired to give by social media content (43 percent), email content was cited as being most inspirational to Gen Xers (26 percent) and Baby Boomers (30 percent)
“Until now, there has been very little research on how effectively NGOs are using technology on a global scale,” said Public Interest Registry CEO Brian Cute. “Alongside Nonprofit Tech for Good, we at Public Interest Registry sought to address this gap and provide NGOs with the resources and insights they need to strengthen their online presence. Ultimately, while NGOs of all sizes are always looking for new ways to engage their followers and the public online, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report found that having a solid website is still one of the most crucial aspects in gaining trust from your donors.”