Wondering how grassroots nonprofits are faring with online fundraising?

The Institute for Conservation Leadership has just done small organizations a great service by releasing a study of the online fundraising experiences of 16 grassroots organizations. And a hearty thank you to those organizations that were willing to share their experiences in this report.

The study was compiled by consultant, author and trainer extraordinaire Andy Robinson (if you haven’t, you should check out Andy’s wonderful books through our mutual publisher Emerson & Church ).

Andy’s title cues us up for what’s inside: “Reality Check: How Grassroots Environmental Organizations are (or are not) raising money online.”

Some of the lessons learned by small organizations:

  • “Personal contact and relationship-building trumps everything – and will become more valuable because fewer  people will be doing it.”
  • “Websites are still essential for effective fundraising.”
  • “Social networks like Facebook remain a lower -tier for fundraising strategy – at least for now.”
  • “Many online strategies won’t pay off for awhile, but try them anyway as time and money are available.”

One particularly interesting finding came from the Ohio Environmental Council. While most of their membership giving came offline, those donors who had email and received ongoing contact through a robust online program gave twice as much annually as their no-email counterparts.

You can download a free copy of the report here from ICL, though you will need to register.

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