What Works Best in Seeking Gifts From a Friend?

By:  Holly Hall

Many charities are experimenting with online fund-raising campaigns that motivate their supporters to ask friends, family members, and others to contribute, as my colleague Raymund Flandez notes in a detailed article in The Chronicles latest issue.

FirstGiving.com offers some hints about what works best in such campaigns, based on ananalysis of millions of donations made through its site from 2007 through 2010. The company—which allows both charities and individuals to create online fund-raising pages—has raised $1-billion online from more than 13 million people who have directed gifts to 8,000 charities.

The study found that:

  • The size of typical donation is $15 higher when it is made to personal fund-raising pages created by individuals than similar pages created by charities.
  • The size of average gifts in response to December online fund-raising campaigns created by individuals ($69.96) and directly to a charity ($140.34) through FirstGiving is higher than at any other time of year.
  • People give the most when somebody they know marks a major milestone, such as a wedding ($89.95), christening ($73.40), or anniversary ($72.97) rather than in response to pitches from people participating in walkathons ($50).


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