« Back to blog main

Your Preference – Blue Thumb Up or Green Dollar – May Determine Your Success

on-line fundraising strategy


My Personal Experience with Joy-Evoking Blue Thumbs Up!

This week, I’ve had to ask myself a hard question: Is it possible that a shot of dopamine associated with a blue thumb up could totally derail my work plan for the day…or undermine your focus on meaningful fundraising?

To make my point from the beginning, here are several facts from Non-Profit Source:

  • On average, 90% of high net worth donors made a gift to charity with the average gift being $25,509.
  • General population households gave $2,520 on average.
  • The average monthly on-line donation is $52 ($624 per year).
  • The average on-line one-time gift of $128.

Is it possible to lose sight of this reality and become more excited over “likes” than dollars raised to support our missions? This week, I’ll offer a mix of facts, feelings, and anecdotes to help answer this question!

1. Not all social media platforms provide the same dopamine-saturated satisfaction. Take, for example, my experience this week. When Savannah Morning News published the first of a monthly column I’m writing on non-profits, I quickly linked the article to my Facebook page.

Immediately, the dopamine drip began! Thumbs up from my aunt in Florida! Hearts from high school friends and my wonderful college roommate. Sweet comments about my (photo-shopped) pix! And a few “likes” from biz associates on Facebook. I loved it all….The thrill of responding to “likes” quickly depleted time I should have devoted to real work.

Contrast this with Linked In, where 310 people read the same article. Because I don’t know who they are and because they read without sharing a reaction (except the 10 who “liked” it!), the joy of that number which represents 300 professional associates is illusive. How ironic!

2. To enjoy the same fundraising success as on-line giving uber pioneer President Obama, you’ll need an entire nation to target. When you’re soliciting more than 300 million Americans, the giving can add up quickly.

To target and decide on the best strategy for your region, know the numbers and details related to your catchment area (the geographic area you serve). Visit Fact Finder and research the counties you serve to better understand the demographics of your region.

3. One Best Practice, I believe, is to integrate on-line/mobile giving as a sub-strategy when raising money through Events or Workplace Giving:

  • Event fundraising grows when participants (1) engage friends & family through platforms such as Friends Asking Friends, (2) buy event tickets, (3) make bids during a charity auction, and (4) text-to-give.
  • Workplace giving increases among millennials, according to NonProfit Source, when on-line giving is easy to use. Millennials are 25.9% of the US population. 84% of them give to charity, donating an annual average of $481 across 3.3 organizations.

4. The importance of your non-profit’s on-line presence cannot be overstated with $31B expected to be raised on-line this year!

Here I will distinguish between marketing and fundraising: The site itself is a marketing function.

However, intentionally sorting through myriad social media platforms and on-line giving software by asking, “Whom will we reach? At what cost? And at what $ level?” is a function of fundraising.

Just make sure your vision isn’t clouded by a joy-evoking blue thumbs up!


To share feedback on this post, email PMiracle@MiracleStrategies.com or post to my Facebook page. To get winning, donor-centric,  goal-focused fundraising & marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox sign up here!