Report Reveals Just 3% of Nonprofits Leverage Multichannel Communications

A new report released by Virtuous, a responsive fundraising platform for nonprofits, and NextAfter, a fundraising research lab and consultancy, found that multichannel donors give more than three times as much as single-channel donors, yet only 3% of nonprofits sent multichannel communication to online and offline donors. The study, “The State of Multi-Channel Donor Communications,” also found that none of the 100 nonprofits evaluated leveraged all four channels — email, direct mail, text and phone.

The four month long study evaluated 119 nonprofit organizations across eight verticals on the ability to give online and offline donations then tracked the type and frequency of communications received over the course of that timeframe following their donation. In total, they received nearly 2,300 communications, which were grouped by channel — email, mail, voicemail, text — and type, cultivation or solicitation.

Online donors received a bulk of the communications, with more than 1,700 coming in the form of an email. Compared to just 161 email and 192 mail communications sent to the offline donor. In fact, one in five organizations did not communicate to the offline donor at all over the course of the four months.

“It’s estimated we receive 4,000 to 10,000 media messages every day. That’s a lot of noise to compete with especially if you’re a nonprofit trying to earn the attention of a donor,” said Virtuous CEO Gabe Cooper. “Today’s successful nonprofits are so because they’ve come to realize how critical personalized and multichannel donor communication is to earning attention and building trust. The goal of this report was to reveal just how impactful multi-channel communication is and shed light on where there may be some room for improvement.”

“There isn’t a lot of cumulative research on multichannel communication in the world of fundraising,” said Brady Josephson, managing director of NextAfter Institute for Online Fundraising. “This report unearths a lot of that data and presents opportunities for nonprofits to think about how they can improve their multichannel communication, review their processes for receiving online and offline gifts, and evaluate how they’re leveraging different channels to engage new donors.”

Key findings from the report:

  • Only 14% of organizations sent at least one email to offline donors, and 55% of organizations sent at least one mailed message to the online donor in four months.
  • One in five organizations did not communicate to the offline donor at all in four months.
  • The online donor received 10 times more communications compared to the offline donor.
  • Of those who sent at least one communication to the online donor, 40% were single-channel communicators, only communicating in the channel in which they received the donation. For those who gave offline, the number of single-channel communicators jumps to 88%.
  • Only one in 12 organizations called donors and just one organization of the 102 studied sent a text message in four months.

To get a free copy of “The State of Multi-Channel Donor Communications,” visit MultiChannel Nonprofit. For more information about Virtuous, visit For more information about NextAfter, visit

Editor’s Note: This press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO and its staff.

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