The main institution overthrown by the digital revolution has been the idea of ‘audience access’. In order to feed the unique requirements of their ‘co-creation’ business models, digital businesses such as social media networks, email clients, and online survey providers developed software tools capable of distributing content to vast audiences for very little money (or no money at all).

One industry making effective use of these digital tools is the not-for-profit sector, as this infographic from MDG Advertising shows. By the end of 2015, the vast majority of a modern not-for-profit’s engagement occurs through three digital channels: websites, email campaigns and social media. The only non-digital channel to still achieve similar results is in-person interaction.

Another advantage of digitisation has been the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising, crowdfunding platforms — such as Classy and CrowdRise — that allow individuals to fundraise to their personal networks on behalf of organisations.

On average, a not-for-profit P2P fundraiser can expect to raise US$568 from seven donors. Meanwhile, a third of all online donations are now made through P2P campaigns.

While digitisation will never fully replace standing on a street corner for most not-for-profits, harnessing the reach and scale of digital services can breathe new life into noble causes.

Other insights include:

  • Since 2013, visits to not-for-profit websites have increased by 11%.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, fundraising through digital channels increased 83%.
  • Facebook and Twitter are seen as the most ‘essential’ social networks.
  • Email continues to be a staple for not-for-profits, achieving a 2.9% conversion rate and potential ROIs of 40:1.


not-for-profit digital tools


Source: MDG Advertising