By Lynn

Web is increasingly important to major donors

The relationship with major donors has historically been one of high-touch: personal relationships, one-on-one communications, individual cultivation. When it came to a nonprofit’s Web site, major donors were not a top priority. The philosophy was that the Web site was (from a fundraising perspective) predominantly for communicating mission and impact generally and raising money from the masses.  We would be meeting the major donors needs by virtue of doing the first really well.

According to a new report published by Barclay’s Wealth, the Internet has become increasingly more important to high net worth individuals.  Not only are they increasinly relying on the Web for research into funding opportunities, but also on social networking and evaluating the impact of their donations.

I haven’t completely absorbed all of the report yet, but I’m already thinking about how we will help our clients reprioritize major donors on our next Web site redesign — and thinking about new ways to engage major donors online.  The wheels are churning (and at 5pm on a Friday no less)!

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2 Responses to “Web is increasingly important to major donors”

  1. Doug Says:


    your post was forwarded to me by a colleague who thought I might be interested in your thoughts. Indeed, as a person who has more than 30years experience is raising money for non-profits, cultivating major donors and soliciting via mass appeal (direct mail, telephone, radio, tv)–I couldn’t agree more with your premise.

    In fact I would like to encourage all involved with Non profit Organizations (NPO) to begin thinking beyond just standard web via PC and desktop to mobile / web. NPO’s need to redesign their sites to be mobile friendly and to utilize all the tools that bridge web and mobile to add “stickiness” to their communications and solicitations–allowing for “major” donors to easily and comfortably engage their closest friends on behalf of a cause the “major”, “average” and “micro” donor cares about.

    Mobile texting and Mobile access to the internet is quickly outpacing email, voice calling and use of the PC and laptop. Mobile / web devices and the associated mobile number are quickly becoming the equal opportunity donor solicitation and engagement tool of the 21st century. Individuals can make micro donations and major gift level pledges through their mobile device today and NPO’s that have web sites designed with mobile access in mind will be ahead of the curve as our economy turns around.

    C. Douglas Plank
    Chairman /CEO

  2. Jon Brooks Says:

    We have found that the web ticks several boxes for high end donors:

    - donors remain anonymous while carrying out their research
    - web research takes less time than a meeting
    - accounts and analysis can be found online

    One challenge for charities is how to promote their high-level proposals on their homepage, where 99% of visitors are not major donors.

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