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CPBJ Extra Blog

Nonprofits: Start pushing for holiday donations online and NOW

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If you wait until just before Thanksgiving to start your push for donations, you're about two months too late, according to a new study by Google about people's online giving habits.

And here's something else fascinating: Those direct mailers? Skip 'em, the study found. Online video is much more effective.

In the survey it released last week, Google tracked consumer search patterns, analyzed nonprofit donation behavior and talked to nonprofit researchers about their survey behavior. And what they found was that too many nonprofits are ignoring the value of using the digital realm to draw in donations. It's worth noting, of course, that the study could be a bit biased toward online results given that Google conducted it.

This blog post at Co.Exist does a good job of laying out the study's findings, so I won't rehash them all here. But here are the highlights:

• Donors start deciding in September where they will give money during the holiday season.

• 79 percent of donors surveyed said online video ads were most likely to persuade them to donate. In fact, 57 people of people who watch a video for a nonprofit go on to make a donation.

• Almost 50 percent of donors are comparison shoppers. They will visit other websites and compare charities before deciding where to donate their money.

When does your nonprofit start planning its largest annual push for donations? How do you incorporate the Web in your strategy?

• • •

Speaking of the effectiveness of video, I wanted to share this with you today. To complement our Top 100 issue, which came out Aug. 9, I created a video in which I talked with most of the Business Journal staff about their favorite business books (I even shot myself for the video, which was ... well, I don't have an adjective for it.).

Anyway, I couldn't resist putting together a one-minute blooper reel to share. If you could use a laugh this morning, I recommend laughing at us — I mean, with us.

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli is the managing editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a question or tip for her? Email her at amy@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @amygulli. Circle Amy Gulli on .

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