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Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Secrets of Soliciting the Wired Wealthy
Press Release

April, 2009

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April 10, 2009  |  Start Your Cause  |  About Us 
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer
The International Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference in New Orleans last week was rich in practical information, memorable speakers—and luscious culinary delights, of course! One of the most “meaty” presentations I saw was given by Vinay Bhagat, founder and chief strategy officer of Convio; Colleen Mc Culloch-Learch, senior research analyst at Edge Research, and Beth Wallace, vice president of digital marketing at Conservation International on using the Internet to connect with Donors.

One of the most useful pieces of intelligence emerging from the Wired Wealthy Study discussed involved segmentation. Until now, we have tended to segment our donors demographically — “Younger females respond this way, and older males behave that way.” This new study actually uses psychographic “cluster” analysis to categorize donors by behaviors. Here is the breakdown for the nearly 3,500 respondents who contributed $1,000+ over an 18-month period:

  • Relationship Seeker (29%): Most likely to respond to opportunities to connect emotionally with your organization online. However, they delivered the lowest average gift.
  • All Business (30%): Do not appear to be looking for a relationship or emotional connection. They are purely transaction-oriented. They seek ease, clarity, and functionality.
  • Casual Connector (41%): The largest of the three clusters, this group appears to “split the difference” in terms of attitudes and preferences. As group, they need more hand-holding. They are more difficult to predict and satisfy—often seeking an “intellectual connection.”
Across the board, donors are expecting a “high quality of engagement” and a pleasant user experience. Interestingly, these respondents are left “generally uninspired” by website appeals. They feel many nonprofit websites are not well-designed, do not make it easy to give, and are not user-friendly. They do not want to wade through screens of dense copy. Attention spans are limited. And among these donors, there is a strong appetite for chats, photo-sharing, video, blogging, and IMing—particularly among “Relationship Seekers.”

Another significant finding was that donors want more control over the specifics of the communication—with lots of opportunities for opting in or out, selecting content, and specifying schedules. Most of all, they really like tax receipts, progress reports—and lots of success stories. So, know your donors, understand how they behave, and prefer to communicate—online and off! To read more about the AFP conference or comment on the Wired Wealthy Study, visit my blog!

Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Let me know on:

- Secrets of Soliciting the Wired Wealthy
- Challenge Grant

Raise money in a whole new way on! And double it! We are launching an exciting, new Challenge Grant Program to help you strengthen your online giving results. When you launch a special campaign on, we'll match your donations—dollar for dollar. Just email me at to learn more—and apply today!
Contact Elaine Gantz Wright at for more information.
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