Lack of Communication Greatest Barrier to Donor Engagement and Giving, Reveals New GiveCentral Survey

Report shares exclusive data on how donor relations, electronic giving and the technology learning curve are affecting nonprofit organizations

CHICAGO--()--A new survey report published today by GiveCentral, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, reveals the increasing gap between nonprofits who are quickly adopting technology and others who are falling behind. While many nonprofits still need to implement technology-savvy strategies, the survey findings show that nonprofits do not fear technology change and are ready to digitally evolve. More than eight-in-ten (84 percent) nonprofits recognize the importance of embracing technology.

The report highlights how effective communication is one area in particular that many nonprofits consistently overlook in their efforts to engage donors in technologically savvy ways. Despite 84 percent reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails. An additional one-quarter (26 percent) still send weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.

“The pace of technological change will escalate for the nonprofit industry in 2015,” said GiveCentral CEO Patrick Coleman. “With the declining use of checks, increasing use of mobile giving, and overall competition for donors’ dollars, the need to make it easy for donors to work with a nonprofit is more important than ever before. While nonprofits are certainly embracing technological change, the pace needs to quicken if they want to build a loyal donor base and bring in more dollars this year.”

Coleman continued, “Our 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving survey underscores that improved technology and communication are what’s needed most to increase donor engagement. The most important actions nonprofits must take in 2015 are to communicate with their audience on a regular basis, make it as easy as possible for them to donate and make these new behaviors a permanent part of the organization’s strategy.”

Highlights from the GiveCentral survey report, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, include:

Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk

  • 27% of nonprofits have no structured email schedule, 54% lack a timetable for phone calls, and 89% have no organized text messaging communication program, missing a significant opportunity to facilitate regular donor engagement
  • 22% send emails monthly, and only 10% send emails weekly
  • Only 3% send monthly text messages
  • Through effective communication programs, nonprofits can speed up the process by which their donor audience is reassured digital donating is secure, easy to understand, convenient, and provides an engaging giving experience

Education is Desperately Needed

  • Nearly half (49%) the respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving
  • Only 12% of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use

Traditional and Electronic Giving Together is Critical

  • Just under half (48%) currently receive online donations
  • Only 6% receive donations via mobile device
  • Paper checks (58%) are still the most commonly used form of receiving donations

Nonprofits Aren’t Measuring Donor Activity

  • Four-in-ten (39%) do not measure donor processing costs and therefore do not know if they are operating effectively
  • Less than one-third (31%) measure administrative costs
  • 23% measure related marketing costs

Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing

  • Although a slight majority of nonprofit senior executives (52%) believe their donors still have concerns about electronic giving, they also report that more and more donors are becoming comfortable with digital channels
  • 84% of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change
  • Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing

Biggest Challenges in Managing Donor Giving

  • Lack of trained personnel to manage donations
  • Concern about the robustness of existing processes for electronic donation administration
  • Worry that donors don’t trust the security of technology to give online or via mobile

Top Benefits of Electronic Giving

  • Payment security (66%)
  • Real-time transactions (64%)
  • Donor relationship tracking (51%) (yet very few do track donor relationships)

To access a full copy of the results of the survey, please click here or email

About the Survey

The GiveCentral survey: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving was conducted between September 26 and December 30, 2014. A range of nonprofit senior industry leaders participated in the survey, with one in four respondents (24%) occupying a religious leadership role, and more than one third (36%) holding the Chief Executive or Chief Financial Officer position in their organization. The size of the North American nonprofits surveyed range from less than $100,000 to more than $5M in total annual donations.

About GiveCentral

GiveCentral is a web-based donation platform designed to help nonprofit organizations raise more money. By consolidating all collection, fundraising and communication activities in one place, GiveCentral makes it easier for donors to give, for nonprofits to communicate and for administrators to manage their finances and donor records. Through its customizable, cost-effective and versatile platform, GiveCentral enhances the fundraising experience for all those involved.


For GiveCentral
Media Contact
Ann Warren, 770.328.8384

Release Summary

A new survey by GiveCentral reveals how nonprofits use technology; 84% are ready to embrace tech, but nonprofits lack in communication with donors. Mobile giving and donor engagement are on the rise.


For GiveCentral
Media Contact
Ann Warren, 770.328.8384