Some guy confidently told me the other day that "nobody gives to direct mail fundraising any more. We are in the online fundraising age."
You've probably heard from that guy too.
The facts don't support him.
In fact, The Agitator says the online fundraising age may not begin until 2030: New Era Begins In 17 Years.
Here's where they got 17 years: Riffing from the recent Blackbaud report, which notes that online fundraising made up 6.4% of fundraising revenue in 2013, and grew by 13.5%.
If you assume annual growth of 13.5% in online giving we'll be at 7.3% at the end of this year. In 2024 it will hit 25.8%. It will finally become the majority of giving in 2030, at 55.1%.
That's when the online fundraising age begins.
It's a wild assumption that online fundraising would grow at 13.5% every year for the next 17 years. We could cross that 50% of revenue raised online much sooner -- or later -- than that.
The important point is this: We are not yet in the online era. Direct mail is still the king of fundraising. If you are serious about raising funds, you need to be serious about direct mail. And it's going to be that way for a while.
Organizations that ignore direct mail because they perceive it as "over" are just being irresponsible.
Of course, you'd have to be crazy to ignore online fundraising. Anything that grows double-digits every year is clearly important. And 17 years is just around the corner.
Be realistic. Don't be the guy who makes wild and unsupportable claims.