Aus NFP Use of Online Technology High – Report
28 January 2016 at 10:05 am
Australian Not for Profits are among the world’s highest users of online technology for communicating their causes and fundraising, according to a new global report.
A collaborative research project by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, called the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is an inaugural effort to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organisations (NGOs) worldwide use online technology to communicate with their supporters and donors.
In Australia and Oceania, Europe and North America, the report found that the use of web and email communications, online fundraising tools, and social media by NGOs was high while Asia, Africa, and South America were lagging behind.
The report is based on the survey results of 2,780 NGOs from Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, North America and South America.
It found that a combination of “philanthropic spirit”, with a growing tech startup economy and a solid internet infrastructure helped the NGO sector in Australia and Oceania to rapidly advance its use of online technology.
More than 100 NGOs in Australia and Oceania participated in the global survey.
It found that 94 per cent of NGOs in this region have a website compared to the global average of 92 per cent.
Some 52 per cent of organisations use the .org domain, 2 per cent use .ngo, 15 per cent use .com, 3 percent use .net and 28 per cent use other domains, predominantly country code domains.
In Australia, 47 per cent of NGOs regularly published a blog compared to the world wide average of 46 per cent and 80 per cent regularly sent email updates to donors and supporters compared to the global average of 75 per cent.
Small Australian NGOs had an average of 10,727 subscribers to their email updates while medium NGOs had 53,314 and large NGOs had 108,400.
The report showed that 74 per cent of NGOs accepted online donations. Payment methods accepted included credit cards (91 per cent), PayPal (47 per cent), direct debit (45 per cent), mobile text (5 per cent, and digital wallets (1 per cent).
Other findings included:
94 per cent have a Facebook page. Small NGOs have an average of 3,961 likes, medium NGOs have 31,093 and large NGOs have 111,378.
80 per cent have a Twitter profile. Small NGOs have an average of 1,458 followers, medium NGOs have 6,193 and large NGOs have 11,045.
48 per cent have an Instagram profile. Small NGOs have an average of 642 followers, medium NGOs have 2,141 and large NGOs have 2,754.
Other social networks used by NGOs in Australia were YouTube (61 per cent), LinkedIn (57 per cent), Google+ (26 per cent), Pinterest (21 per cent), Tumblr (7 per cent), and Snapchat (1 per cent).
The report found that 40 per cent of NGOs in Australia and Oceania assigned the responsibility of social media management to a communications staff member and 11 per cent had a full-time or part-time social media manager.
It found that 16 per cent depended upon volunteers for their social media output. The remaining 33 per cent assigned the responsibility to development, program, administrative, or executive staff.
A further 78 per cent of organisations agreed that social media was effective for online fundraising.
The survey also looked at global donors from 27 countries, with 37 per cent being Gen X donors, 29 per cent were Baby Boomers and 28 per cent were Millennials.
“In the NGO sector generational differences in giving behavior are most often presented as being vastly different, but the 2015 Global NGO Online Technology Survey revealed strikingly similar giving preferences. As individuals worldwide of all ages become more trusting and adept with online technology, so does their giving behavior,” the report said.
It found that 62 per cent of donors worldwide preferred to give online and 23 per cent through direct mail, with 6 per cent giving through a mobile app or via text and 9 per cent through other methods, such as workplace giving, fundraising events, stock, or over the phone.
The survey also found that 27 per cent of donors worldwide cited social media as the communication tool that inspired them the most often to give with 23 per cent citing email, 14 per cent crediting an NGO’s website, 12 per cent responding to print materials, and 5 per cent answering a TV or radio appeal.
Another 2 per cent answered text messaging and 17 per cent indicated other tools, such as face-to-face contact, workplace giving, fundraising events, and telemarketing.
72 per cent of Millennials said they preferred to give online and they were most often inspired to give by social media. Their top five causes they gave to were children and youth, women and girls, human and civil rights, education and animals.
66 per cent of Gen Xers preferred to give online and they were most often inspired to give by email. Their top five causes were education, children and youth, human services, animals and the environment.
54 per cent of Baby Boomers preferred to give online and were most often inspired to give by email. Their top five causes were human services, education, children and youth, health and safety, and arts and culture.
The report said one of the primary goals of the research was to provide a set of online technology benchmarks for NGOs worldwide.
“Benchmarks by continent are detailed in the report, but the global findings also serve as realistic, achievable online technology benchmarks for NGOs worldwide that currently utilize the Internet on a regular basis,” it said.