Alan J. Abramson, an expert on philanthropy at George Mason University, estimates that less than 3 percent of all fundraising is done online.
“Nonprofits raising money through the Web is growing, but it’s still pretty small,” he said in a Washington Post article.
Research shows the Internet and email are generally considered the least successful nonprofit fundraising techniques, according to a report by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. For example, the Facebook application Causes, popular among nonprofit organizations seeking to raise money online, has been largely ineffective in its first two years, trailing direct mail, fundraising events and other more traditional methods of soliciting contributions.
Even email campaigns are generally more likely to raise significant amounts of money than Causes, according to a comparison of Facebook’s data with widely accepted philanthropic benchmarks. Those data show that 1 percent to 3 percent of a nonprofit group’s email list would donate money when solicited, at an average of about $80 per person.