A new study released by Blackbaud’s Target Analytics division suggests that first-time online donors do not become recurring donors. The study of 24 national nonprofits found that people who make a first-time gift online often don’t make subsequent online gifts to the charity (although some give through other means).
The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s coverage of the study stated that:
[Online donors are] attractive prospects because they tend to be younger, have higher incomes, and make larger gifts than traditional direct-mail donors. One-time Internet givers to the 12 organizations who reported their fundraising data in January gave a median of $27 more than those who made single gifts by mail. But, says the study, higher acquisition rates and larger gifts from online givers may be masking the difficulties many nonprofit groups have had in retaining these donors.
I wonder whether other factors might be at work here.