Events Marketing News, Research & Trends

Live from IFC 2018: The social fundraising data report for nonprofits

on April 16, 2018

This week, the CrowdRise team has descended upon New Orleans to eat some po’ boys and attend two of the biggest nonprofit fundraising conferences of the year: The 2018 International Fundraising Conference and the Nonprofit Technology Conference, from April 11th through April 17th. And, lucky for those who couldn’t make it, we’re live-blogging our favorite fundraising sessions along the way. (So sorry you can’t download the po’ boys to enjoy at home.)


Does your nonprofit know how best to use social fundraising and additionally, how to apply it to your organization?

By gathering data from billions of visits, millions of users, as well as campaigns, donations, and social sharing, GoFundMe developed The social fundraising report for nonprofits to dig deeper into the real value of social fundraising.

Here’s what Tre Mascola, Account Manager from CrowdRise by GoFundMe and Gabe Cohen, Media and Outreach Manager at GuideStar, had to say about the importance of these findings and how organizations can use them to help their nonprofit grow and diversify using the power of social fundraising.

Why all the data?

Did you know that GoFundMe processes 30 donations every second? Pretty incredible. And, while we’ve always known that social sharing plays a big role in fundraising success, we wanted to dig into this wealth of data and really get some proof to share with nonprofits looking to incorporate or enhance their social fundraising.

The insights we gathered from this information not only helped us to redesign and rethink our platform in terms of functionality and features, but also allow us to share these valuable findings with the nonprofit community to help them better understand social fundraising and how it applies to their organization.

“Social fundraising isn’t the next big thing… it’s the current big thing”

Mobile isn’t going anywhere

According to the data report, mobile devices make up over 79% of traffic and 62% of donations to campaigns. And even though these percentages have steadily increased over the years, the conversion rate on mobile is still lower than it is on desktop. This discrepancy in mobile vs. desktop is aligned with the trends that the ecommerce sector is seeing, as well.

Why? “We are seeing a large percentage of visitor traffic on mobile, which includes informational searching, as well,” said Gabe.

So, supporters, or likely-supporters, are apt to do some digging on their phones, learn more, read up on a current campaigns, access a shared link from a friend on social channels, etc., but are more likely to be in front of their laptop or desktop to make an actual contribution to the campaign. These findings make it all the more apparent how important optimizing for mobile is for nonprofit organizations.

Bonus tip: Make sure your nonprofit profile is up to date and accurate on GuideStar so supporters get a valid snapshot of your organization when they perform their search

CrowdRise has embraced this mobile-first mentality by making sure all of our campaign pages, donation flow, email receipts, and ticket and registration are all optimized for mobile.

Who are all these people?

So what kind of info does GoFundMe get when processing those 30 donations per second? Lots and lots of rich and actionable donor demographic data.

For example, GoFundMe donors are largely from middle and lower class households. To be exact, 92% of the donations on GoFundMe are from middle class households and 23% of those have a household income of $50,000 or less.graphic_page14_v1

These grassroot donors prove that, just because you make less, it doesn’t mean you give or care less. When you are running a peer-to-peer campaign, you’re taking advantage of these eager and passionate supporters who are ready to devote time, energy, and funds to your campaign.

CrowdRise by GoFundMe aims to keep peer-to-peer fundraising at the helm of our product focus, expanding on the need for nonprofits to have flexibility in their campaign structure. The ability for an organization to pivot from donate only campaigns to peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is so important in order to tap into this community. That’s why we completely redesigned our UI and campaign pages so that nonprofits can go from each style of campaign in just a few clicks.

The real value of a share

According to the data report, each post-donation social share brings in, on average, $15 in new donations to a campaign. And what’s even more interesting is that the average campaign visitor, not donor, who shares the campaign page on social brings in an average of $13 per share.

The most important piece of the puzzle is the share from the campaign organizer. The campaign organizer of a peer-to-peer campaign, with all that passion and drive, brings in around $43 per share. Additionally, he went on to say that these statistics don’t even take into consideration the amount of exposure and awareness gained from these shares.

These findings really get down to trust and that people want to trust that they’re being guided in the right direction from a friend or family member. It’s a more authentic appeal than coming from the nonprofit themselves, and it brings a sense of good will when they take an action suggested from someone in their network.

In the same way that we trust our friends who have tried a new restaurant, bought a new pair of shoes, or started listening to a new band, the trust element takes the guesswork out of it and allows you to go ahead and skip to the next level of engagement.

Gabe goes on to say that that’s the pillar on which GuideStar was built. “By providing accurate, informative, and accessible information about the world’s best nonprofits, we can help take that guesswork out of the supporter’s decision to take action with the nonprofit they’re researching.”

CrowdRise by GoFundMe has made major investments when it comes to social fundraising and it’s powerful force for nonprofits. For example, by developing Social AMP, a powerful set of features designed to optimize social sharing throughout the supporter’s journey, a lot of thought and value has been placed onto social fundraising.


As you can see, the takeaways from this session were pretty impressive and prove that optimizing for how your supporters seek information, embracing peer-to-peer fundraising, and layering social fundraising into everything you’re doing are really important steps to growing your nonprofit.

Big thanks to Tre and Gabe… awesome session.

Are you in New Orleans for the rest of AFP? Were you so taken back by this riveting session that you want to come say hi? Stop by our booth… we’ll hook you up with a free Decent Human tee and a 90s photo at our photo booth.

Staying at home and not in the big easy? No worries. Follow us on the blog, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as we do more live blogging and post about our favorite moments at the show.New call-to-action

Rilee Chastain

Rilee Chastain is the Content Marketing Specialist at CrowdRise. She is passionate about content optimization and all things social, and cares way too much about her Instagram aesthetic. She also has a life goal to eat mac and cheese at least 3 times a week.