Friday, September 27, 2013

A Sign of the Times: The Online Giving Manager

Based on how certain fundraisers are being compensated, nonprofits appear to be banking that a click of the mouse will help fill organizational coffers more reliably than special events. 

A study of the past three Nonprofit Organizations Survey and Benefits Surveys sponsored by The NonProfit Times indicates that a relatively new position, online giving manager, is becoming more established while the position of major events manager/specialist has stalled or declined in compensation.

In a report published today, The Times maintains that

Analysts who stay abreast of nonprofit trends say the surveys show a shift in fundraising brought about by a number of factors, such as the economic downturn of 2008-09, which led to staff cutbacks and fewer fundraising events.  There has also been a shift in fundraisers’ target donors toward Millenniums, who grew up with computers and social media.

The shift does not spell an end to fundraising events but the need for a more strategic approach to them.

The number of online giving managers is small but the position had a base salary of just above $65,000 in 2010 and 2012, substantially more than the slightly less than $50,000 average cost per employee in the fundraising family of jobs for those years. The base salary for special events manager/specialist dropped from $48,556 in 2010 to $46,196 in 2012.  The position fell from slightly above the average cost per employee for the fundraising family of jobs in 2010 to more than $3,000 below that average in 2012.

According to Matt Di Lauri, managing director of People & Systems Solutionsin New York City, higher salaries for online giving managers suggest that the position is an emerging field for nonprofits.  Di Lauri further stated: “When supply is low and demand is high, the cost is going to increase. You’re probably going to have to take [online giving managers] from the for-profit area where the income is higher.”

The Times warns, however, that

Bringing candidates from the for-profit online world might limit the number of nonprofits that can afford an online giving manager.  No organization with an operating budget of less than $2.5 million reported having an online giving manager in any of the past three surveys.  Special events managers/specialists, on the other hand, were reported among all sizes of nonprofits.

Di Lauri notes that the online giving manager is a “relatively new position,” one that grew since “the world really did change.”  Nurys Harrigan, president of Careers in Nonprofits in Chicago, IL, opines that shifting demographics have led nonprofits to embrace the Internet and social media.  According to Harrigan, the donors the nonprofits are trying to attract -- the Millenniums, the generation now generally in their 20s -- give online. 

And so, the office of online giving manager is here to stay.  We turn to The Times for the final word:

The job description for online giving manager as stated in the survey [indicates that the] manager is “responsible for the organization’s online fundraising activities including both donor acquisition and relationship development; leads the development and implementation of online fundraising strategies including online stories, email campaigns and other e-commerce activities; [and] works to increase donor giving via the organization’s website and other online initiatives in collaboration with other income development activities throughout the organization.”

Indeed, times have changed.  Although I am not a member of the Millenniums, I do what little giving I do online.  I guess online giving managers have to appeal to people like me also!  My former student, Ibukun Adepoju, who has been helping me so much this week, spotted this story and urged me to blog about it.  I'm not surprised; she is a member of the Millenniums, the generation really being targeted by the ever-increasing number of online giving managers.


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