Fundraisers Give Mixed Reviews on Internet's Value

Fundraisers' use of the Internet has grown in the past six months, but many are less optimistic about its ability to draw donations, according to the December 2000 Philanthropic Giving Index by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The number of fundraisers using e-mail rose from 20 percent to 25 percent since July last year. Only 7 percent of 181 fundraisers who answered the survey rated e-mail as successful, however, compared with 15 percent in the July 2000 index.

Respondents who currently use e-mail for fundraising were more positive about its effectiveness, with 19 percent of this group rating it successful.

The number of professionals who said their organizations had set up a Web page for accepting gifts remained steady at 46 percent. Only 10 percent of those surveyed rated the Internet as successful, down from 16 percent in the July index.

Of those surveyed for both studies, 33 percent of respondents in the July survey said the Internet would be successful, compared with 13 percent in the December survey.

Again, fundraisers who use the Internet were the most optimistic; 18 percent of these professionals considered the Internet to be successful, compared with 10 percent of the entire group.

The Philanthropic Giving Index is a semiannual study of the state of philanthropy nationally. The December survey was mailed to 270 development executives at nonprofit organizations and 26 fundraising consultants representing a cross-section of the nonprofit sector

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