Digital Development Officers

Digital Development Officers - Why Invest? (Part 2)

Justin Ware
Jun 11, 2021

“Our people aren’t on social media.”

As a digitally-savvy fundraiser, you might have heard that line more than once over the past decade when suggesting digital engagement for major gift donors and prospects.

And for all of the last decade, it hasn’t been true. Not even close. In 2011, Fidelity released a study on their millionaire investors. That group of millionaires were very engaged online with 85 percent active on at least one social media platform. In 2011, that was FAR ahead of the overall social media usage numbers for the general population.

Flash forward to 2020 and the situation has changed little. According to a recent Statista survey about the percent of specific income demographics who are active on social media:

  • $75,000+ (annual income): 78% are active on social media
  • $50,000–$74,999: 83% are active
  • $30,000–$49,999: 70% are active
  • <$30,000: 68% are active

Some of the wealthiest people on Earth - from Elon Musk to Richard Branson to the Gates family - are frequently active on social media.

So yes, many of the highest capacity donors in our profiles are active online and via social media.

And this is great news! Because with social media, gift officers can…

  • Create or join online communities and networks to stay connected with donors and prospects
  • Follow big career updates and other potential wealth and readiness indicators
  • Work with marketing to curate content that keeps donors and prospects close to the mission between in-person meetings 
  • Get to know donors and prospects on a more personal level

Major gift donors and prospects are active on social media. To meet these critical supporters where they are requires gift officers who are comfortable with social media engagement.

A Digital Development Officer program is the key to establishing a meaningful presence in the increasingly-critical online space. Whether you’re hiring new DDOs or simply retraining your current gift officer team to do digital better, know that your people are active on social media and be ready to meet them there.
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Justin Ware
Justin Ware is a digital fundraising expert with nearly 15 years of experience helping nonprofits raise money online. An Emmy-winning YouTube producer and one of the original pioneers of the online giving day and online ambassadors programs, Justin is focused on innovative tactics and "what's next?" for cause-based work.

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