Online nonprofit fundraising is on the rise, with explosive growth in sustaining gifts and a larger audience of supporters reached through social media networks like Facebook, according to a new comprehensive analysis released last week of 55 of the U.S.’s leading nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, Sierra Club, American Lung Association, AARP and Human Rights Campaign. While the growth of online fundraising is expected to remain robust, the report also cites the long-term decline of response rates as a top priority for nonprofits evaluating their email performance in an increasingly crowded inbox.
Key findings of the nonprofits surveyed, include:
- A 21 percent increase in online revenue overall from 2011, with only International groups seeing a decline in online giving.
- A sharp decline in certain key email metrics – such as a 14 percent decline in click-through rates for advocacy messages and 27 percent decline for fundraising messages. This trend was driven mostly by the decline in click-through rates among Rights and International groups. Advocacy messages sent on behalf of Environmental groups performed best.
- Since 2011, online monthly giving grew by 43 percent – more than twice as fast as one-time giving. Although still a small percentage of overall giving, sustaining gifts now account for 18 percent of revenue for International groups.
- Email list sizes continue to grow for all sectors and sizes, up 15 percent in 2012.
- The growth of social media audiences outpaced email lists in 2012, growing an average of 46 percent on Facebook and 264 percent on Twitter. However, Facebook continues to be king for connecting with supporters on social media, reaching 149 Facebook fans for every 1,000 email subscribers.
To read the full study, please visit: e-benchmarksstudy.com
About: The 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, conducted by M+R Strategic Services and NTEN, examines data from 55 nonprofits in sectors ranging from rights to environmental issues. The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study examines fundraising response rates, average gift amounts, advocacy response rates, and e-mail click-through rates, among other factors, to set benchmarks by which nonprofits can measure their online performance. This year’s study – the seventh Benchmarks report – analyzes 1.6 billion email messages sent to 45 million list subscribers, 7.3 million advocacy actions, and more than $438 million online donations from over 6.5 million online gifts collected throughout 2012.