New Benchmarks X Study Analyzes 10 Years of Ups/Downs in Online Giving/Advocacy

blended-learningNonprofit email open rates, click-through rates, and response rates were down last year.
BUT! …
Mobile is up. Social media is up. Monthly giving is up.
And online giving is up. WAY up: 19% higher in 2015 than 2014!

Much like Hannah Montana (who also was created in 2006), the world of online fundraising, advocacy, and marketing has transformed in countless unexpected ways in the 10 years since M+R and NTEN published the first Benchmarks Study.

“The way people interact with nonprofits has changed a lot since the early days of Twitter,” exclaimed M+R Principal & Creative Director Madeline Stanionis. “But this year’s Benchmarks X Study is hardly a throwback thesis. It’s a pretty exciting look at how nonprofits and nonprofit supporters are behaving now, today, in this exact moment, so people working on good causes can prepare for what’s next.”

Here are five key facts from this year’s Study that would have been unthinkable just ten years ago:

  1. Overall, 13% of online gifts were made from mobile devices – a number that likely reflects both user preference and increasing adoption of mobile optimization best practices by nonprofits.

  2. For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits have 355 Facebook fans, 132 Twitter followers, and 19 Instagram followers. In 2006, those numbers were basically zero, zero, and zero.

  3. Nonprofits invested $0.04 in digital advertising for every $1 of online revenue. This might not seem like much, but considering that overall online revenue grew by 19% in the last year, digital advertising is an increasingly important market for acquisition, conversion, and retention.

  4. The volume has been turned way up: nonprofits sent the average subscriber 49 email messages in 2015.

  5. Monthly giving accounts for 17% of all online revenue – and monthly giving is growing quite a bit faster than one-time revenue. In our first Benchmarks Study, only about half of the participants had a recurring giving program at all.

More than 100 nonprofits participated in the 2016 Benchmarks Study. Results of over 2.8 billion email messages sent to over 69 million list subscribers; more than $481 million of online donations from over 13.1 million online gifts; and 8.2 million advocacy actions were analyzed.

The complete Benchmarks 2016 Study is available for download here.