Email Still Important for NFPs - USA Benchmarking Report
2 April 2013 at 9:09 am
Online and email programs continue to grow in importance for Not for Profits, according to the 7th annual eNonprofit Benchmarks Study by M+R Strategic Services and NTEN.
The report examines the online performance of leading US Not for Profits including American Red Cross, Sierra Club, AARP and the Human Rights Campaign to gauge the latest trends in online fundraising and advocacy.
The authors analysed the results of 1.6 billion email messages sent to over 45 million subscribers; 6.5 million online gifts totaling $438 million raised; and 7.3 million advocacy actions.
Overall, the study found that online revenue has increased, email list sizes keep
growing, and organizations are using social media to reach more supporters than ever before.
It found Email list sizes are up by 15%. Online revenue grew by 21% over 2011 totals, with only the International sector seeing a decline in online giving.
The report found that monthly giving programs in particular have seen explosive growth, with revenue growing by 43%.
In the area of social media the report says the top-line findings for social media probably won’t surprise anyone.
It found that organizations keep attracting more Fans and Followers – Twitter Followers in particular increased at a tremendous rate, with 264% growth over the past year.
It says despite this growth, email lists continue to dominate in size. For every 1,000 email subscribers, groups in this study have 149 Facebook Fans and 53 Twitter Followers.
The report says that data this year also tells a second story about email performance. Email response rates (the percentage of email recipients who took the main action in the email) were down in 2012.
It says the changes were not consistent across sectors—Rights and International groups suffered the largest drops.
Here are some key findings:
- 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. This trend was greatest for Wildlife and Animal Welfare groups, which grew their email lists by 32 percent from 2011.
- 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.
The report’s authors have produced an infographic to show the findings of this latest report.