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Online Fundraising Up – NFP Benchmark Study


Thursday, 10th April 2014 at 10:28 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist
Monthly online giving to Not for Profits is up by 25 per cent with emails now accounting for one third of a charity’s online fundraising, according to an extensive benchmarking study.

Thursday, 10th April 2014
at 10:28 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist


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Online Fundraising Up – NFP Benchmark Study
Thursday, 10th April 2014 at 10:28 am

Monthly online giving to Not for Profits is up by 25 per cent with emails now accounting for one third of a charity’s online fundraising, according to an extensive benchmarking study.

Now in its eighth year, the US M+R and NTEN’s 2014 Benchmarks Study crunches the numbers from 53 Not for Profits by compiling, coding, and verifying results from over 2.1 billion email messages, 5.6 million donations and 7.5 million online actions to define the industry standards for online fundraising, advocacy, and list building.

It found that Not for Profits are reaching more people through email, their own websites, and social media and 2013 raised the bar for online fundraising with Not for Profits receiving an estimated 1.7 cents for every fundraising message delivered, and 60 cents for every website visit.

It said that even though response rates for Not for Profits’ emails continued to slide in 2013, online giving was up as email and social media audiences and web traffic kept climbing.

The Benchmark Study found eight big Not for Profit trends:

  • The average one-time online donation amount to a NFP was $68 in 2013.
  • NFP organisation email lists grew significantly – up 14 per cent in 2013.
  • Online donations were higher than ever before. Online giving was up 14 per cent in 2013, with monthly giving revenue up 25 per cent compared to 2012. Monthly giving accounted for 16 per cent of all online revenue.
  • NFPs received $17 for every 1,000 email messages delivered. Overall, email accounted for about one-third of  a Not for Profit’s’ online fundraising revenue.
  • NFPs received $0.60 per website visitor.
  • Key email metrics, including open rates and response rates, declined in 2013. Email open rates were down 4 per cent. Response rates were down in 2013 for both fundraising emails (down 11 per cent) and advocacy emails (down 25 per cent) compared to 2012 levels. (The report said interestingly, the response rates to advocacy emails from Environmental NFPs were more than two times higher than overall response rates for advocacy emails.)
  • More people visited NFP websites. Monthly website traffic for the NFPs in the study was up 16 per cent in 2013.
  • NFP social media audiences grew faster than NFP email or website audiences. Facebook fans were up 37 per cent and Twitter followers were up 46 percent  in 2013. Despite this rapid growth, for every 1,000 email subscribers NFPs had just 199 Facebook fans and 110 Twitter followers.  
  • Email lists however are still growing – up 14 per cent over 2012 levels.

The study shows that email subscribers may donate up to two to three times more revenue online through non-email channels (driven by search, social media, or just going straight to a Not for Profit’s website).

“Supporters aren’t just checking email and visiting websites – they are also becoming our friends and fans,” the report said.

“Social media audiences continue to grow at a much faster rate than email or website traffic.

“While email continues to dwarf social media – both in audience numbers and as a driver of revenue – more and more NFP supporters are connecting with the causes they care about on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest.”

Download the 2014 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study

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Staff Reporter  |  Journalist |  @ProBonoNews


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