Study: Online Revenue and Email Revenue Up for Nonprofit Organizations

The just released M+R Benchmarks Study 2016 (in collaboration with the Nonprofit Technology Network) contains lots of interesting data about the state of online fundraising and marketing among nonprofit organizations. Some highlights

  • Online revenue is up 19%.
  • Although email opens and click-throughs are down, email fundraising is up 25%, and among the 25 top performing  (dollars raised online)  study participants, over one-third of their online revenue is via email.
  • Nonprofits sent more emails around fundraising and advocacy in 2015 than the year prior, but the response rate decreased.
  • For every 1,000 emails sent, nonprofits raise about $44.
  • The average one-time gift ranged from $61 (Wildlife/Animal Welfare nonprofits) to $168 (Rights nonprofits).
  • Wildlife/Animal Welfare nonprofits have the highest rates of engagement on social media.
  • On average, just over 1% of website visitors make a donation.

The Benchmarks study may help you gauge your nonprofit’s development and marketing metrics against sector averages, in fact, on page 17 the authors advise how to best use the data comparatively. The study is available to download for free at www.mrbenchmarks.com .

Nonprofit Benchmarks – Social Media Continues to Grow but Email is Still on Top

M+R, in partnership with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), recently released the 2014 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study  a look at data from a sample of nonprofits on email lists and messaging,  fundraising, web traffic,  social media activity and following, and online advocacy and/or programs.  The study can be downloaded from M+R or at the NTEN website and offers the opportunity to create your own infographic. Some highlights from the 2014 data,

  • Email list size for study participants grew by 11 percent, although growth slowed for all nonprofits except environmental groups.
  • Open rates increased across all types of emails – a 4 percent increase overall (an average of 14% in 2014). However, response rates for both fundraising and advocacy email declined.
  • Cultural groups had the highest open rate of any nonprofit sector at 20 percent, as well as the highest fundraising click-through rate at 0.70 percent and the highest fundraising response rate at 0.10 percent.
  • Website visitors per month increased 11 percent over 2013. However, the amount nonprofits raised per website visitor dropped 12 percent to $0.61 from 2013.
  • 76 percent of nonprofits surveyed utilized paid web marketing, with text and display ads the most popular methods.
  • Nonprofits continue to grow their social media audience (Facebook followers were up 37 percent, Twitter followers, 46 percent) but both pale in comparison to the numbers of email subscribers.

 

Nonprofits Report More Social Media Activity than Small Businesses

VerticalResponse conducted a survey of nonprofits and small businesses on their use of social media as part of their marketing and outreach efforts.   The responses indicate that more investment, in both time and resources, is being spent on social media than in prior years, but that there are challenges to keeping pace with the immediacy of mobile communications.   Findings include,

  • 40 percent of respondents spend 6 or more hours a week on social media tasks, with 61 percent reporting that they are spending more time on it than they did last year
  • 80 percent of nonprofits surveyed reported posting on Facebook more than once a week
  • 2.5 percent of respondents reported a decrease in their social media budgets, while 10 percent reported an increase
  • Content curation was the top challenge for both nonprofits and small businesses

 

Survey results are displayed and discussed at the VerticalReponse blog.

Still Scared of Social Media?

 

2012.11.14.transparency-willies

From Noise to Signal   (embed code wasn’t taking – here is the link to the original)

 

What is it about transparency that sounds so great in theory and gets all the heads nodding in strategy sessions but can make a nonprofit executive break out into a cold sweat as the launch or go-live date nears?  Is your social media presence suffering because of fear – fear of challenge,  of embarrassment, of attracting your very own internet troll?

Colleen Dilenschneider at the Know Your Own Bone blog soothes some of the anxiety felt by nonprofits around fully engaging in social media and adopting an open communications style with data and real-life examples in her post Trust your Audience: Data Debunks Nonprofit Social Media Fears.  When you hide your organization from online interactions you lose the ability to receive and discuss feedback,  build a reputation as an expert in your service area, and connect with those for whom social media is a primary source of information.

How did your organization face its fear of transparency, or has it?