Study Reveals Online Marketing Benchmarks and Nonprofit Fundraising Trends | Miratel Solutions

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Study Reveals Online Marketing Benchmarks and Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

Blackbaud regularly releases industry reporting to help better understand current nonprofit fundraising trends and results based on data from a variety of organizations in different sectors and sizes. I routinely write about the latest monthly Blackbaud Index and I also cover their yearly reports like the 2012 Charitable Giving Report. Blackbaud has recently released another of these reports titled, the Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits. This is the 7th edition of this report and it is based on almost 700 organizations which have collectively raised $1.12 billion through online donations in 2012. The results both overall and by vertical are interesting and encouraging.

  • OVERALL – Online fundraising grew by 11.6% and when broken down by donation type: Sustainer Donations had the most growth by 27%; repeat donations grew 20%; one-time donations increased 10%; and first-time donations improved by 3%. Although there was a 3% increase in new donors, the total revenue raised online declined. Although online donations will continue to grow they still represent a very small percentage of overall fundraising. On the down side response rates to emails in 2012 had a dramatic decrease of over 18% in comparison to 2011 results.
  • online-fundraising-report-nonprofit-fundraisingDonation Amount – The median of overall online donations is $89, with higher education, hospitals and human and social services performing the best with $150, $146 and $134 average online donations respectively. When comparing the revenue to the number of usable email addresses there was an increase of $0.52 from $12.48 in 2011 to $13 in 2012. In this metric Food Banks outperformed all verticals with an average of $41.00 while hospital foundations had $27 and hospitals $23.
  • Sustainer Donations – Having a 27% growth, the largest by donation type and an average donation of $31, monthly donation programs are the best source of sustainable donor revenue and the type of program that new and one time donors should be encouraged to participate in. When compared to other verticals, Higher Education experienced the largest growth with 73%, Jewish organizations came in second with 57% and Performing Arts & Libraries 49.5% which coincidentally also had the highest donation average of $64.
  • Repeat Donors – Experiencing a 20% growth in overall repeat donations and an average donation of $87 the growth amongst this donation type indicates there is a segment of donors that give more often and at a higher average and can be recruited to become monthly donors. Verticals that had the largest growth included Visitation Organizations with 54%, Higher Education 40% and Environment and Wildlife 30%.
  • Email Programs –Interestingly 2.04% of all website visitors will leave an email address. In 2012 organization’s email files experienced a median growth of 12.45% with hospitals leading the verticals with 28.74%, food banks 21.37% and animal welfare organizations 18.72%. When it comes to usable email files (addresses of those who have opted-in) there was a growth of 7.33% with hospitals and food banks maintaining their first and second spots with 17.36% and 16.64% growth respectively and Canadian organizations coming in third with 14.36%. The median of a donor email file’s usability is 53.89% overall, with higher education organizations having the strongest lists with 73.64%, association and membership 62.24% and Jewish organizations 61.66%.

Based on these report findings, it’s important that donor information – including email addresses – is kept current to optimize donor potential. The Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits offers many other insights including statistics on open, click-through and response rates to email appeals and online advocacy results.


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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