May 17, 2014; Eleventy Group

M+R and NTEN have again partnered together to bring us their 2014 Benchmark Study. According to the exhibited results, the trends in online giving in 2013 tended toward interesting, if somewhat predictable. The data in the study, addressing email list sizes, fundraising, online advocacy, websites, social media, and mobile activity, came from 53 U.S.-based nonprofits.

The results were not surprising; the infographic below shows nonprofits reaching more of their client bases through websites, emailing, and social media.

Benchmark Infographic

Trends in Online Giving in 2013:

  • 14% increase in revenue from online giving for nonprofits
  • 14% increase in the average number of online gifts
  • 25% overall growth rate for online monthly giving to nonprofits
  • 16% of all online revenue for nonprofits came from monthly giving

Environmental groups were the advocacy group to send out the most monthly emails, and yet had the highest open rate when compared to international and wildlife and animal welfare. International groups did have much more success at getting online users to donate through their website, with a donation conversion rate of 2.2%, while wildlife and animal welfare reached 0.99% and 0.66% for environmental groups. Website revenue per visitor was also significantly higher for international groups, reaching $5.48 per visitor, while all other groups surveyed didn’t exceed a dollar.

Online giving among study participants increased 14% when compared to 2012, but unfortunately this study does not show whether gifts overall increased when compared to previous years. We may assume online giving is taking the place of other more traditional forms of giving.

Although email is still very important, nonprofits surveyed did see a noteworthy drop of 25% in advocacy response rates along with an 11% decline in fundraising responses. M + R’s study showed that website traffic consistently increased for study participants, with an average increase of 16%. Twitter and Facebook growth was on an increase, but that growth isn’t weighty compared to their 2012 study, where annual Facebook growth was at 46% and Twitter growth reached a whopping 264%.—Aine Creedon