Well it is officially spring in Austin and with spring brings a return to warmer weather, longer days, Easter egg hunts, and metrics for the nonprofit professional. And like Easter candy there seems to be an endless craving for information about how nonprofits are faring and how they can do better. So for the fourth year in a row, Convio is proud to provide you the latest copy of our Online Nonprofit Benchmark™ Study with hopefully enough to satisfy every sweet tooth, or hardened online marketer.
For those of you who have not seen this before, the study looked at nearly 500 nonprofit organizations’ online marketing results and compiled a series of benchmarks for evaluating fundraising, email, advocacy, and marketing success online. At a macro cross-segment level, this study revealed the following:
– Online giving grew 14 percent despite a difficult economy. Overall, 69 percent of organizations raised more in 2009 than 2008, while 31 percent saw declines in their online fundraising.
– Donors were still giving, but giving smaller amounts. 61 percent of all organizations saw their average gift drop in 2009.
– Small organizations grew fastest. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 email addresses on file, many of which are participants in the Convio Go! program, grew online revenue by 26 percent, and gifts by 32 percent.
– Email files continued to grow strongly. The total email file grew 27 percent in 2009 to 39,100 constituents.
– Web traffic growth continued for most, but at a slower rate. 60 percent of organizations grew their website traffic from 2008 to 2009. Web traffic growth in 2009 was in the single digits at 6 percent compared with double digit growth seen in previous years.
– Registration rates dropped. The rate at which organizations converted website visitors to their email file declined to 2.12 percent in 2009.
– Constituents more reluctant to open emails and click-through. While open rates for both fundraising appeals and newsletters remained around 20 percent, the click-through rates for both types of online communication declined in 2009.
To learn more about how nonprofits similar to yours are performing, the full paper is available online.
Remember, every organization is different, each with its own strengths, organizational challenges, and goals. So, use this study as a starting point to better understand why metrics are important, and which metrics and drivers can have the largest effect on your online marketing programs. And then, continue to test what works best for your organization.