Web 2.0 is Hot, but Email is Where It’s At, Finds 2008 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Web 20 is Hot, but Email is Where It's At, Finds 2008 eNonprofit Benchmarks StudyA new study released recently measured 2007 internet fundraising and activism of nonprofits and highlights the continued importance of the Internet to the sector. The 2008 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, co-authored by M+R Strategic Services and Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) adds new depth to 2006 benchmarks findings with additional data on the importance of major donors and ‘super activists.’

Here’s the essence: Email fatigue is here — open and click-through rates are down — but it remains far more effective than Web 2.0 strategies and annual gift size is increasing.
The report includes many benchmarks you can use to gauge the success of your nonprofit’s e-marketing and e-fundraising. Other key findings (and related tips) include:

  • Finding: The total amount raised online increased by 19 percent from 2006 to 2007
    • Tip: Keep focusing on your online presence and fundraising.
  • Finding: The average nonprofit sent over 4 emails per subscriber per month in both 2006 and 2007.
    • Tip: Don’t take a break from your email schedule. Keep the schedule you’ve promised to your readers. Weekly is great; more often if warranted; monthly ok; less than that not advised.
  • Finding: Email open rates, click-through rates and response rates have fallen from 21.3 percent to 17.6 percent, and click-through rates have dropped from 4.9 percent to 3.8 percent.
    • Finding: The average advocacy email response rate in 2007 was 7.5%. The average fundraising email response rate was 0.13%.
    • Tip: But more emails are being sent out, for a net:net that’s not bad.
  • Finding: ‘Super activists,’ taking six or more online actions in a year, made up just 5 percent of the total email list size but accounted for 42 percent of the organizations’ total actions.
    • Tip: Find these folks and make it easy for them to take frequent action. It’s likely their great donors, or giving prospects, too.

Put these findings to work in crafting your marketing and fundraising plans.

P.S. The NTEN/M+R team has done a stellar job of marketing the report with its report-focused mini-site, webinar and coverage on both of the org’s Web sites. True multi-channel marketing!

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Nancy Schwartz in Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Trends | 0 comments

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