FYI Blog

M+ R Benchmarks: 2016 Report Highlights

MR Benchmarks Study Cover Page - 2016

M+R and NTEN is out with its annual study of online benchmarks — always a source of interesting facts and food for thought. Here are some highlights:

  • Online revenue was up 19% overall in the last year; email revenue grew by 25%.
  • Monthly giving increased by 24% and accounted for 17% of all online revenue in 2015 — not a huge surprise, since many organizations now make it a priority to recruit and steward highly valuable sustainers. One-time online giving was up 18%.
  • Email frequency is increasing — nonprofits in the study sent the average subscriber 49 email messages in 2015 — but segmentation is also likely being refined. So nonprofits are figuring out how to get more bang for their online buck.
  • With 24% of subscribers considered inactive, segmenting out your inactive folks will improve your email metrics and your sender reputation.
  • Email list churn, at 11.8%, is being outpaced by email list growth at 14%.
  • Last year, 13% of online gifts were made from mobile devices — another reminder to make your mobile giving experience seamless for donors.
  • For every $1 of online revenue, nonprofits invested $0.04 into digital advertising. Organizations with larger email lists (500k+) spent more than small groups.
  • Nonprofits that saw largest year-over-year growth in money raised online had three strategies in common:
  • Email is becoming a larger piece of their fundraising pies;
  • They send more fundraising appeals per subscriber;
  • And they invest heavily in digital advertising.

It’s not magic; diligence in these key areas and a focus on aggressive digital acquisition lead to success.

2016 Benchmarks Study Cheat Sheet ver 2You can download the complete study at M+R’s website. There’s also a handy cheat sheet on page 66 outlining seven email metrics for 2015 across different nonprofit sectors, broken down by type of communication (advocacy, fundraising, or newsletter).