Blackbaud’s 2015 Luminate Online Benchmark report is out and has some interesting takeaways:
- Email house files grew at a median rate of 11.82 percent. List growth continues to be a priority, though investment is key.
- The number of donation and advocacy email sends increased 17 percent, but this does not mean that any one individual is getting more email (even though it may seem that way). Rather, people may be getting fewer — but more relevant — emails, thanks to more sophisticated segmentation. We have so many data points about our email list subscribers, so be sure to use this data to tailor content to your readers’ interests, behaviors, and relationships with your organization.
- Fundraising email open and click-through rates declined, but the good news is that the rate of decline has slowed. Open rates are at 15.34 percent — a 2.25 percent decrease from last year (compare this to M+R’s 12 percent). Click-through rates are at 0.61 percent, which represents an 8.41 percent decrease. It’s getting harder and harder to get opens and clicks. Two tactics that can help? Always offer stellar content that your subscribers want, and optimize your emails for mobile.
- Conversion rates are down 11 percent from last year and are at 0.04 percent (compared to M+R’s 0.07 percent). See above — good content and a mobile-friendly viewing experience can help here, too.
- Median online giving grew nearly 9 percent this year, and first-time online giving is sluggish. But repeat online giving is strong. This stat consistently increases, even though online giving for most organizations still only represents 7-10 percent of overall giving.
- The number of first-time donors has slowed, while the number of repeat donors has increased, pointing to the importance of stewardship in retaining donors.
- Monthly giving as a percentage of all online giving grew nearly 8 percent over last year, showing that nonprofits are having some success with online sustainer recruitment.
There are so many ways to incorporate monthly asks into your program. Check out our comprehensive blog on sustainers for more on this. We’re happy to see that, in general, Avalon clients’ online fundraising metrics match or are stronger than industry benchmarks in the arts, advocacy, animal welfare, and conservation sectors. And our clients’ online results have mostly either trended in line with or above industry figures over the last four years. How do your metrics stack up?