Convio Unveils Nonprofit Sector’s Most Comprehensive Study of Online Trends; Online Tools Continue to Drive Value in Today’s Economy
The study focused on key areas related to online success, including:
* Website traffic and registration
* Email file health
* Online fundraising
* Online communications
Key findings of the study include:
Positive Year-Over-Year Growth in All Areas of Online Success – 2008 saw positive year-over-year growth in all the key areas of online success — online fundraising, email file growth and website traffic. This is in contrast to reports that indicate traditional direct mail led engagement and fundraising growth declined in 2008 overall and especially in the fourth quarter.
Web Traffic Continues to Expand – Average monthly website traffic grew year-over-year at a rate of 20 percent. This growth is important since a charity’s website is often the first touch point between an organization and individual. When used effectively, it can convey the importance of an organization’s mission, help register new constituents and generate desired actions such as making a donation or signing a petition.
Email File Growth Continues to be Strong – Email file growth grew at nearly 28 percent from 2007 to 2008. The number of email addresses on file has a direct impact on an organization’s ability to communicate with, cultivate and solicit actions from constituents. Generally speaking, the larger an organization’s communication reach, the more constituents who are available to help them reach their goals, whether that is raising more money, mobilizing more advocates, or simply increasing awareness.
Increase in Number of Gifts Drives Online Revenue Growth – A 14 percent growth in online revenue was fueled by a 14 percent increase in the number of gifts nonprofit organizations received in 2008. With traditional fundraising channels experiencing challenges in 2008, online fundraising remains a growth engine for many organizations.
Large Organizations Outperform Smaller Counterparts – Large organizations seem to be faring better in the recession than smaller organizations as seen by the fact that they raised seven times more money on average for the full year and raised 11 times that of smaller organizations during the fourth quarter of 2008. This growth can be attributed to the strength of their brands, as well as the fact that they typically have more resources and experience than their smaller counterparts to execute multi-channel campaigns. As smaller organizations increase their online sophistication, study authors believe there is an opportunity for smaller organizations to close this gap.
Special Consideration: Fourth Quarter 2008
Given the intense downturn in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2008, the authors of the study paid special attention to results in that quarter, in addition to their year-over-year analysis.