Nonprofit Online Marketing Benchmarks and Best Practices
On Monday, fundraising technology provider Convio released its 2011 Online Nonprofit Benchmark Study. FundRaising Success spoke with Dennis McCarthy, vice president of strategy and business practice at Convio, and consultant Andy Prince about the key findings from the study and what they mean for fundraisers.
• Online is the fastest-growing fundraising channel for nonprofits. In 2010, Convio’s clients raised more than $1.3 billion online, up 40 percent from 2009.
• The median growth rate in online giving was 20 percent. The median growth rate was 14 percent in 2009. Overall, 79 percent of organizations raised more in 2010 than 2009, while 21 percent saw a decline in online fundraising. All but three verticals (association and membership, public broadcasting stations, and team events) had a growth rate greater than 10 percent.
• Online giving is growing fastest for small organizations. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 e-mail addresses saw a 26 percent increase in online giving.
“We look at Gen X, Gen Y, even to an extent boomer — they want to make sure their money has an impact. They want to make sure they can see where it’s going and what’s going on,” McCarthy says. "If I give to a large NGO, where does my money really go? That money gets spent well — those are good organizations. But one of the biggest verticals that took off online is food banks … because a food bank is in my own town so I can see where that money is having an impact.”
Further, it’s easier for small organizations to market online.
“If you’re a very small nonprofit with maybe only a couple thousand supporters, it’s a whole lot easier to send out an e-mail campaign than it is to push out 2,000 letters,” McCarthy says. “So the scale really works in favor of a small organization for online media than it [does] for a large organization that can just as easily push out 200,000 pieces of mail.”