2018 M&R Study: Monthly Giving Revenue Up 40 Percent
I may have mentioned before that there really are not that many trend statistics tracking monthly giving revenue. For individual organizations, there are some wonderful analytics companies to look at trends and compare against their other clients, but that information is not publicly available.
The only available stats I know of are:
For small organizations (raising $2 million or less): the “Individual Donor Benchmarking Study,” but unfortunately that’s on hiatus.
For organizations with 4,000 sustainers or more, there’s Blackbaud’s Target Analytics Sustainer Benchmarking Study and the Blackbaud’s “Luminate Online Benchmark Report.” I’ve reported on this before.
Finally, there’s M+R Strategic Benchmarks, also focused on online giving. They just published their latest numbers for the calendar year 2017, so I’d like to share some of the good news:
Monthly Giving Revenue Up By 40 percent
Whoa, yes! That’s great news indeed. The main reasons for this.
Giving monthly online is easy to set up and more and more organizations are driving donors there. I’ve personally seen a major increase in the number of emails sent in 2017 with a monthly donor ask. Many included challenges and consisted of multiple email blasts with a clear goal, a deadline and the matching amount as the “carrot.” I’ve also seen more organizations take over the home page for a while, so it’s really the first thing donors see.
After the new administration, there were many reasons for organizations to reach out to constituents and find new donors. You saw this especially with environmental organizations and human rights organizations—and the results show. They were also very strong in trying to convert petition takers to give monthly.
Monthly Donors’ Annual Value Is Almost 3 Times One-Time Donors
Let’s look at the two tables below. The average monthly gift is $18 driven by email and $25 driving online by other channels. If you annualize this, that means between $216 and $300 a year. If you compare this to the average one-time gift of $76 by email or $113 driven online by other channels, monthly donors give almost three times more than one-time donors.
Note: M+R analyzed the results of almost 4.7 billion email messages sent to over 53 million list subscribers, 528 million web visits, more than $738 million of online revenue from nearly 12 million donations and 17 million advocacy actions. Email list size groups were determined by looking at the deliverable email list size at the end of 2017 and grouped participants into three categories:
- Small:Under 100,000 subscribers
- Medium:100,000-500,000 subscribers
- Large:Over 500,000 subscribers)
Of course, as fundraisers you’ll need to raise funds from both types of donors, but it sure makes you focusing on monthly giving a bit more “defendable,” right?
Thank you, M+R Strategic! I love these statistics, how about you?
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals.
She just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving—in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and cat, Mientje.