The Average Sustainer Gift Is $35 a Month—That’s $425 a Year!
It’s tax season. Phew, I just finished mine. It’s such a bear.
The good news is that this also means last year’s giving updates are coming in. It is statistics season, and, of course, I’m always on the lookout for the latest statistics when it comes to monthly giving.
While there are not that many companies that track sustainers yet, what we can see is amazingly powerful. So, if you or your boss are still hesitant, take a look at the latest "Blackbaud Luminate Online Trends" right here.
The report includes aggregate data from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, from 937 mature Blackbaud Luminate Online customers—all with at least three years of consecutive usage data.
Collectively over the last fiscal year, these organizations raised over $1.54 billion, handled almost 23 million online transactions and sent over 3.6 billion emails.
To make it a bit easier to read, I’ve rounded the percentages off to the closest round number.
This is where you can clearly see how the focus on monthly gifts has really started making a difference for the different types of organizations. Here are just a few highlights:
- Sustainer revenue overall grew by 18 percent.
- Almost 10 percent of reported online revenue came from sustainers overall, topped by the public broadcasting stations with 54 percent of online gifts coming from sustainers. For animal welfare organizations, that was more than 24 percent.
- Arts, followed by disaster and international aid with 20 percent, faith communities, food banks were reported at 16 percent; environment and wildlife, and culture and humanities had 15 percent come in from sustainers; so still above the average.
- Human and social services surprisingly are below average with only 5 percent of online gifts coming from sustainers, followed by hospitals/hospital foundations at 4 percent and health and research at only 2 percent. The good news is that they have grown, but still well below average. Many of these organizations have historically been much more focused on major gifts.
- Environment and wildlife online sustainer giving grew the most over the past few years, whereas animal welfare is starting to slow down.
- Monthly donors, on average, give $35.46 per month. That’s an impressive $425 a year!
- This, of course, differs by type of organization. Public broadcasting has the lowest average gift of $14 a month, followed by environment and wildlife at $22, and animal welfare at $27 a month.
I’ll keep you posted on other statistics as they develop, but these make great stats to benchmark your organization against. Let’s make this an even better year of sustainer growth.
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.