The M&R Benchmarks 2022 Are Here: Monthly Giving Up by 24%
One of my favorite statistics were just published: the M+R Benchmarks 2022. Not surprisingly, in the second year of the pandemic with still few in-person events, online giving grew, although not by as much as you’d expect, only 3%.
Monthly giving however was the major driver of that growth. It increased by 24%, while one-time revenue declined by 1%. Monthly giving accounted for 22% of all online revenue in 2021.
Some of that comes from those organizations that had already started growing their monthly gifts before the pandemic. But much came from those that started in 2020 and continued in 2021. Especially food focused organizations were extremely successful growing monthly gifts during that time.
Average gifts were also up. The average one-time gift was $125, up from $111 the previous year. The average monthly gift was $25, up from $24. That’s $300 a year!
Revenue from monthly giving increased by 24% in 2021, while one-time revenue declined by 1%.The overall trend is clear: monthly giving growth significantly outpaced one-time giving. As a result, monthly giving increased from 16% of overall online revenue in 2020 to 22% in 2021.
You will find the stats about monthly giving right here, under the fundraising section. Let’s look at Monthly giving as a percentage of online revenue first.
|Monthly Giving (%)||2020||2021|
Source: M&R Benchmarks 2022
|Monthly Giving ($)||2020||2021|
Source: M&R Benchmarks 2022
If you look at both tables, you’ll see that some ‘verticals’ like public TV and Radio stations have a low monthly gift than others, but then they’re also seeing much higher percentages give monthly: 45% for public broadcasting. You also see how health, cultural and hunger/poverty nonprofits grew a lot!
Many of them really received a wake up call in 2020 so they pivoted to more online campaigns and direct mail driving to the web, when in-person events were no longer an option
Not surprisingly, retention was much higher for donors with a history of repeated donations than for new donors. Donors who made their first online gift in 2020 were retained at a rate of 23%. For prior donors — defined as those who had given at least once before 2020, and again in 2020 — the retention rate was 60%.
I’d like to end with this quote from the wonderful M&R Benchmarks team:
“As the more dire human and social impacts of the pandemic continue to (hopefully) stabilize, reliable sources of revenue will gain increased importance.
In this context, the move toward more monthly giving, higher level of per-donor giving, and a commitment to retention will be key elements for nonprofit programs.”
I couldn’t have said it better! If you’re not focused on growing your number of monthly donors, you’ll sacrifice retention and long-term growth and perhaps even the future of your nonprofit.
And, especially in current-day challenges with a war in Ukraine, higher gas prices, higher prices everything, offering donors the opportunity to help in amounts that fit their budget is also the right thing to do. Donors want to make a difference. Make it easy for them do so!
I am very grateful to M&R for continuing this tremendous study. Thank you! While it’s not showing any and all type of nonprofit, it’s extremely in-depth, thorough and fun to read. They analyzed millions of records and billions of emails sent! And if you’re interested, you can even benchmark your own organization. Just go right here to do so.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. 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 authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "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 a cat, Mientje.