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13 donor stats to help boost your fundraising

The 2021 M+R Benchmarks Report has been published and we have been digging into the stats. We love the ability to click into different metric points and sort information by key learnings. But, if you’re like other nonprofit leaders out there, time is of the essence and you’re being pulled in many directions, so today we break down a few of the high-level stats that caught our eye.

We were especially interested in metrics around p2p giving, how email marketing equated to funds raised and how website usage (desktop vs. mobile) contributed to dollars raised.

General fundraising stats

Increases in 2020 giving were a result of more people donating versus higher donations being made. The per donor amount was approximately $167, a slight dip from 2019, with 2.03 gifts made per donor.

  • Total online revenue grew by 32% in 2020 with hunger and poverty organizations reporting a phenomenal 173% increase over 2019.
  • One-time and monthly giving both increased—recurring monthly gifts up 25% and one-time gifts up 37%.
  • Donor retention rates remain steady: new online donors were retained at a rate of 25% while donors who gave previously were retained at a rate of 63%.

Text messaging and peer-to-peer SMS stats

Mobile is where it’s at in terms of growth—2020 saw higher numbers in mobile audience increases than email list increases.

  • Mobile audiences grew by 26% whereas email list sizes’ average increase was at 3%.
  • That said, in 2020, nonprofits had 50 mobile list subscribers to every 1,000 email subscribers.
  • Mobile click through rates (CTR) were higher than email CTRs in 2020—fundraising messages via SMS saw 6.3% CTR and 10% for messages around advocacy.
  • When it comes to peer-to-peer texts, messages were responded to nearly 10% of the time.

Fundraising email stats

Continue to build your donor email lists and keep those listed updated and clean. Last year saw a 17% increase in the volume of emails sent by nonprofits (59 email messages per subscriber).

  • Advocacy emails saw a response rate of 3.6% (a 5% increase over 2019)
  • While this may seem low, the average response rate for fundraising emails was 0.10% (and that was a 41% increase from 2019!)
  • When sending fundraising emails to donor audiences, nonprofits saw a 22% open rate and a 32% page completion rate (as compared to an 8% completion rate when sending to prospects).

Key metrics for your nonprofit website

Desktop users still outpace mobile users on nonprofit websites for donor transactions, however, half of all nonprofit website visits came from mobile devices—don’t give up those mobile-friendly pages!

  • The average gift on desktops was $80 in 2020 while for mobile users, the average was $42.
  • Desktop donors made up 61% of online donation transactions (and 72% of the revenue).
  • The top 3 conversion rates for donation pages by organization type were: cultural (50%), hunger/poverty (45%) and rights (24%). Disaster and international aid organizations were close with 23% donation page conversion rates.

Put donor stats into action

According to M+R Benchmarks, the average online conversion rate for nonprofits is 22%. Developing and sharing your nonprofit’s story in a comprehensive way across all your communication platforms is a good start to keep your conversion rates high. In addition, consider the above information and conduct quarterly spot-checks to ensure:

  • Remember the importance of retained donors. Review your donor touchpoint communication plans to ensure you’re adequately thanking and recognizing previous donors in addition to giving them additional ways to get involved or contribute again.
  • Ensure your website and donation pages are optimized for mobile. When 2020 saw more donors giving from desktops, we can’t discount the percentage of people giving via mobile views. Optimize your donation landing pages to make them accessible for any donor type.
  • Develop a comprehensive communication plan. Texts. Emails. Social media. Snail mail. There are so many ways to connect with donors. Evaluate what works best for your donors and prioritize communication channels accordingly.
  • Know your ‘story of one’ and use it throughout the year. Conversions, click-through rates and donation recurrences only happen if you engage donors and share a story that is meaningful to them. Start with a ‘story of one’ and build your annual strategy from there.

4aGoodCause is here to help. Our fundraising platform is easy to use and a great option for small nonprofits. Boost your fundraising with our simple, mobile-friendly pages that your donors will love. We’re here to help provide the software for your online donations, event registrations, membership and even peer-to-peer campaigns. Contact us for a free demo and let’s put these stats into action!

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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