So what’s going on in the digital fundraising world?
The 2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study has been published by M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network. It's based on analysing the online giving and advocacy activity of donors to 40 charities and nonprofits. It is obviously a US study, but the figures are useful to those of us wondering how we are doing with our online fundraising in the UK too.
You can download your free copy here (registration required but it's worth it).
As you'll see, the headline figure is one of growth. Income is up 14% from 2009 to 2010, much of it generated by appeals for Haiti and Pakistan. But all sectors actually saw an increase in the number of online gifts.
But that isn't necessarily down to the emails charities are sending as generally, response rates are in decline. The average for fundraising emails was down 17% at just 0.08%. Advocacy was down 7% at 3.3%.
Unsubscribe rates were approximately 0.24% for appeals, 0.22% for newsletters and 0.16% for advocacy emails.
One point I'd add that isn't covered in detail by this study is the impact email can have when used alongside direct mail appeals. We've seen a significant increase in response rates (upwards of 5%) when combining the two. So though response rates might generally be in decline, integration can be a very effective remedy (at least in the UK).
Facebook fan pages have seen growth rates on average of 14% a month and have been particularly popular for supporters of charities and nonprofits working in the wildlife and animal welfare sector.
Whereas Twitter seems most popular for people interested in international development.
Churn rates stood at an average of 18% for email and 14% for mobiles.
The report is packed full of tons of detailed data and well worth a read. There's a particularly interesting case study on how one organisation has used text messages to great effect. You'll also be able to dig through all the information on average gifts as well (which isn't necessarily so relevant to the UK).