Donation Benchmarks for Nonprofits this Giving Season

At Whole Whale, we know fall means changing leaves, pervasive pumpkin spice flavoring, and online donations.According to Blackbaud’s 2016 Charitable Giving Report, over 30% of all online donations are made between November and December. As you gear up for Giving Tuesday and prepare your organization’s year-end appeals, consider these donation trends for benchmarking your performance this giving season.
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Online giving widens the net

Blackbaud reported an impressive 7.9% increase in total online donations in 2016. This shift to online giving was even more dramatic for small- and medium-sized organizations, with nonprofits netting under $1 million or between $1-10 million in annual donations enjoying a respective 8.1% and 11.4% increase in digital dollars. What better time to leverage this growing donor class in 2017 than on Tuesday, November 28? Check out our forecast for Giving Tuesday to capitalize on what’s shaping up to be the year’s biggest day for online giving.
Data from Fundraising Report Card suggest that organizations should be thinking small when targeting online donors. Out of nearly 1,800 organizations, 84% of all donations were under $100. Moreover, the average gift within that range was $24. When appealing to users online, nonprofits should consider optimizing messaging and donation forms for users who can give gifts between $5 and $100. Not only is this type of donor more accessible, but they are also far more likely to donate again the following year. Given that only 41% of nonprofits received a $1,000 donation last year (Blackbaud), we know there can be no assurances in relying on big-ticket gifts.

There is value in mobile users and email

According to Blackbaud, 17% of online transactions were made using a mobile device, up from 14% in 2015 and 9% in 2014. With the number of mobile users continuing to swell, it’s imperative that donation options on your website are mobile-friendly. You can check your site’s mobile compatibility with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Google Analytics can also be used to assess your own mobile donors: Simply add “device” as a secondary dimension when analyzing E-commerce or a donation event.
Finally, the 2016 M-R Benchmarks Study found that users are increasingly donating via email. In fact, 26% of all online donations in 2016 came via email users. The same study found that the nonprofits who are successfully leveraging email are communicating with potential donors an average of 5 times per month. Is your organization’s email lacking? Consider using one of our favorite CRMs for nonprofits. Furthermore, track your email users behavior by applying an “Email Traffic” segment in Google Analytics.
How is your organization stacking up? Tweet us with a link to your annual report and the hashtag #WhaledIt!