It’s benchmarks season!  I’m a little behind actually but there are some good reports already out and some more to come. Here’s the latest eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M + R and NTEN. It skews a little on the large side, in terms of organization size included in the survey, and is largely based in the United States (sorry Canadians…) but there are still some great takeaways and insights for you and your organization.

Here’s 3 of my takeaways upon first read through:

1. Online fundraising and transactions continues to grow and pick up speed.

If you’re still “on the fence” about this whole internet thing… well you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog so… if your board members are still “on the fence” about this whole internet thing, maybe 20% growth in total revenue and number of transactions in a still recovering economy shows not just where some value is currently (some) but where it will increasingly be in the future (big time). Time to start getting your digital house in order if you haven’t started already…

2. Good starting point for donation anchors.

I’m a big believer in using anchors and the anchoring effect (where people rely on information given to them to base their decision off of) for donations but the question is often “where do we start”? If you have your own average gift size that’s always a good place to start with but if you are looking at anew monthly giving program that has a heavy web focus using this studies average of $19/month as a gauge can be useful. The amounts in the study ($19/month, $60 for all groups, $160 for international groups) can be a great middle point in your anchors (not your lowest point nor your highest) as a rough guide for anchors.

3. Email losing some of its importance?

Number of emails sent and email list size are two of the best ways to predict online revenues (if you ask more people more often you will raise more money) so focusing on email acquisition and email delivery has, and still does, make a of sense. With pretty dramatic drops in response rates I wonder if we are getting burned out from the above strategy (email more = more $) and if things like mail, events and social media will grain or re-gain more significance.

Like all benchmarks, these are just benchmarks so keep that in mind. I highly recommend downloading the full report to see where your organization fits in by size, vertical, etc. Until then, you can enjoy their handy infographic.

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