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Online Donations Jump for Nonprofits

Email metrics continue to fall

Email open rates, clickthrough rates, page completion rates—and as a result, email response rates—were all down for US nonprofits last year, according to research released in March 2014 by M+R Strategic Services and Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). But email lists still grew, and the channel generated one-third of online donations in 2013.

However, nonprofits saw major success with other online efforts last year. Though the study didn’t break out other digital channels such as search, social media or direct visits to a nonprofit’s website in terms of online donations, it found that overall online giving for US nonprofits jumped 14% year over year. Monthly donations also picked up in frequency, rising 25% last year to account for 16% of total online giving—possibly because it’s easier and faster to fill out information on a web form than taking the time to complete and send a physical form.

Speaking of websites, a 16% increase in monthly site traffic for the US nonprofits studied led to a site donation conversion rate of 0.69%, upping the average visit value to 60 cents. In comparison, email revenues for US nonprofits per 1,000 emails came in at just 17 cents.

M+R Strategic Services and NTEN’s report touched on social media, noting that US nonprofits’ social audiences were growing more rapidly than those for emails and websites. Responses indicated that Facebook fans had jumped 37% last year and Twitter followers by 46%.

Their Twitter audiences may have grown more, but nonprofits were far more likely to use Facebook than Twitter last year. According to a study conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research for Virtual in December 2013, 86% of US nonprofit organizations used Facebook, compared with 54% of respondents who said they used Twitter.

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