Nonprofit insights in the 2018 M+R Benchmark Report

Mobile giving is more important than ever, per the 2018 M+R Benchmark ReportThe annual M+R Benchmark Report gives a great overview of ongoing trends in the fundraising industry. Annually, the report showcases the changing digital behavior of supporters and their impact on nonprofits.

This year’s report is no different, and it’s full of valuable insights. You can view and download the full report here.

Read on for a look at a few of the key findings that we think nonprofits should take note of:

The M+R Benchmark Report says monthly giving is booming

According to the 2018 M+R Benchmark Report, more and more donors are choosing to contribute by monthly gifts as opposed to single donations. There was a whopping 40% growth in revenue from monthly gifts in 2017. It now accounts for 16% of all nonprofit revenue, compared to 14% in the year prior.

This is a trend you can likely expect to see continue, and it’s no wonder why fundraisers will make it a goal. The average online one-time donation in 2017 was $95, while the average online monthly gift was $23. That means that the monthly gifts are worth 200% over the course of a year!

The takeaway: Monthly giving is growing in importance for nonprofits, and with numbers like that, it should only continue. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a compelling strategy to convert one-time donors into recurring gifts, you may be missing out. Read more about recurring gifts here.

Email is changing, but still very impactful

The email landscape continues to shift. If you’re like the fundraisers who contributed to the M+R Benchmark Report, your instinct might be that email is less important than it used to be. That’s because the metrics for individual emails are falling. Open rates on nonprofit emails fell 1% from 2017 to 2016, while click-through rates dropped 6%.

At the same time though, email lists grew by 11% and organizations sent more emails than ever before. As a result, while each email sent to a supporter was somewhat less successful, they had an even bigger impact when all added together. Overall, revenue from fundraising emails grew by 24%.

The takeaway: Don’t get discouraged if you’re seeing lower open and click-through rates. Your supporters are likely receiving more emails than ever before. While each one may perform worse than in the past, consistently communicating by email is increasingly effective.

Be ready to reach supporters on small screens

Mobile phones are rapidly catching up to desktops for how your supporters are interacting with your organization on the web. There was a 9% growth in mobile traffic in 2018, while there were decreases of 4% from desktops and 8% from tablets.

Overall, 40% of the visitors to nonprofit websites now come from mobile devices, compared to 50% from desktops. It’s projected by the M+R Benchmark Report that mobile views will surpass desktop views over the next two years.

Despite all of this, desktops continue to have much higher conversion rates than mobile devices. 20% of those who reach donation pages on a desktop completed a donation. Meanwhile, only 8% completed it on a mobile phone.

The takeaway: Your supporters are very likely to be reaching your website and donation page on their phone, but too many donation pages are not mobile optimized. That means that despite the heavy traffic, a lot of conversion opportunities are being lost. Ensuring that your organization’s donation form is mobile optimized should be a key priority in the months ahead. See our brand new, responsive donation form builder in action today!