New Fundraising Email Benchmarks Reveal Exciting Insights for Small Nonprofits
Where do you get your nonprofit marketing best practices, statistics, and metrics? If you’re like many fundraisers, you pull from several different sources. And, since for-profit organizations spend a lot of time and money researching buying behavior and consumer trends, their research probably impacts how you structure your own programs.
This is especially true if you find yourself looking for email marketing best practices: Most of the available information about nonprofit email performance comes from a small handful of very large organizations. If you work for a smaller organization, that can make it difficult to tell if you’re performing well.
That’s why the release of The Nonprofit Email Report: Data-Backed Insights for Better Engagement was so exciting. It’s full of nonprofit-specific data about email marketing and fundraising. And, as it spotlights unique data for small and large nonprofits alike, it reveals that small nonprofits are doing a remarkable job of communicating with their audiences—and they’re outperforming those large organizations in some significant ways.
New Data, New Email Fundraising Benchmarks
If you send email appeals, keeping an eye on those campaign results can give you really valuable insight into the types of stories and asks that appeal to your donors. While it’s most valuable to track your own results over time, industry standards can set a useful baseline.
The following benchmarks come from The Nonprofit Email Report, and they include data specifically for small and large organizations. For the purposes of this study, “Small” nonprofits are organizations that have between 250 and 999 contacts on their lists. “Large” organizations have lists that contain 1,000 or more contacts.
Average Amount Raised per Nonprofit Email Campaign
To set these fundraising email benchmarks, we looked at results from the four biggest giving days of 2022: GivingTuesday and the last three days of December. We found that the average nonprofit raised $5,598.51 per campaign. Large organizations raised $6,513.41 per campaign while small organizations raised an average of $3,522.54.
A Couple of Caveats
The data set included in this research included more than 37,000 different campaigns. We wanted to focus specifically on fundraising campaigns, but we didn’t have a surefire way of entirely eliminating non-fundraising emails like newsletters and impact updates.
To get as close as we could, we looked at email campaigns sent during those very high-volume fundraising days and how they impacted fundraising. Because those fundraising averages represent the results of very big giving days, your fundraising campaigns during other parts of the year may not match those results. And that’s okay! The appeals you send this spring are probably not as “successful” as the ones you’ll send on GivingTuesday or during the end of the year. As long as you’re seeing incremental progress—or, at the very least—seeing steady results, you’re doing fine.
What Does This Email Fundraising Benchmark Mean?
These benchmarks will be most helpful for fundraisers who want to evaluate their own fundraising results, especially at the end of the year. If your year-end fundraising results mirror these averages, great! If they don’t, compare your 2022 year-end appeals to the ones you sent during 2021. Did you see any improvement? Excellent. Did you see a decrease? That’s useful information, too! Use that as a prompt to revisit your strategy this year.
When you first glance at these benchmarks, how do you feel? It seems like large nonprofits out-perform their smaller counterparts, right? Their overall fundraising totals were higher, after all. But, when we took a closer look at the data, we found something wonderful.