Online donations are up for 2013!The state of online giving is GREAT!
The state of online giving STINKS. 🙁

Wait, what?

First the good:  Online giving was up 13.5% in 2013!
Now the bad:  84% of nonprofit emails analyzed over the course of nine months last year were not not optimized for mobile viewing.

A trio of separate fundraising reports released in the past few weeks sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of online nonprofit fundraising. Here’s a summary of the key takeaways from each report.

Online Fundraising Scorecard: A National Study Analyzing Online Fundraising Habits & Donor Experience

Published by Dunham+Company and Next After, this report scored 151 charity organizations on 46 different metrics in four key areas that are critical to online fundraising success: Email Registration, Email Communication, Online Donation Experience and Gift Acknowledgement. The study was conducted over the course of nine months.

It’s a beautiful deep dive into the donation experience from the donor perspective. Give yourself time to take it all in. Some highlights:

Email Registration

  • Most organizations are making it easy to locate email registration forms, but many still do not. On 76% of the websites studied, it took less than 10 seconds to find the email sign-up.
  • One out of three organizations has unnecessary friction in their email registration process (meaning it takes more than two clicks to submit your email address from the homepage).
Many nonprofit websites still make it too hard to sign up for email.

Photo Credit: Melissa O’Donohue via Flickr,

Email Communication

  • Shockingly, more than one-third of organizations sampled did not send a single email to their subscribers within the first 30 days of sign up. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
  • 56% of the organizations did not make a single ask in the first 90 days.

Online Donation Experience

  • 72% of organizations put buttons, menus, or other elements on their landing pages that click-out to non-conversion-focused pages of their website.
  • More than 8 out of 10 landing pages are NOT optimized for mobile.

Gift Acknowledgement

  • 99% of the organizations reviewed thanked donors for making an online gift
  • Nearly two-thirds of organizations did not have any type of next step for the a donor to take.

Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2013

This report includes overall giving data from 4,129 nonprofit organizations representing $12.5 billion in total fundraising from 2013. The report also includes online giving data from 3,359 nonprofits representing $1.7 billion in online fundraising from 2013.

Let’s dig in.

Small organizations have made big progress in online fundraising!

Photo Credit: Mircea on Flickr,

  • Overall charitable giving in the United States was up 4.9% since 2012. Every sector had fundraising growth. Yay!
  • Online giving is thriving, though it still only accounts for 6.4% of all charitable giving in 2013.
  • Online giving grew 13.5% in 2013
    • Large organizations grew by 12.7%
    • Medium organizations grew by 11.3%
    • Small organizations grew by 18.4%
  • Large organizations had the greatest increase in overall charitable giving in 2013.
  • Small organizations had the greatest increase in online giving during 2013.
  • Faith-based organizations had the greatest increase in online giving in 2013 (18.1%).
  • Online giving on #GivingTuesday 2013 was up 90% compared to 2012.
  • Over 35% of online giving happens in October, November and December.
  • Almost every sector raised more than 20% of its annual online giving during December.

ALSO SEE: 5 Biggest Trends in Online Fundraising

2013 Year-End Fundraising in Review

This blog post penned by Steve Daigneault of M+R Strategic Services takes a look inside the aggregate year-end fundraising performance for 26 of the firm’s clients. It’s important to note that these organizations are most likely medium to large-sized nonprofits.

  • Revenue keeps growing: 84% of the organizations in the sample group raised more money this year than they did last year. The growth in revenue was a healthy 10%; these orgs raised $34.5 million online in 2013 vs. $30.7 million in 2012.
  • Average gift size was up: 82% of organizations saw a higher average gift this year in December. The median increase in average gift size was 12%.
  • Response rates were flat: This is generally good news, as they’ve seen many years in the past where the response rates to email appeals dropped. In addition, many organizations had a challenging time with email deliverability this year, so to see the vast majority get through end of year relatively unscathed by deliverability problems was a relief.

Bottom Line On All Reports

Online giving is rising fast, along with the expectations of donors.

Nonprofits with a strategy and a game plan do better than those who don’t, though even seasoned online fundraisers have room for improvement.

Care to share how your nonprofit compares (to online giving stats overall or year-end fundraising performance)? Leave us a comment.