Time to Take the 2021 Trends Survey!

We've just opened the survey for the 2021 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.

Without your help filling out the survey, we can't provide the annual reports!

We are asking lots of new questions this year that will provide some great new data on what's happening within our profession. We also have a few questions on the impact of the pandemic. In January, you'll get a free copy of the report as well as an invitation to a sneak-peek webinar just for survey takers.


Our Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is the "go-to" source for what's REALLY happening in the world of nonprofit communications and fundraising.

It's our most popular download of the year and it's FREE.

Click here to subscribe

The 2020 Report

The 2020 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report has both good news and bad news to share, compiled from the answers of 625 nonprofit communications professionals who took our annual survey in November 2019.

You'll find data and details on  . . .

The Bad News

  • Nonprofits are not adopting best practices for email engagement, which could soon result in major failures in their ability to use email successfully. See page 7 for details.
  • While still investing significant amounts of time on social media, nonprofits are not widely adopting some of the approaches that create the most engagement. See page 10 for details.
  • While the communications workload continues to grow, the average size of a nonprofit communications team has not grown to keep pace. See page 12 for details.

The Good News

  • For the first time, we have data on the priority objectives for nonprofit communications teams to round out our previous research on the most common goals, strategies, and tactics. See page 14 for details.
  • Nonprofits are shifting their communications teams to more effective structures like Integrated and Centralized Teams and away from less effective models like Internal Agencies and CEO-led Teams. See page 18 for details. And we continue to learn more about what makes teams effective.
  • Communications staff mostly feel valued and respected in their organizations. The more senior you are and the more control you have over your workload, the more likely you are to feel that way. See page 22 for details.

Other News

Nonprofit communicators also shared with us:

  • Which projects they like most and least. See page 24 for details.
  • What they think they could do to improve their own productivity or effectiveness, and what colleagues could do to help them. See page 25 for details.
  • Which professional skills they would like to develop in 2020. See page 26 for details.

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To interview Kivi Leroux Miller, Founder & CEO of Nonprofit Marketing Guide, about this report or to discuss speaking engagements, contact her at (336) 870-0251, kivi@nonprofitmarketingguide.com or @kivilm.

Previous Years

You can find all of the reports back to 2015 in our Free Learning Center. Become a Nonprofit Marketing Guide Member to access these reports and other free resources!






Where to Find What Data

In the 2020 Report . . .

  • New data on nonprofit communications objectives
  • New data on how nonprofits manage their email lists
  • New data on how nonprofits are engaging supporters on social media
  • Updated data on effective communications team models
  • The types of skills nonprofit communicators want to develop

In the 2019 Report:

  • New data on priority level, experience and effectiveness for 12 marketing strategies
  • Updated data on communications teams sizes, structures, and budgets
  • Updated communications team salaries, including regional differences
  • New data on writing skills, annual report formats, and the use of video
  • New data on organizational culture around communications work

In the 2018 Report:

  • Effectiveness on 12 specific communications goals
  • How much content teams typically create
  • How staff rate their levels of expertise on a dozen communications skills
  • The types of training communications staff get and who pays for it
  • Demographic data for nonprofit communications staff

In the 2017 Report:

  • The four models for how the majority of nonprofit communications teams are structured, including important differences
  • Extensive data on how nonprofit communications teams can measure their own effectiveness
  • Important differences in how communications directors, development directors, and executive directors view and approach communications work

In the 2016 Report:

  • Which communications channels are most important
  • What gets in the way of nonprofit communications success
  • The importance of a strong relationship with the executive director
  • Advice for executive directors on how to work more effectively with communications teams

In the 2015 Report:

  • The points of conflict in nonprofit communications
  • Portrait of a typical nonprofit communications director