The sixth annual Convio Online Marketing Benchmark Index Study is now officially released. At a macro-level, we continue to see online engagement growing at a healthy rate. In fact, over the past five or six years, online fundraising has grown at a similar rate to retail e-commerce, good news for nonprofits.
I’m particularly encouraged by a new metric we added this year: growth in monthly giving. As monthly giving typically increases a donor’s lifetime value, this positive trend is very good news for the nonprofit sector and the causes being served.
For a summary of trends seen in the benchmark, watch my video here. For all the trends, including information by vertical, download the full Online Marketing Benchmark.
All roads are heading north! Here at AFP International in the spectacular northwest city of Vancouver, BC, it’s evident from the conference sessions I’ve attended so far that with the economy seemingly back on an upward trajectory, fundraising is also heading in that direction.
Today, the NRC, Nonprofit Research Collaborative, of which Convio is a member, announced the results of our spring survey. In 2011, over half of all the nonprofit organizations surveyed in both the U.S. and Canada saw increases in contributions. In fact, the results indicate that this is the first increase seen in the U.S. in four years. That is indeed great news!
Even better news, more than 70 percent of the organizations surveyed anticipate increases in charitable contributions received in 2012. Still, a third said the economy is the greatest challenge and a looming determinant in what lies ahead.
The sentiment at AFP? I’d say it’s largely optimistic. Yes, nonprofits realize that many of the factors Convio highlights in our 2012 predictions cannot be ignored, but rather embraced: online; mobile; peer-to-peer; and integrated marketing. Scott Harrison from charity: water reinforced that himself in his opening day keynote when he emphasized the need to tell stories and give donors a reason to care about the “why.” Essentially, if you have a compelling story, the money will follow.
According to Engage: Hispanics in January there were 33.5 million Hispanics online in the United States. Further, the Hispanic online market is growing three times faster than the general online market.
And as if those stats weren’t enough to raise your eyebrows, here are a few more:
What’s all that mean? It means your organization needs to be paying attention to this market, especially for online communication and fundraising.
Get started with these:
PS Thanks to Tom at The Agitator for blogging on this report earlier in the month.
Almost every day I see some sort of “These cities made the top 10 because … they are the greatest places to live, they have the most active lifestyles for singles, they raise the most organic chickens,” and so on. If your city makes one of these lists, that is great and good reason to celebrate! Unless, of course, you live in Austin, TX like I do and are seeing the floods of people moving here because of all the “our city is so great” lists we’ve been making as of late. Oh well, the natural ebb of all things great... it’s hard to keep them a secret in today’s cyber world!
On the complete flip side, if your city made the top 10 because of the “worst places to buy shoes” or “worst places for BBQ,” then it takes on a whole different twist. Typically people in those cities aren’t pounding their chests and shouting “we’re so great” from the rooftops.
So what’s the point? When you’re in a city of great, be proud! If you’re not, do something!
Today we announced our 4th annual ranking of most generous online U.S. cities. Not surprisingly, the top 10 cities didn’t change much year over year from 2010 to 2011. Economic influences have been consistent over the past couple of years, and the online giving numbers stay true to the course.
However there were a few moves of note: Seattle, WA climbed the ladder three spots to be this year’s #1 and also showing northwest corner pride, Bellevue, WA made it back into the top 10 at #9 after slipping to #11 in 2010. Cambridge, MA fell three to #5 and Minneapolis, MN fell out of the top 10 for the first time into the #14 spot.
Our report ranks the 273 cities with total population of more than 100,000 based on per capita online giving and total amount donated through Convio’s online marketing and fundraising suites. The average gift size remained steady in 2011 compared to 2010 at $65, as more than $435 million was donated by people who reside in these major cities. Signs of consumer confidence rising and bank accounts opening, the donors in these cities increased their total online contributions by more than 11 percent over 2010!
As for the bottom 10 cities, similar to the top, there wasn’t a ton of movement, but one surprise is Newark, NJ that slid 18 spots to #267. Bottoming out? Brownsville, TX. After some upward momentum in 2010, they regained their ‘low man on the totem pole’ ranking for 3 out of the 4 years we’ve been reporting this data.
And here’s my challenge to you. Make a difference! While we’re often limited in having a profound influence on outcomes, nonprofits and causes of all kinds are counting on us for every bit we can contribute, whether it’s our time or our dollars. Make your city proud and be proud, no matter where your city ranked in 2011. It’s a new year and you have an opportunity to upwardly influence your city’s 2012 ranking. And since we’re talking about online giving here, I know where you’re reading this so, you are in a perfect position to get started on the right foot with a right mouse click while the year is still young.
As for Austin, the city of all things great, we didn’t make it into the top 10 most generous online U.S. cities. We came in at #12, 3 spots better than 2010 and certainly not too shabby, but that’s not good enough. I, for one, am going to do something about that!
Where did your city land? Check out the complete large city ranking at: www.convio.com/onlinecities.
You may remember that Convio published our 2011 Peer-to-peer Benchmark Study in October. As a follow up to the report, we're offering this nifty infographic that highlights some of the top findings. In case you don't have time to download and read the full report, you can enjoy the handy "CliffsNotes" version below:
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