Driven largely by giving to international disasters, online fundraising grew 14 percent in 2010 after falling in 2009, a new report says.
Excluding international online giving, which grew 163 percent, online fundraising grew 10 percent, says the 2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study by M+R Strategic Services and NTEN.
Based on data from 40 nonprofits, the report also says the response rate for fundraising email fell 19 percent on average to 0.08 percent in 2010, while the response rate to advocacy email fell 7 percent on average to 3.3 percent.
Advocacy emails posted the highest open, click-through and response rates of any type of email, as well as the lowest unsubscribe rate, while fundraising emails had the lowest click-through rate.
The open rate for organizations of all sizes and sectors fell 12 percent in 2010, while the fundraising response rate fell 19 percent, the advocacy response rate fell 7 percent, and unsubscribe rates held steady.
Most groups studied saw their email list grow in 2010, with median list growth of 20 percent.
Annual email list churn, or the rate at which email addresses become unreachable in a year, totaled 18 percent.
The average study participant sent 3.6 emails per subscriber per month and sent 6 emails per subscriber in December.
On average, nonprofit Facebook fan pages had just over 15,000 users, defined as people who "like" a fan page.
Facebook users for nonprofit fan pages grew 14 percent a month on average.
And Facebook users were much more engaged with nonprofits in the wildlife/animal welfare sector than in any other sector.
The report found big potential for growth in social media, with just 100 Facebook users and 19 Twitter followers for every 1,000 email list subscribers for participating nonprofits.
"Our side-by-side comparison of email, social media and mobile text programs shows that while the newer tools are growing faster, they still haven't caught up with email," Sarah DiJulio, executive vice president for M+R Strategic Services, says in a statement.
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