BDI’s Vice President, Digital Strategy Stephanie Tippitt shares the latest digital fundraising results and recommendations.

Digital Fundraising Trends:

Results and Recommendations

5 areas where nonprofits should focus

By Stephanie Tippitt, Vice President, Digital Strategy

This is an exciting time for digital marketing! The results of our 2022 digital marketing efforts are in, and I’m thrilled to share these highlights that will inform our strategies through the end of 2023. 

Despite a slight decrease in online giving since the COVID years, overall revenue has remained strong and consistently above the 2019 benchmark year. And a steady increase in recurring giving since 2019 is good news for nonprofit organizations like the Rescue Missions BDI serves. 

Read on for more fundraising inspiration and proven strategies drawn from these 2022 results… and learn how you can start applying these ideas to your own digital marketing efforts today!

Key Findings & Recommendations

Highlight #1: The number of monthly donors and revenue from recurring giving continues to climb year over year.

According to M+R’s Annual Benchmarks Study, revenue from monthly giving increased by 11% last year and accounted for 28% of all online revenue

This aligns with results for BDI’s nonprofit partners: Monthly giving continues to grow and accounts for on average 23% to 27% of online revenue for the majority of the clients we serve. If your organization doesn’t have a monthly giving program in place, I hope these stand-out results encourage you to start cultivating this incredible source of generosity today!

BDI recommends… Building an integrated, online/offline multi-channel Monthly Donor journey. While one-time online giving may fluctuate year-to-year and month-to-month, recurring donations provide a more stable source of revenue. Consider implementing a recurring donation program or promoting existing programs to encourage donors to give on a regular basis: 

  • Review your website and add a strong monthly giving offer throughout, especially a dedicated monthly giving landing page focused on the impact of a monthly gift. 
  • On your donation page, increase the number of monthly donors by adding nudges throughout the donor experience. 
  • Include the offer to give monthly in both your online and offline channels.
Highlight #2: Overall average gift continues to increase YOY.

Since 2019, our world has become increasingly digitally literate. Just consider, how often did you pull out your smartphone to scan a QR code prior to the rise of “touchless” payment and digital menus during the pandemic? Donors who previously would have sent a gift by mail may be more likely to scan a QR code to complete their gift online.  

BDI recommends… Increasing your budget for digital marketing, especially tried-and-true channels for digital acquisition such as Facebook advertising, display and paid search (more on that below). Other nonprofits are doing it, and you should too. In fact, in that same benchmark study, M+R found that digital advertising investment by nonprofits increased by 28% last year.

Highlight #3: Return on advertising spend (ROAS) is the strongest in paid search.

If you’re wondering where to invest in digital marketing to get the “biggest bang for your buck,” paid search is a great place to start. This is an area where we continue to see growth and one of the stronger ROAS (Return on ad spend.) Look out for a version of Bing Grant this year (Ads for Social Impact) – it opened up briefly last year and then was paused. We are hoping to see it become available again this year.  

BDI recommends… Testing new digital strategies often, because things are always changing in digital marketing.

  • Experiment with new digital strategies in paid media, text-to-give, peer-to-peer fundraising and influencer marketing.
  • Test different approaches and measure their effectiveness to inform future fundraising efforts. 
Highlight #4: Email marketing revenue continues to grow.

Did you know that email marketing provides an ROI range of 4 to 8? Email continues to be one of the strongest channels in any digital marketing program.

Nonprofits sent 60 email messages per subscriber in 2022, including 29 fundraising appeals. Email accounted for 14% of all online revenue.

*Source: 2023 M+R Benchmarks Study

BDI recommends… Segmenting donors by giving behavior. When one of BDI’s client partners segmented out prior donors to a specific campaign and then built a targeted email to that segment, they saw email conversion rates as high as 94%! Here are some steps to get started:

  • Analyze donor data to identify patterns in giving behavior. 
  • Segment donors based on their giving frequency or amount, and tailor communications accordingly
  • Send a variety of cause related and affirmational content with a healthy percentage focused on fundraising. 
Highlight #5: Donation page conversion rates continue to improve for fundraising optimized websites.

Want higher conversions on your donation page? The first step is to make sure your website is optimized for fundraising. You’ll be amazed how a few small changes can make a big impact!

57% of nonprofit website traffic comes from users on mobile devices. However, 75% of revenue comes from users on desktop devices.

*Source: 2023 M+R Benchmarks Study

BDI recommends… Making it easier for donors to give with user-friendly donation pages that are optimized for mobile devices.

  • Minimize steps on your donation form with calls-to-action that clearly communicate what a donor needs to do.
  • Choose a donation platform that supports Google Tag Manager (GTM) advanced tracking so you can access analytics to better inform your fundraising strategies. 
  • Meet donors where they are by letting them give how they want to. Several platforms now offer Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Pay and ways to donate non-cash items online.
  • Add a monthly giving lightbox asking the donor to make their gift monthly, or an exit lightbox that appears when a user leaves the donation page, asking them to come back and finish their gift.

I hope these highlights from BDI’s digital marketing encourage and inspire you for what’s coming next. The world of digital is always changing, but by following these results-driven recommendations, you can build a strong foundation for your digital fundraising efforts and adapt to changing trends in online giving. 

If you want to talk more about all things digital, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly at Tell me what you’re doing in digital at your organization! I can’t wait to hear from you and am always happy to help. 

  • Stephanie Tippitt

    Stephanie Tippitt, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy

    With more than 20 years of professional experience in digital media and cross-channel marketing, Stephanie has spent her career helping clients realize the potential of digital. As the Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy for BDI, she uses her experience to guide clients through digital development such as website optimization, email marketing, data-driven analytics and tracking, paid digital media and new media trends. She regularly coaches internal and external teams on Digital Marketing Strategies and tactics that can be used to reach more donors and generate increased revenue.

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