Insights to Power Social Good

Nonprofit Benchmarks

Posted by Angela Whaley on Jan 22, 2019 8:05:20 AM


Every year, M+R puts out a comprehensive Nonprofit Benchmarks study. It is awesome.

From M+R: “The study includes data from 154 nonprofit participants across nine sectors, covering key metrics for email, website traffic, social media, digital advertising, and more. Some are large nonprofits with a hundred years of history behind them and near-universal name recognition; others arrived on the scene just a few years ago to focus on local issues, with a smaller base of dedicated supporters.”

The study has a wealth of information, and we wanted to see how some of our TESS partners stacked up against the average industry benchmarks. (TESS stands for Technology Enabled Services Simplified.)

Let’s take a look.


According to the 2018 M+R Benchmarks Study, “overall, 1.0% of nonprofit website visitors joined an email list.”

How are our TESS partners doing? One partner, focused on veterans, well exceeds this average with a 6.32% email sign up rate since December 1, 2018!

By using one of our TESS partner platforms, Sumo, together we implemented a Welcome Mat that looks like this when you first visit their website:

Other TESS clients are hovering between the 2-4% email signup range.

For more, check out our blog post: How to Convert More Website Traffic


According to the 2018 M+R Benchmarks Study, the average email newsletter open rate is 17% and the average click-through rate is 1.4%.

Here are our average TESS email metrics:

Curious for more? Check out our 2018 Highlights blog (scroll to September for email specifics).


According to the 2018 M+R Benchmarks Study, the average fundraising email open rate is 15% and the average click-through rate is 0.42%.

One of our TESS partners, who is focused on saving the rainforests, saw much higher click-through rates:

  • #GivingTuesday Ask: 11% open rate and a 4% click-through rate
  • #GivingTuesday Ask - Same Day Resend to Non-Openers: 8% open rate and a 3% click-through rate
  • December Ask: 17% open rate and a 6% click-through rate

We also partnered with them to drive increased traffic to their website and donation pages with Google Grant management and email marketing:

Another TESS partner, who is focused on volunteering and disaster response, saw a huge gain in using text message marketing during their end-of-year campaigns with mGive.

Their text message audience drove more website traffic than their email list and Facebook. This group also drove more donations than their email list and only one donation less than Facebook.

GA Screen Shot 2019

For more, read How to Touch Hearts and Boost Donations and download your 2019 Template Content Calendar here

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