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2020 Nonprofit Mobile Benchmarks

Today M+R released its 2020 Nonprofit Benchmarks. This is the third year that they have included substantial benchmarks on mobile messaging and texting (SMS/MMS). While they still don’t offer direct comparisons between broadcast (warm) and peer-to-peer (cold) texting, they do include a section with a few peer-to-peer benchmarks. Overall it is incredibly helpful data for the nonprofit sector that continues to grow in its use of mobile platforms and tools.

Here are some of the key findings from the report for broadcast texting (opt-in only):
  • Nonprofit text messaging audiences grew by 26% in 2019, at a time when Facebook audiences grew by just 4% and email list sizes declined by 2%.
  • While this growth rate far outpaced other channels, nonprofits had just 72 mobile subscribers for every 1,000 email addresses. But these subscribers tend to be more active and engaged with the organization.
  • Text messaging volume increased by 14% overall, which is something we should be careful about. Over saturation of a channel can be to the detriment of all nonprofits and political campaigns.
  • Text message click-through rates were 4.2% for fundraising messages and 9.8% for advocacy messages. Both figures are far higher than comparable email metrics (0.56% and 2.77%). 4-6 times higher in fact.
  • Click-to-call or patch-through calling campaigns prompted via text message saw a 3.1% call rate.
  • Opt-out rates remain under 1% with advocacy messages receiving only a 0.4% opt-out rate and fundraising messaging with a slightly higher 0.7% opt-out rate.
Here are some of the key findings from the report for peer-to-peer texting (cold):
  • Peer-to-peer message recipients received on average 1.4 messages per month in 2019, and responded 14% of the time.
  • Opt-out rates for peer-to-peer are more than double at 2%, but there is no differentiation here between fundraising, advocacy and other types of organizing based texts.
Here are some promising mobile fundraising findings:
  • 31% of nonprofit online revenue came from a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet).
  • 39% of online donation transactions came from a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet).
  • Mobile revenue has grown over 40% compared to the previous year. This is a trend we’ve seen since 2015 with mobile giving increasing between 40-50% year over year.
  • The average gift size from a mobile phone is $63, and from a tablet, it is $87.
  • Several years in a row, including this year, M+R has found that half (50%) of all nonprofit website views came from a mobile device.
  • Nonprofits are increasingly prioritizing the mobile experience from the ground up. Users are taking advantage of tools that make mobile transactions easier and more appealing, like Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and even Venmo.

All of these benchmarks offer incredibly promising news for the future of nonprofit mobile messaging use as a part of their ongoing digital, fundraising, advocacy, and organizing strategies. You can read the full 2020 M+R Benchmarks report here.

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