Inaugural M+R Digital Benchmark Study for the UK shows not-for-profits increased their online revenue by 35% in 2020

Running in the US for 14 years and now brought to the UK by Rally and M+R, the first UK Digital Benchmarks Study reports on data for fundraising, digital ads, email, social media, website engagement, and mobile, and at some of the differences between US and UK digital programmes.

55 UK charities participated, sharing data on all elements of their digital activity, including their digital ad spends and returns, website performance, social media activity and email results. Results went live at the start of July 2021.

The report indicates that, on average, non-profits in the UK reported a 35% increase in online revenue in 2020 from the previous year.

The study shows that the growth in online revenue was primarily driven by more people giving, rather than people giving more, with UK non-profits receiving 27% more gifts in 2020 than they did in 2019.

They also reported disproportionate growth in cash giving, compared to both regular giving and their US counterparts. In fact, while regular giving saw 22% growth, revenue from cash giving increased by 65% over the previous year.

The average cash gift declined from £55 to £49, while the average regular gift grew slightly from £9 to £10. 

Facebook continues to be the social media platform with the largest follower base. For every 1,000 email addresses, UK non-profits had an average of 1,450 Facebook fans, 864 Twitter followers, and 346 Instagram followers. Twitter posts had an average engagement rate of 2.2%, and Facebook posts had an average engagement score of 0.35%.

Revenue from Facebook Fundraisers was flat from 2019 levels, and accounted for 0.54% of online revenue for UK organisations and each organic Facebook post only reached 7% of a UK non-profit page’s fans. However, 30% of the audience reached by a given post was not already following the non-profit.

Fundraising key stats

o Total online revenue grew by 32% in 2020. Hunger and Poverty groups reported a 173% increase in online revenue over the previous year.
o Revenue from monthly gifts increased by 25%, while revenue from one-time gifts increased by 37%. Monthly giving accounted for 19% of all online revenue in 2020.
o Non-profits that engaged in Covid-19 response saw noticeably higher growth in one-time giving revenue than those that did not.
o Overall, 41% of 2019 online donors were retained to make another online gift in 2020. The retention rate for new online donors was 25%; for donors with a previous giving history the retention rate was 63%.

The full results from the study are available on the M+R Benchmarks site.

Source: UK Fundraising