The analysis of more than 100 leading nonprofits, 2.8 billion emails and 69.4 million subscribers shows that nonprofits still heavily rely on email to promote their causes, when they should be giving more attention to mobile and social media.
In 2015 alone, nonprofits sent the average email subscriber a staggering 49 messages to gain their attention, but email open rates, click-through rates and response rates all declined over the past year.
Though engagement via email is down for nonprofits, there is one place where email excels: raising money. Email revenue grew by 25% in 2015, accounting for 29% of all online revenue last year.
It indicates a larger shift in how younger generations are connecting with the causes they care about: through their phones. About 13% of the $481 million in online donations raised by leading organizations in 2015 came from mobile (overall giving, the study found, increased by 19%).
Social media, meanwhile, remains a strong way for nonprofits to reach supporters — and while that may seem obvious, many legacy organizations can be reluctant to allocate resources to social strategies.
But it's paying off for those that do. Over a 12-month period, the nonprofits surveyed — including Planned Parenthood, Oxfam America, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the U.S. Humane Society and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF — saw an average of 29% growth of support on Facebook and a 25% growth of support on Twitter.
Check out more findings in the infographic below.