Unlocking Digital Fundraising Success: Key Insights from M+R Benchmarks

I joked with a friend recently that I was as excited to read the new M+R Benchmarks report this year as I was eager to catch Dune 2. That probably tells you everything you need to know about my interests and priorities in life!

The M+R Benchmarks report is the cream of the crop. NextAfter gives them a run for their money, but M+R has been publishing their state of the online fundraising nation for many years now, and I’ve come to view it as my annual peek into the digital landscape results and trends.

We’re all thirsty for faster digital revenue growth and eager not to miss out on the next big thing. At STella!, we treat the M+R Benchmark report as a vital health check to gauge performance, spot trends and determine if we need to add any new metrics to our KPI dashboards.

I’m happy to report that all but one of our digital revenue acceleration clients have outperformed the benchmark (but there were extenuating circumstances in that case).

So what did the M+R 2024 Benchmarks tell us?

  • Average online revenue declined by 1% in 2023. Wait what?! Yes, you read that correctly. There seems to be a boom, bust and echo effect going on due to the pandemic. Some organizations are finding it hard to get back their pandemic high-water marks.
     
    Yet for many teams, including all of our STella! clients, digital revenue is growing. It’s just a question of how, and how quickly, we can grow.
  • Revenue from monthly giving increased by 6% and accounted for 31% of all online revenue. We are finding that digital is a great way to acquire new recurring monthly (and annualized) donors. It’s also a great way to upgrade one-time-gift donors.

I recommend that all non-profits test more digital acquisition focused primarily on recurring donors. I see many teams willing to spend a lot to acquire a new monthly donor through face-to-face and phone, so why not try a little harder with digital where the cost to acquire can be significantly less?

There are many other nuggets in the benchmark report, and if you haven’t yet read it, you can do so here: https://mrbenchmarks.com

If you are interested in exploring how STella! can help you outperform the 2025 benchmarks, please email me at PhilipK@stellafundraising.com.

Philip King

Philip King

“Excellent digital fundraising requires the right mix of commercial marketing and strategy, combined with non-profit heart and soul. I’ve always loved working with fundraisers, and helping them realize their digital revenue dreams.” When he’s not accelerating digital revenue for ST’s clients, he’s enjoying time with his family in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, or finding time to scuba dive somewhere deep and blue.