It’s a nonprofit fundraiser’s favorite (or potentially most dreaded) time of the year: M+R Benchmarks

Keep in mind that M+R benchmarking does not directly translate from previous reports. There are always new nonprofits in the participant pool—so, in instances where M+R does specifically provide multi-year analyses, it’s best to refrain from making your own. 

Here are the key insights from this year’s report. Happy benchmarking!  

1. Search advertising achieved the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) at $2.70, meaning nonprofits raised $2.70 for every $1.00 spent on search advertising. 

2. Direct mail revenue in 2023 declined by 6%, with online revenue slightly surpassing direct mail. Nonprofits raised $0.94 via direct mail for every $1.00 raised online. 

3. One-time giving revenue decreased by 5%, while monthly giving increased by 6%. Monthly giving represented 31% of all online revenue in 2023, up from 27% the previous year. 

4. 52% of small-dollar donors gave between $50 and $249, contributing 30% of one-time gifts revenue. 

5. The one-year retention rate for 2023 was 44%, meaning nearly half of one-time donors in 2022 made another one-time gift in 2023. 

6. December giving constituted 26% of online revenue, with overall online revenue on December 31, 2023, 7% lower than the previous year and email revenue 10% lower. 

7. Email revenue dropped by 7%, accounting for 16% of all online revenue.  

8. The response rate for fundraising emails was 0.07%, a 16% decrease from 2022. 

9. Mobile messaging revenue increased by 14% in 2023, contributing 0.37% of online revenue. This shows there is plenty of room to expand/start your texting program.  

10. Spending on connected TV for fundraising advertising grew by 50%, alongside a 46% increase in digital audio budgets. 

11. PayPal was the most utilized alternative payment method, available on donation pages for 67% of nonprofits. Apple Pay (38%) and Google Pay (30%) were also popular.

12. The average gift amount on desktop devices was $137, compared to $83 on mobile devices.