An email that asks recipients to sign an online petition, send an email to a decision-maker, or take a similar online action. For the purposes of this Study, advocacy email does not include higher-bar actions like making a phone call or attending an event, largely because tracking offline response is inconsistent across organizations. Advocacy email rates were calculated from advocacy emails with a simple action sent to either the full file or a random sample of the full file.
The total number of sequins on a performer’s stage outfit(s), multiplied by the volume of leather fringe. A remarkably accurate proxy measure for overall fabulousness. See also: Share Score.
The number of Likes a Facebook post receives, divided by the number of fans a nonprofit’s Facebook page has on the day it is posted.
Calculated as the number of people who clicked on any trackable link in an email message divided by the number of delivered emails. People who clicked multiple times in one email were only counted once. In other words, if a subscriber clicked on every link in a message 10 times, this was counted the same as if the subscriber had clicked once on a single link.
Only the emails that were delivered, not including the emails that are considered inactive or emails that were sent and bounced. “Delivered” email messages may land in a user’s inbox, spam folder, promotions tab, or custom folder.
Earned Reach Average (ERA)
The average number of Facebook users reached by a given post relative to the number of Facebook fans that nonprofit has. Expressed as a ratio per thousand fans (e.g. an ERA of 0.225 indicates that a nonprofit’s average post will reach 225 Facebook users for every 1,000 fans who “like” that nonprofit).
The total number of users who engage with a social media post (by liking, clicking, sharing, etc.), divided by the total number of page fans on the day the content was posted.
People who “like” a nonprofit’s Facebook Fan page.
People who subscribe to see posts from a nonprofit’s Instagram account.
People who subscribe to receive the tweets from a nonprofit’s Twitter account.
All of an organization’s deliverable email addresses, not including unsubscribed email addresses or email addresses to which an organization no longer sends email messages.
An email that only asks for a donation, as opposed to an email newsletter, which might ask for a donation and include other links. For the purposes of this Study, fundraising email only includes one-time donation asks; it does not include monthly gift asks. Fundraising email rates were calculated from all fundraising emails, regardless of whether the email went to the full file, a random sample of the file, or a targeted portion of the file.
An alphabetical list of terms related to a specific subject, with explanations. Example: “This Glossary includes a definition of the word ‘Glossary,’ which honestly doesn’t seem necessary.” See also: Metatextuality.
Calculated as the number of subscribers who became unreachable in a 12-month period divided by the sum of the number of deliverable email addresses at the end of that period plus the number of subscribers who became unreachable during that period. Study participants were required to track the number of subscribers who became unreachable each month to account for subscribers both joining and leaving an email list during the 12-month period who would otherwise go uncounted.
Did you arrive here from the definition for “Glossary”? That’ll probably explain it better. Maybe go look there and then come back? See also: Glossary.
A donation where the donor signs up once to donate on a regular schedule, typically by pledging a regular gift amount on a credit card each month. Also known as a sustaining gift.
An email with multiple links or asks, which can include fundraising or advocacy asks. Email newsletter rates were calculated from all email newsletters, regardless of whether the newsletter went to the full file, a random sample of the file, or a targeted portion of the file.
Online Retention, New Donor
Of the donors that made their first-ever online gift in the previous calendar year, the percent that made an online gift in the current calendar year. Note that we count someone as “new” if they have no online donations reported after 2011.
Online Retention, Prior Donor
Of the donors that made an online gift in the previous calendar year that wasn’t their first online gift, the percent that made an online gift in the current calendar year.
Calculated as the number of HTML email messages opened divided by the number of delivered emails. Email messages that bounce are not included.
Page Completion Rate
Calculated as the number of people who completed a form divided by the number of people who clicked on the link to get to that form. For the purposes of this Study, it was not always possible to use the number of people who clicked on a link to a specific form, so we used the number of unique clicks in the message.
The percentage of observed values below the named data point. 25% of the observations are below the 25th percentile; 75% of the observations are below the 75th percentile. The values between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile are the middle 50% of the observed values and represent the normal range of values.
This can either mean a particular attitude or way of seeing something, or a technique of rendering three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface. Sort of depends on your point of view.
Calculated as the number of people who took the main action requested by an email message divided by the number of delivered emails. We only calculated response rates in this Study for fundraising emails and for advocacy emails with simple asks, such as signing a petition or sending an email to a decision maker.
The number of Shares a Facebook post receives, divided by the number of fans a nonprofit’s Facebook page has the day it is posted. See also: Cher Score.
The number of Comments a Facebook post receives, divided by the number of fans a nonprofit’s Facebook page has the day it is posted.
The number of people who clicked on any trackable link in an email message, as opposed to the number of times the links in an email were clicked. If a subscriber clicked on every link in a message 10 times, this is counted as 1 unique click.
Calculated as the number of individuals who unsubscribed in response to an email message divided by the number of delivered emails.
Website Donation Conversion Rate
Calculated from the number of donations to a participant’s main website, including donations from all traffic sources (email, paid ads, organic, search, etc), divided by the number of unique website visitors.
Website Donation Page Conversion Rate
Calculated from the number of donations to a participant’s main donation page, divided by the number of unique pageviews of that page. We included only unique pageviews for the one-time donation page, if a separate donation page existed for monthly gifts.
Website Page Load Time
The number of seconds before a page appears to be visually complete, as measured by the WebPageTest tool at http://webpagetest.org.
Website Revenue Per Visitor
Calculated as the total revenue from one-time online gifts, plus the value of initial monthly gifts, divided by the total number of website visitors for the year. Depending on retention, the long-term value of monthly gifts may be substantially higher.
Website Visitors Per Month
The average number of monthly unique visitors to a participant’s main website.
The M+R Benchmarks Study depends on the generous participation of some truly amazing nonprofits, who contribute their precious data and precious time. We are endlessly grateful to each and every one of them.
Breakdown of participating organizations
- 10 Cultural
- 41 Environmental
- 16 Health
- 8 Hunger / Poverty
- 19 International
- 5 Public Media
- 14 Rights
- 10 Wildlife / Animal Welfare
- 12 Other
- American Museum of Natural History
- Central Park Conservancy
- Nasher Sculpture Center
- National Museum of the American Indian
- National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Orchestras Canada
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
- Alliance for the Great Lakes
- Connecticut River Conservancy
- Conservation Colorado
- Conservation International
- Conservation Law Foundation
- David Suzuki Foundation
- EarthRights International
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Faith in Place
- Food & Water Watch
- Friends of the Earth
- Global Greengrants Fund
- League of Conservation Voters
- Michigan League of Conservation Voters
- Mono Lake Committee
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Mystic River Watershed Association
- National Audubon Society
- National Geographic Society
- National Parks Conservation Association
- Natural Resources Council of Maine
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- The Nature Conservancy
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
- NRDC Action Fund
- Overton Park Conservancy
- Power Shift Network
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- Rainforest Alliance
- San Francisco Baykeeper
- Sierra Club
- The Trust for Public Land
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Washington Trails Association
- Waterkeeper Alliance
- Wilderness Committee
- The Wilderness Society
- Action on Smoking and Health
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- Autism Speaks
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
- ChangeLab Solutions
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
- Children’s Mercy Hospital
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Advocacy)
- March of Dimes
- POGO – Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario
- Sepsis Alliance
- St. Baldrick’s Foundation
- Susan G Komen
- AARP Foundation
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Feeding America
- Friends of the Children
- Greater Cleveland Food Bank
- Justice in Aging
- ONE Campaign
- Union Gospel Mission (Vancouver)
- American Red Cross
- CARE Action
- Children International
- FINCA International
- International Justice Mission
- International Medical Corps
- Mercy Corps
- One Acre Fund
- Operation Smile
- Oxfam America
- Pathfinder International
- Plan International USA
- UNHCR Canada
- USA for UNHCR
- Women Deliver
- Women for Women International
- World Food Program USA
- Louisville Public Media
- WNET New York Public Media
- Communications Workers of America
- Equal Rights Advocates
- Free the Slaves
- Human Rights Campaign
- Innocence Project
- International Center for Research on Women
- NARAL Pro-Choice America
- National Domestic Workers Alliance
- National Women’s Law Center
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- Population Connection
- Tahirih Justice Center
- Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
- Association of Zoos and Aquariums
- BC SPCA
- Best Friends Animal Society
- The Humane Society of the United States
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
- National Wildlife Federation
- New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- World Wildlife Fund
- ACT Now!
- American Friends Service Committee
- American Nurses Association
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- Equitable Growth
- First Book Canada
- National Association of REALTORS®
- Opportunity Enterprises
- Progress Iowa
- St. Joseph’s Indian School
- Win Without War