Advocacy EmailAn 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 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.
Click-Through RateCalculated 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.
Deliverable EmailsOnly 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.
Device Type, DesktopWe use the definitions provided by Google Analytics to separate traffic data by device type. The “desktop” category includes any desktop or laptop computer with a screen larger than 7” in diagonal. Technically, this would exclude the Apollo Guidance Computer, which had a screen under 5”.
Device Type, MobileWe use the definitions provided by Google Analytics to separate traffic data by device type. Mobile devices are hand-held devices that include a phone. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note.
Device Type, TabletWe use the definitions provided by Google Analytics to separate traffic data by device type. Tablet devices are mobile devices that don’t necessarily include a phone. For example, the iPad Air.
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 .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.
Fans, FacebookPeople who “like” a nonprofit’s Facebook Fan page.
Followers, InstagramPeople who subscribe to see posts from a nonprofit’s Instagram account.
Followers, TwitterPeople who subscribe to receive the tweets from a nonprofit’s Twitter account.
Full FileAll of an organization’s deliverable email addresses, not including unsubscribed email addresses or email addresses to which an organization no longer sends email messages.
Fundraising EmailAn 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.
GlossaryAn 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.
LaunchTo set in motion. What you do to a mass email, a website, or a 3.1 million ton Falcon Heavy rocket. All equally exciting and challenging launches, we’re sure.
List ChurnCalculated 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.
MetatextualityDid 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.
Monthly GiftA 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.
Newsletters, EmailAn 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 DonorOf 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 2012.
Online Retention, Prior DonorOf 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.
Open RateCalculated as the number of HTML email messages opened divided by the number of delivered emails. Email messages that bounce are not included.
Organic TrafficWebsite visits generated by unpaid search results.
A mechanical model of the solar system designed to demonstrate the movement and relative position of the planets and moons. Observe our M+R orrery of worlds here.
Page Completion RateCalculated 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.
PercentileThe 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.
Response RateCalculated 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.
Any advertisements targeted to users based on their previous behavior, like visiting a web page or signing a petition.
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.
A low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by NASA from 1981 to 2001. The names of all six Space Shuttle Orbiters are hidden in the “Prepare for Launch” section of this year’s Benchmarks Study. See if you can find them all!
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.
Unique ClicksThe 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.
Unsubscribe RateCalculated as the number of individuals who unsubscribed in response to an email message divided by the number of delivered emails.
View-Through RevenueRevenue from donors who made a donation (typically within 30 days) of seeing, but not clicking on, an ad. For example, a supporter who sees a banner ad and later goes directly to the nonprofit’s website to make a gift.
Website Donation Conversion RateCalculated 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. Where a separate donation page existed for monthly gifts, we excluded that data.
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 VisitorCalculated 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 MonthThe number of monthly unique visitors to a participant’s main website.
|American Craft Council|
|American Museum of Natural History|
|Arts Alliance Illinois|
|California Academy of Sciences|
|Central Park Conservancy|
|National Trust for Historic Preservation|
|Philadelphia Museum of Art|
|Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum|
|1000 Friends of Oregon|
|Alliance for the Great Lakes|
|Connecticut River Conservancy|
|Conservation Law Foundation|
|Conservation Voters of PA|
|David Suzuki Foundation|
|Food & Water Watch|
|Friends of the Earth|
|Greater Yellowstone Coalition|
|League of Conservation Voters|
|Mono Lake Committee|
|Monterey Bay Aquarium|
|Mystic River Watershed Association|
|National Audubon Society|
|National Geographic Society|
|National Park Foundation|
|National Parks Conservation Association|
|Natural Resources Council of Maine|
|Natural Resources Defense Council|
|The Nature Conservancy|
|Nature Conservancy of Canada|
|Nature Conservation Council of NSW|
|New Jersey League of Conservation Voters|
|North Carolina League of Conservation Voters|
|NRDC Action Fund|
|Overton Park Conservancy|
|Pacific Forest Trust|
|Peninsula Open Space Trust|
|The Trust for Public Land|
|Union of Concerned Scientists|
|Washington Environmental Council|
|Washington Trails Association|
|The Wilderness Society|
|World Resources Institute|
|Wyoming Outdoor Council|
|Action on Smoking and Health|
|American Cancer Society|
|American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network|
|American Heart Association|
|American Lung Association|
|Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities|
|BC Cancer Foundation|
|Boston Children's Hospital Trust|
|Children's Hospital Los Angeles|
|Children's Mercy Hospital|
|The Commonwealth Fund|
|Einstein Healthcare Network|
|Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation|
|The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society|
|Lupus Foundation of America|
|March of Dimes|
|National Multiple Sclerosis Society|
|POGO - Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario|
|Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana|
|Center on Budget and Policy Priorities|
|Friends of the Children|
|Greater Cleveland Food Bank|
|Greater Vancouver Food Bank|
|Hebrew Free Loan Society|
|LA Family Housing|
|Maryland Food Bank|
|Share Our Strength|
|Action Against Hunger|
|American Red Cross|
|Bread for the World|
|CMMB - Healthier Lives Worldwide|
|International Justice Mission|
|International Medical Corps|
|Lutheran World Relief-IMA World Health|
|One Acre Fund|
|Salzburg Global Seminar|
|Save the Children|
|USA for UNHCR|
|Women for Women International|
|World Food Program USA|
|American Friends Service Committee|
|Boys & Girls Clubs of America|
|Brennan Center for Justice|
|Chicago Council on Global Affairs|
|Communications Workers of America|
|The Council of Canadians|
|Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption|
|Equal Justice USA|
|Montana Nonprofit Association|
|Nashville Rescue Mission|
|National Association of REALTORS|
|National Consumer Law Center|
|National League of Cities|
|People For the American Way|
|Population Reference Bureau|
|San Francisco Bicycle Coalition|
|Special Olympics, Inc.|
|St. Joseph's Indian School|
|Taxpayers for Common Sense|
|Trinity Services Inc.|
|Win Without War|
|Cascade Public Media|
|The GroundTruth Project|
|KGOU Public Radio|
|KPBS Public Media|
|Louisville Public Media|
|NET - Nebraska's PBS & NPR Stations|
|St. Louis Public Radio|
|WNET New York Public Media|
|WOSU Public Media|
|WVIK FM, Quad Cities NPR|
|Children's Defense Fund|
|Families Belong Together|
|Family Equality Council|
|Family Forward Action|
|Human Rights Campaign|
|International Women's Health Coalition|
|Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America|
|NARAL Pro-Choice America|
|National Domestic Workers Alliance|
|National Women's Law Center|
|New Israel Fund|
|Planned Parenthood Action Fund|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America|
|Rock the Vote|
|TIME'S UP Now|
|Trans Empowerment Project|
|US Campaign for Palestinian Rights|
|Women and Girls Foundation|
|Animal Humane Society|
|Best Friends Animal Society|
|Endangered Species Coalition|
|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|