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Online giving continues growth in 2008

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Online donations grew 26 percent last year among a subsector of nonprofits, but the average gift size fell 21 percent, a new report says.

The average gift size was $71 in 2008, down $15 in 2007, for a group of 32 leading nonprofits analyzed in the 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study compiled by, F+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network.

That decline in gift size was offset by a 43 jump in the number of online gifts in 2008.

“The good news is, online fundraising is still growing,” Marc Ruben, vice president at M+R, says in a statement. “The bad news is, the pace of growth has slowed. More people are giving online, but they’re giving less.”

Open rates dropped to 16 percent from 17 percent last year, while click-through rates almost a half a percentage point to 2.4 percent.

The average number of emails sent to subscribers stayed about the same, at 3.5 per month.

Overall, response rates for fundraising emails remained flat at 0.12 percent, with appeals to previous donors garnering a response rate three times higher than that for non-donors.

Email lists grew 17 percent in 2008, slower than the 19 percent posted in 2007, with 19 percent of email addresses either bouncing or unsubscribing.

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