This is a question that I get asked all the time. Fortunately, there are some great resources out there for determining sector benchmarks.
For direct mail, the go to source for benchmarks is the Cornerstone Group of Companies. They produce a number of reports, all of which are available at cstonecanada.com/publications/whitepapers. The bonus? These are Canadian results!
Interested in benchmarks for your online activity? Every March, the E-NonProfits Benchmarking Study is released at www.e-benchmarksstudy.com. In it you’ll find a wealth of information about email performance broken down by size of organization and type of email. You can find out about average gift size, number of monthly donors generated… the list goes on and on. Worth noting is that the same group that does this study also does a benchmarking report on mobile giving and social media. Convio also offer great research in this area – their 2011 nonprofit guide can be downloaded here: http://www.convio.com/signup/guides/2011-benchmark/
This post was written by Leah Eustace, ACFRE, former Principal and Chief Idea Goddess at Good Works. It also appeared in the AFP Ottawa Newsletter.