Note: This post refers to an archived publication! Visit for the most recent versions of all our Benchmarks Studies.

Nearly 400 of you joined us for our Benchmarks in-person event and webinar, and we couldn’t have asked for a better audience.

At the event, we received so many questions about our 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study that we couldn’t answer them all… so we’re answering a few more right here. Have a question we missed? Send us an email!

Q: What’s the difference between online revenue and online gifts?
A: “Online revenue” is the amount of money donated, and “online gifts” are the number of donations made. So, if your campaign nets $10,000 from 100 donors, your online revenue would be $10,000, and you would have 100 online gifts.

Q: Did you assess where Twitter followers of international nonprofits were based?
A: No, we didn’t. However, all of the groups in our study are either primarily based in the U.S., or represent the U.S.-based affiliate of an international nonprofit. For example, we partnered with Oxfam America — not Oxfam International — in this year’s study.

Q: Do you have a sense of how list segmentation affects open, click-through, and response rates? Are groups segmenting more by issue interest and/or how active a constituent is?
A: Segmentation and targeting can improve response rates dramatically. For many of M+R’s clients, action alerts targeting core activists can produce response rates three to five times higher than the response rates of non-activists. Similarly, targeting prior donors can generate five to ten times the response rate of targeting non-donor prospects. However, this analysis was not included in our study. While many organizations target based on both issue interest and behavior, our own testing has found that prior behavior is more predictive than any other factor we’ve found.

Q: What’s the difference between the “Environmental” sector and the “Wildlife / Animal Rights” sector?
A: Groups whose primary focus is on animals were included in the “Wildlife / Animal Rights” sector. Groups that focus more broadly on protecting the environment were included in the “Environmental” sector, even if some of their work aims to protect wildlife. For example, a group like Defenders of Wildlife that focuses on protecting animals was classified as “Wildlife / Animal Rights” while Greenpeace was classified as “Environmental.”

Q: How did you optimize messages for mobile devices?
A: Good question! The optimization is done by using HTML and CSS. Curious about how we did it? Read more about it in our NTC presentation on this topic.

Q: Were email-driven online store purchases included in “email income”?
A: Nope, we left online store purchases out of “email income” in this study.

Q: My sector isn’t in the study. What should I do?
A: Look at the “All Sectors” numbers, or pick the sector most similar to yours.

Q: How does a new sector get added to the Benchmarks study?
A: We want to include as many sectors as we can, but we need a critical mass of groups to make it work. If you want a new sector in next year’s Benchmarks study, please email us to volunteer to be in the study! And if you can also help recruit other organizations from the sector to be in the study, the chances we’ll be able to break your results out by sector will be even better.

Q: Do email fundraising response rates include offline gifts?
A: Email fundraising response rates only include gifts made online.

That’s it for now, but check back for more Benchmarks analysis and answers.