Some numbers, and a story. When you get right down to it, that’s what the annual M+R Benchmarks Study is: a whole bunch of numbers that add up to the story of what nonprofits achieved and experienced online in the last year. And that’s what we have for you here, numbers and a story.

First, the numbers.

2: That’s how many clicks away from downloading the Study you are right now at this very moment. One click to get to, and one to download the complete pdf. What are you waiting for?

53: The number of generous, patient, unbelievably helpful — oh yeah, and world-changing — nonprofits who participated in this year’s study. Our data analysts wept with joy, and our database software trembled in fear to behold the 2.1 billion (with a ‘B’!) email messages, 5.6 million donations, and 7.5 million online actions included in our data set.

0.07%: Now it’s getting real. That’s the average response rate for fundraising messages in 2013. It’s down 11% from 2012. Sad trombone.

14%: The increase in online revenue from 2012 to 2013. Happy, um, piccolo? Why is there not an established orchestral sound effect for good things?

33: The number of advocacy messages per subscriber sent by Environmental nonprofits. And just wait until you see what that meant for their response rates. Actually, no, don’t wait – download Benchmarks now!

Okay, enough numbers for now. You know where to find the rest. Here’s the story.

In the beginning, there was a mountain of data, and it was good (and actually kind of intimidating if we are being totally honest). We wrestled and wrangled it, and spent a lot of time aggregating, analyzing, and arguing over what it all meant.

In the end, we found that our industry is growing in exciting ways, and running into very real challenges as supporters change the way they use email, the web, and social media. The only way to track our progress, hold ourselves accountable, and push ourselves forward is to gather the most complete, reliable data we can get our hands on.

That’s what Benchmarks is, and we couldn’t be more proud to share it with you. Enjoy.

Celebratory trumpet! Exultant oboe! Jubilant glockenspiel!

One last thing: don’t forget to join us for a special NTEN webinar covering the most important Benchmarks findings on Wednesday, April 16. Click here for details.