The Convio 2011 Benchmark Report on the online fundraising statistics for 2010 was recently released, and although it covers every category of association and organization, the figures on these divisions stood out from the rest:

Animal Welfare

This category had a 7% rate of website traffic growth over 2009 that was second only to Christian Ministries, but paradoxically had one of the lowest website traffic conversion rates at just 1.85%. It seems that animal welfare constituents may be motivated to seek information about their favorite cause (as is witnessed by the total email file growth of 31%) but somewhat recalcitrant in carrying through with a donation. The median total annual online revenue per organization was a very healthy $265,336 but it came from a large number of donors since the average gift size was a subpar $57.51.

Association & Membership

This category was one of the very few to show a net loss in website traffic, hemorrhaging a full 5%, and an online revenue growth of just 1% placing it at the absolute bottom among all divisions. Due to the essential nature of association and membership organizations, the conversion rate is very high at 9.14%, as much of that can be attributed to renewals of existing memberships and dues owing.

Christian Ministries

This category showed the greatest website traffic growth, attracting 9% more visitors than in 2009 for an average of 16,834 uniques per month. Christian Ministries managed to convert 3.12% of their visitors and demonstrated an impressive 18% in total email file growth. On the down side, the usable percentage of their email subscription file stood at 50% leaving exactly half of their total file as dormant or elapsed email addresses.

Food Bank

This category displayed the highest total email file growth over 2009 of any other, scoring a remarkable 41%. Food Banks also increased their total website traffic by 5% and were able to convert a very respectable 2.95% of their average 5,146 visitors for a median donation of $106.89.

Hospital & Medical Research

This category has the worst statistics in website traffic, losing 14% of the audience they had in the previous year and ending up with a rather anemic 3,349 median monthly visitors. This grouping did manage to grow their total median email file size by 20% and average gift is exceptionally high at $111.78, so the year was not a total loss.

Higher Education

This category benefits from the highest average donation of any other grouping, managing to attract $136.97 for a median annual online revenue of $308,251. The website traffic growth over 2009 was vigorous at 6% but their website traffic conversion rate was the lowest of all categories at a meager 0.08%. Higher education has the highest percentage of usable email addresses on their lists with only 25% being dormant or elapsed.


This category seems to be fading quickly with an 11% loss of website traffic over 2009, leaving the monthly average of uniques at 2,773 which is the lowest among all divisions. Their online revenue growth median was the second lowest among all brackets at just 7%.

Public Broadcasting

This category reflects a turning of the tide as it lost 11% of its website traffic over the previous year and managed to solicit a relatively barebones average of $68.24 per donation, converting just 1.38% of all visitors. A worrisome 48% of the total number of email addresses on their subscription list was unusable, and total email file growth was also very low at just 16%.

Team Events

This category has by far the highest website traffic conversion rate standing at an awe-inspiring 16.33%, nearly double that of the runner up category of Association & Membership. Given the primarily local or regional dynamics of non-profit Team Events, the monthly unique website visitors are rather limited at just 5,823, and only half of their total median email subscription file is usable, equaling just 28,535 email addresses that can be sent to.

Overall website traffic was up 2% and online revenue growth was 20% in 2010, so with the ongoing recovery associations & organizations can hope for better days ahead!