Nonprofit Technology

9 Nonprofit Marketing Statistics to Help You Choose the Best Approach

Published by in Nonprofit Technology

The marketing landscape is always changing with new technological advances and trends. It’s because of these changes that your nonprofit has to stay on top of the latest updates in nonprofit software, technologies, and marketing strategies.

There are many different forms of marketing, but the three most budget-friendly marketing channels that make the most sense for nonprofits are social media, direct mail, and email marketing.

It can be a challenge to determine which marketing channels will work best for your nonprofit and how to ensure you’re getting the highest return on investment. To help you make those decisions, I’ve pulled together nine nonprofit marketing statistics, along with some context as to what those stats mean for your nonprofit’s marketing efforts.

nonprofit marketing statistics

Social media marketing

1. Social media has the most reach with adults ages 18 to 29. The smallest reach is in the 60+ age group. However, 67% of adults over 60 use Facebook. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Though younger generations use social media at a far greater rate than their older counterparts, marketing to Baby Boomers is not a loss, especially on Facebook. Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have fledgling use rates among the 60+ age group, but Facebook has a solid Boomer population. This means your nonprofit should make your social efforts on Facebook more representative of the full generational spectrum. However, your message ought to reflect a more Millennial and Gen X tone on other platforms.

2. Facebook and YouTube still dominate the social media world as the most used platforms. A full 86% of Americans currently use Facebook, while 73% use YouTube. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Facebook and YouTube are your best bets for reaching your constituents on social media. This doesn’t mean that Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat aren’t worth your effort, but they shouldn’t take priority over Facebook and YouTube. It also means that since Facebook has made a recent push for more video content in order to compete with YouTube, your nonprofit ought to focus on creating more video content.

3. In a survey of Twitter users, 20% said they are more likely to check Twitter as a result of the recent character limit increase to 280 characters. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: You no longer have to shortchange descriptions and stories that give context to image and link posts on Twitter. And as you take advantage of those additional characters, you can expect to see increased engagement with those longer tweets that entice interactions with links.

Direct mail marketing

4. Direct mail response rates are at the highest they’ve ever been (5.1%) since the first ever Response Rate Report in 2003—higher than email (0.6%), paid search (0.6%), online display ads (0.2%), or social media (0.4%). (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Direct mail is far from a dead method for fundraising and member acquisition. If your nonprofit has a direct mail program, don’t leave it on the curb just yet.

5. Fifty-six percent of consumers believe print marketing is the most trustworthy marketing strategy. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: If you are looking to build the trust of your potential donor base, direct mail is the number one way to do so.

6. The majority of Millennials (77%) react to direct mail as an advertising strategy. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Social media isn’t the only way to reach the Millennial generation. Millennials are receptive to direct mail initiatives, just like Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers.

Email marketing

7. Nonprofit organizations have a 34% open rate for emails, putting them at number five among the 18 industry types studied. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Nonprofits are on the higher end for email open rates, with only healthcare, publishing, education, and restaurants ranking above them, and not by a large margin. If these industries aren’t giving up on email marketing, neither should your nonprofit.

8. Including video in your email campaigns can boost your open rates by 19% and your click-through rates by 65% and can reduce your unsubscribes by 26%. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Not only is video taking over social media, but it also will positively affect your email campaigns. This means any time you create a video for your social campaigns, you should include it in your emails as well, which will save your organization time and money in content creation.

9. Global email users in 2017 reached a staggering 3.7 billion and that number is predicted to grow to 4.3 billion by 2022. (Source)

What this means for your nonprofit: Direct mail isn’t the only established marketing method with continued staying power. Email is still growing, leaving billions more opportunities to reach new donors and members.

Other nonprofit statistics and resources

If you’re looking for more insight on modern marketing strategies for nonprofits, as well as the software that’ll help you implement these strategies, there’s no better resource than the Capterra nonprofit technology blog.

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

About the Author

Nick Morpus

Nick Morpus

Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.


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