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The Nonprofit Email Report: Data-Backed Insights for Better Engagement

Browse The Report

  1. Introduction
    1. A Note from Neon One
    2. Who’s Represented In This Report?
    3. Why Is Email So Important?
    4. Anatomy of an Email
  2. Nonprofit Email Deliverability & Engagement Benchmarks
    1. Introduction
    2. Nonprofit List Sizes
    3. Ask The Expert: Is List Segmentation Really That Important?
    4. Nonprofit Email Bounce Rates
    5. Nonprofit Email Open Rates
    6. Nonprofit Email Unsubscribe Rates
    7. Nonprofit Email Click-Through Rates
    8. Nonprofit Email Fundraising Performance
    9. Nonprofit Email Performance by Date & Time
    10. Email Sender Superlatives
  3. A Data-Driven Approach to Subject Lines & Preview Text
    1. Introduction
    2. Convey Positive Emotions in Subject Lines
    3. Ask the Expert: How Did You Use AI for Subject Line Sentiment Analysis?
    4. Words to Include (or Avoid) in Your Subject Lines
    5. Experiment with Emojis in Subject Lines
    6. Write Compelling Preview Text
    7. Words to Include (or Avoid) in Your Preview Text
    8. Put It All Together — Performance Benchmarks & Word Usage
  4. Creating Effective Emails
    1. Introduction
    2. Ask the Expert: What Should I Keep In Mind When Creating Compelling Emails?
    3. Tip #1 — Include Imagery in Your Emails
    4. Tip #2 — Pay Attention to Salutations
    5. Ask The Expert: Do Salutations Really Make a Difference?
    6. Tip #3 — Use the Word "You"
    7. Tip #4 — Make Your Message Scannable
    8. Ask The Expert: How Do I Create a Great Call to Action?
    9. Tip #5 — Include Great Calls to Action
    10. Put It All Together - Build Clear, Compelling Emails
  5. Lessons from the Most Engaging Email of 2022
    1. Introduction
    2. Top Engagement Email Dissection
    3. Go Build More Engaging Emails
  6. Data-Backed Insights for GivingTuesday and Year-End
    1. Introduction
    2. Who’s Included In This Data?
    3. GivingTuesday Fundraising Totals
    4. GivingTuesday Email Data
    5. End of Year Fundraising Totals
    6. End-of-Year Email Data
    7. Use These Data-Backed Best Practices to Nail Your GivingTuesday and Year-End Goals
    8. Now Get Out There And Write Some Emails
  7. Methodology & Appendix
    1. Methodology
    2. The Dataset
    3. Terminology and Definitions
    4. Metrics Definitions
    5. Analysis by Mission & Organization Income
    6. Analysis by Time & Date Sent
    7. Analysis by Content Sentiment
    8. Data Privacy & Security
  8. About Neon One
    1. Learn more about Neon One

GivingTuesday Fundraising Totals

GivingTuesday is one of the biggest giving days of the year. On GivingTuesday 2022, people in the United States donated $3.1 billion to charitable causes in 24 hours. That’s a 15% increase from the total amount donated in 2021, which highlights peoples’ willingness to support their favorite nonprofits during the busiest time of year.

Taking a closer look at the day’s giving data, though, reveals that individual donors were less engaged with GivingTuesday than they were the prior year:

Amount Raised Overall 2021 2022 Change
Average Nonprofit $8,216.34 $6,208.04 -24.44%
Small Nonprofit $3,081.85 $3,022.22 -1.93%
Large Nonprofit $10,014.34 $7,463.67 -25.47%


Individual giving data reveals the average amount raised per email contact on GivingTuesday also declined year over year:


Amount Raised Per Email Contact 2021 2022 Change
Average Nonprofit $1.68 $1.22 -27.38%
Small Nonprofit $5.01 $4.84 -3.39%
Large Nonprofit $1.55 $1.09 -29.68%

What Does This Mean?

This data doesn’t mean that donors are abandoning GivingTuesday. They’re not! The decrease in individual donations between 2021 and 2022 is in line with industry-wide data that shows a decline in individual giving year round, not just on GivingTuesday. Remember, donors stepped up in a big way for nonprofits in 2021, helping their favorite charities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises. Seeing a decline from 2021 fundraising totals is not unexpected. These trends mean there are lots of opportunities to make a positive impression on your donors, revamp your stewardship efforts, and brainstorm new ways to connect with the people who are passionate about your work. Lower individual giving is certainly something to watch, but it shouldn’t make you panic.

A seated woman tilts a tablet toward a standing woman to review something on the screen

In fact, there are many silver linings here. During 2022 as a whole, the average nonprofit raised $1.11 per email contact, but they raised $1.22 on GivingTuesday. Large organizations raised less money on GivingTuesday in 2022 than they did in 2021, but donors on their lists gave slightly more on GivingTuesday than they did during the end of the year. Contacts on small organizations’ email lists gave slightly less on GivingTuesday than their yearly average, but overall GivingTuesday fundraising totals for this group of nonprofits stayed relatively flat instead of declining.

What Do I Do With This Information?

As you plan your GivingTuesday campaign, focus on creating outstanding experiences for the people who support your cause. From the first save-the-date email to your GivingTuesday recap, be intentional about relating donors’ impact and how their gifts will support your mission. Make it easy and enjoyable for them to give to you, and follow up with donors in the days and weeks after GivingTuesday to show gratitude and celebrate their generosity.