The Average Sustainer Gift Is $35 a Month-That’s $425 a Year!


by Erica Waasdorp

It’s tax season. Phew, I just finished mine. It’s such a bear.

The good news is that this also means last year’s giving updates are coming in. It is statistics season, and, of course, I’m always on the lookout for the latest statistics when it comes to monthly giving.

While there are not that many companies that track sustainers yet, what we can see is amazingly powerful. So, if you or your boss are still hesitant, take a look at the latest “Blackbaud Luminate Online Trends” right here.

The report includes aggregate data from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, from 937 mature Blackbaud Luminate Online customers-all with at least three years of consecutive usage data.

Collectively over the last fiscal year, these organizations raised over $1.54 billion, handled almost 23 million online transactions and sent over 3.6 billion emails.

To make it a bit easier to read, I’ve rounded the percentages off to the closest round number.

This is where you can clearly see how the focus on monthly gifts has really started making a difference for the different types of organizations. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Sustainer revenue overall grew by 18 percent.
  • Almost 10 percent of reported online revenue came from sustainers overall, topped by the public broadcasting stations with 54 percent of online gifts coming from sustainers. For animal welfare organizations, that was more than 24 percent.
  • Arts, followed by disaster and international aid with 20 percent, faith communities, food banks were reported at 16 percent; environment and wildlife, and culture and humanities had 15 percent come in from sustainers; so still above the average.
  • Human and social services surprisingly are below average with only 5 percent of online gifts coming from sustainers, followed by hospitals/hospital foundations at 4 percent and health and research at only 2 percent. The good news is that they have grown, but still well below average. Many of these organizations have historically been much more focused on major gifts.
  • Environment and wildlife online sustainer giving grew the most over the past few years, whereas animal welfare is starting to slow down.
  • Monthly donors, on average, give $35.46 per month. That’s an impressive $425 a year!
  • This, of course, differs by type of organization. Public broadcasting has the lowest average gift of $14 a month, followed by environment and wildlife at $22, and animal welfare at $27 a month.

I’ll keep you posted on other statistics as they develop, but these make great stats to benchmark your organization against. Let’s make this an even better year of sustainer growth.

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