What Email Spam Rates Mean for Your #GivingTuesday Fundraising Campaign

November 5, 2018  |  Gabby Weiss

Email deliverability is an important metric for nonprofit fundraisers and digital staff to track, especially in the time leading up to major digital fundraising days, such as Giving Tuesday. Between 2016 and 2017, spam rates rose for nonprofits across the board, averaging at 24.16% for the year. Here is how spam rates affected nonprofit fundraising last Giving Tuesday, and what you can do to ensure a successful 2018 campaign.

Lessons from 2017

On Giving Tuesday in 2017, nonprofits sent an average of the 3.29 emails, and the average spam rate for nonprofit fundraising appeals remained high, at 20.34%. However, this was an encouraging decrease from a whopping spam rate of 36.68% in 2016.

With an average of 3.29 emails sent and an open rate of 18.03%, 2017 Giving Tuesday revenue still took a big hit due to spam. Using our research and benchmark figures, we found that a nonprofit with a list of 100,000 lost the potential to raise $3,116.41 on Giving Tuesday as a result of spam. (Similarly, a spam rate of 21.36% at End of Year caused nonprofits with a list of 100,000 to leave $3,239.97 of fundraising potential unrealized.)

Because Giving Tuesday is a key giving day for many in the nonprofit fundraising calendar, organizations that send a significant volume of email around these days typically have a higher average donation amount per email during that campaign, and are likely losing even more money than they realize due to low email deliverability.

What to do about it this year

With higher open rates and lower spam rates in the weeks before and after
Giving Tuesday, it’s worth building a multi-day, multi-channel fundraising campaign rather than banking on a single day. Running your campaign through multiple days and avenues bolsters your chances of reaching your supporters effectively and avoiding the problem of daily fluctuations in deliverability. 

Other steps that you can take to ensure a good deliverability rate, both before and after Giving Tuesday, include using a double opt-in system, implementing a solid welcome series for new additions to your email list, "cleaning" bounced addresses from your list.


For more tactics and instructions on how to use them, download the full 2018 Email Deliverability Study today, and get ready for your best Giving Tuesday yet!