Blackbaud Luminate Online® Benchmark Report 2020

A Guide to Evaluating Your Organization’s Performance
for the Year Ahead

Like past disasters such as Hurricane Sandy (2012), the Haitian Earthquake (2010) and Hurricane Katrina (2005), donor generosity during an emergency drove online giving growth in 2020. But unlike those past events, COVID-19 disrupted existing fundraising channels and forced nonprofits to quickly pivot from existing fundraising plans. Without in-person events, canvassing, tours, and meetings, nonprofits had to accelerate new digital strategies.

The resulting trends are on display in the 2020 version of the Blackbaud Luminate Online Benchmark Report. There’s no question that 2020 was an anomaly. But, this data still offers insight into your organization’s performance under pressure and how your online fundraising success compares to peers.


increase in total clickthroughs year-over-year

Anticipated changes in technology will impact email performance and metrics, so while traditional data is included, the focus is changing.

online donors is a recurring monthly donor

Despite the significant growth in one-time donations, sustainer revenue still had a larger year-over-year increase in 2020.

increase in one-time gift revenue
for food banks

Food Banks surged into headlines and experienced unprecedented growth, so industry benchmarks are provided both with and without this sector.



Key Findings

Take a peek at the highlights and notable trends of this year’s report before you dive into the online fundraising data to determine which digital strategies you should keep, adjust, or discard moving forward.

Industry Overview

Find out how the overall nonprofit industry performed in these categories:

  • Online Giving Trends
  • Sustainer Giving Trends
  • Email Engagement Trends

Benchmark Against Organizations in Your Sector

See how your organization stacks up against other similar nonprofits as well as the overall nonprofit industry. This helps determine trends that may be specific to your type of organization.

Benchmark Against Organizations of Similar Size

Compare your results to the overall nonprofit industry based on email list size. In some cases, comparing yourself against like-size organizations is more beneficial than comparisons based on mission.

Looking Ahead: Find Your Next Big Online Fundraising Opportunity

As you consider 2020’s data and trends, there’s a natural next question: what trends will continue? Blackbaud’s experts offer insight and suggestions in a new Look Ahead guide.

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