Nonprofit DM-Driven Sales to Grow 6.8% a Year through 2012

January 16, 2008

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In 2007, every dollar that membership organizations spent on direct marketing yielded a return of $14.47 – a figure that is only going to rise through 2012, according to the newly released Direct Marketing Association (DMA) report, “Direct Marketing Facts & Figures in the Nonprofit Sector.”


Some key findings of the DMA report:

  • Nonprofit advertising expenditures are expected to grow 2.4% annually from 2007 to 2012.


  • DM-driven sales are expected to grow 6.8% annually (refers to sales directly caused by direct marketing advertising activities).


  • Nonprofit organizations’ catalog advertising expenditures are expected to reach $485.9 million in 2012.
  • DM-driven nonprofit employment is expected to decrease 1.4% annually from 2007 to 2012.
  • Of the nonprofit divisions – which includes educational services, museums, religious organizations, and membership organizations – educational services records the lowest ROI, at $9.38 per dollar spent in 2007.
  • However, educational services are projected to undergo the greatest increase in DM-driven catalog sales, at 7.6% a year.
  • Membership organizations will have the highest ROI in 2012, projected at $17.04 for every dollar spent.
  • Museums, botanical gardens, and zoos are expected to see the largest increase in email advertising expenditures, with an annualized rate of 24.1%.
  • DM spending by religious organizations that market to businesses will spike in coming years, with email expenditures increasing 51.8% each year, and internet spending climbing 45.8%.
  • Religious organizations spent the most of all four nonprofit sectors on direct mail advertising in 2007, at $1.3 billion, and on insert media, at $29.3 million.
  • Educational services and religious organizations tied for the top spot in 2007 in internet advertising expenditures, at $161.6 million each.

About the study: The DMA’s 144-page “Direct Marketing Facts & Figures in the Nonprofit Sector” report is divided into nine chapters, including an overview chapter on the nonprofit sector, and eight chapters categorized by advertising media type: catalog, direct mail, insert media, commercial email, internet marketing, print media, broadcast media, and telephone marketing. Nearly 100 graphs help benchmark direct marketing expenditures, ROI, donations and employment.

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