The 2021 Open Data Project [español, français] seeks to gain a better understanding of how nonprofits, NGOs, and charities worldwide use technology for digital marketing and fundraising. At the core of the project is the 2021 Global NGO Technology Survey and the data below is based on the survey responses of 1,148 digital marketers and fundraisers that work in the nonprofit sector worldwide.

From a list of 32 digital marketing and fundraising tools, survey respondents were asked to select the 10 they found most effective. The 10 least effective digital marketing and fundraising tools are also listed below, but their low rankings are likely influenced by the fact that most are emerging tools not commonly used by nonprofits.

To access the complete data, please take the 2021 Global NGO Technology Survey and then visit the Open Data Project Hub.

To receive future updates about the Global NGO Technology Survey data, please sign up for Nonprofit Tech for Good’s email newsletter.

The 10 Most Effective Digital Marketing & Fundraising Tools

  1. Website — 84%
  2. Social Media — 65%
  3. Email Newsletters — 64%
  4. Email fundraising appeals — 43%
  5. Recurring/monthly giving — 37%
  6. Social media advertising — 31%
  7. Peer-to-peer-fundraising — 29%
  8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software — 24%
  9. Virtual fundraising events — 22%
  10. #GivingTuesday — 22%

The 10 Least Effective Digital Marketing & Fundraising Tools

  1. Smart speaker giving, such as Alexa Donations — 1%
  2. Giving through gaming — 2%
  3. Podcasts — 4%
  4. Online raffles or sweepstakes — 4%
  5. Text-to-give — 5%
  6. Research reports — 5%
  7. Case studies — 6%
  8. Online petitions — 6%
  9. Messaging apps — 6%
  10. Photo slideshows/essays — 7%

The 32 options provided in the survey: Website, email newsletters, email fundraising appeals, recurring/monthly giving, tribute giving (such as memorials and birthdays), virtual fundraising events, online auctions, online raffles or sweepstakes, matching gift campaigns, #GivingTuesday, cause awareness days (such as World Elephant Day or World Health Day), peer-to-peer fundraising, blogging, crowdfunding, messaging apps, social media, social media advertising, search engine advertising, SMS/text messaging, text-to-give, online petitions, podcasts, smart speaker giving (such as Alexa Donations), giving through gaming, video, livestreaming, photo slideshows/essays, infographics, customer relationship management (CRM) software, research reports, annual reports, case studies.

Why the Open Data Project?

Most research about digital marketing and fundraising in the nonprofit sector is based on data from wealthy nations and thus is often not applicable to charitable organizations worldwide. The Open Data Project [españolfrançais] was created to address that lack of diversity in data.

Open Data Project Sponsors

Eventgroove is a one-stop platform for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events that offers event management, online fundraising, ticketing, and online storefronts for print and digital merchandise.

Funraise combines every fundraising tool that nonprofits need for success—in one easy-to-use platform. Get started with free fundraising tools. Upgrade as you grow.

About the Author

Heather Mansfield is the founder and editor-in-chief of Nonprofit Tech for Good and producer of the Certificate in Digital Marketing & Fundraising program. Fueled by a strong passion for the Internet, Heather spends her days (and some nights) helping nonprofits, charities, and NGOs worldwide utilize the internet as a tool for social good.