New data offers insight on nonprofit communications trends

How does your nonprofit marketing and communications department stack up to the rest of field? Do you struggle with the same problems? Are you utilizing the same tools? How do others spend their workdays compared to you? Finding and compiling this comparative information is hard to come by, and typically outside of many organizations' areas of expertise.

Luckily, Kivi Leroux Miller and recently published the fourth annual edition of their insightful Nonprofit Communications Trends Report to help you benchmark your efforts against that of your colleagues.

The report was the result of a survey completed by 2,135 nonprofits of all demographics and sizes, and was roughly split down the middle between organizations with budgets over and under $1 million. Sixty percent of the individuals who took the survey are executive directors, communications, or development directors; 40% are in communications/marketing; and 20% are in development/fundraising.

While most of the findings are not much different than Nonprofit Communications Trends Reports of previous years, they do reinforce some of the major trends that are continuing to develop including the increasing role of social media, the decreasing role of direct mail, and the seemingly always consistent sentiment that most communications staff feel over-worked and would like a larger budget (surprise, surprise). Below, we present some key findings courtesy of


Miscellaneous Highlights:

 - Top nonprofit communication goals for 2014: 1) acquiring new donors, 2) engaging community, and 3) general brand awareness.

- Only 34% of nonprofit executive directors picked donor retention as a top communication goal for 2014.

- Most nonprofits (59%) will send an e-newsletter at least once a month in 2014.

- Twice-a-year direct mail fundraising is most popular with nonprofits for 2014. 15% won’t do it at all.


You can read the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends report in its entirety at

You can also reach Kivi Leroux Miller, president of and author of the report at [email protected] or @kivilm.

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