VerticalResponse Surveys the State of Non-Profits in America; Reports on Trends in Marketing Channel Use Across 2009 and 2010

70 percent of non-profits surveyed will increase their use of email marketing and social media in 2010; a third of respondents report they will either cut down or not use print mail in 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– February 1, 2010 – VerticalResponse, Inc., a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys, and direct mail solutions for small businesses, today announces the results of a survey of non-profit organizations, which showed that use of social media and email marketing will continue to increase significantly from 2009 to 2010. Just over half of all respondents reported that their non-profit increased the use of email marketing in 2009, and 73% of non-profits plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2010.

"We have a real soft spot for non-profits here at VerticalResponse, and we are excited to hear that more than ever they are embracing online marketing tactics," said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse. "We look forward to supporting even more of these vital organizations in 2010 as more people become aware of the 10,000 free emails we offer non-profits per month."

Among key findings, VerticalResponse reports:

Email marketing and social media use increases from 2009 to 2010

Although just over half of non-profits reported they increased their use of social media and email marketing in 2009, this percentage will continue to rise in 2010 as non-profits become more comfortable with both communication channels.

  • 73% of non-profits reported that they plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2010. This is up from the 55% of non-profits who reported that they had increased their use of email marketing in 2009.
  • 70% of non-profits reported that they plan to increase their use of social media in 2010. This is up from just over 50% of non-profits who reported that their use of social media had increased in 2009.

Direct mail and print advertising continues to suffer in 2010

In many cases, the rising adoption of email marketing and social media amongst non-profits will have a direct effect on the use of direct mail and print advertising in 2010. Both alternatives to print channels are low-cost or free for many non-profits, which will continue to drive future adoption in the industry.

  • Non-profits are planning on cutting down their use of printed direct mail brochures and newsletters. A third of all non-profits say they will either cut down or will not use print direct mail in 2010.
  • Print advertising begins to decrease amongst non-profits as their focus shifts to email marketing, social media and events. 30% of non-profits are not planning to use print advertising in 2010, and a further 15% are planning to cut down on their use of print advertising.

Survey respondent WAG Animal Rescue ( is a non-profit organization based in southeastern Michigan that has been run solely by volunteers since 1988. Without a physical building location, the non-profit’s volunteers have to foster animals in their private homes until permanent homes can be found. WAG Animal Rescue reports that rising postage and printing costs are a deterrent to the traditional print newsletter they have been mailing for over 20 years. The non-profit is trying to encourage their 2,000 donors, volunteers and members to switch to email newsletters—as this allows them to communicate with their supporters far more regularly than the quarterly print newsletters they send.

"WAG Animal Rescue plans to increase our use of email by at least 75 percent in 2010 when compared to 2009, as our stakeholders and supporters get more comfortable with email marketing," said Jason Alley, Director of WAG Animal Rescue. "We’ve been using the 10,000 free emails we get each month through VerticalResponse for Non-Profits for 10 months now—and we find email is cheaper, more efficient and better for the environment."

WAG Animal Rescue’s experience is representative of the VerticalResponse non-profit survey findings, as these organizations look for more cost-effective channels to reach important groups such as donors and volunteers.

Email Plans Social Media PlansDirect Mail PlansPrint Ads Plans

Close to one hundred non-profits took the survey, and 80% of these were in the 1-10 staff size. Just three non-profits fell into the largest non-profit category of 101 – 500 staff.

About VerticalResponse for Non-Profits

VerticalResponse for Non-Profits is designed to help Non-Profit organizations effectively use email marketing to communicate with their donors and newsletter subscribers. Non-Profit organizations can apply for the program on the VerticalResponse website ( Qualified applicants will receive 10,000 free email credits per month, and further 15 percent discount off online surveys and direct mail postcards from VerticalResponse. Those organizations wishing to send more than 10,000 emails per month are offered a 15% discount.


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