The CharityComms Digital Benchmark is a group of UK charities who pool their digital data in order to compare and evaluate their online performance. Get involved with our award-winning benchmark to find out how your charity compares.
Digital Comms 2020-21 report
We have produced a new report that looks at the impact of COVID-19 and charities’ digital response to the coronavirus, working with our partners Uprise Up and Bertie Bosrédon.
We look at the data behind how charities have reprioritised and adapted their communications and marketing to meet the rapidly changing landscape.
Mobile traffic to charity websites is rising, but only a third of charities pass Google’s ‘Core Web Vitals’
Could your charity be about to start losing online visibility?
New research from Uprise Up has shown that of charity sites tested, only one third pass the ‘Core Web Vitals’ assessment by Google. Research from the CharityComms digital benchmark has also revealed that the amount of website traffic coming to charity websites from mobile continues to rise, with the percentage of charity traffic that came from mobile devices up by a further 5.3% from 2019 to 2020. With Google’s latest major update, charities could be in danger of losing some of their largest source of traffic if they do not optimise for the Core Web Vitals.
About the Benchmark
What is the Digital Benchmark for?
The Benchmark is a unique collaboration aimed at improving the performance of all participating charities, and was recently rated good or excellent value for money by 84% of participants. It has two main objectives:
- To allow individual charities to compare the metrics, facts and figures of their own digital activities with peer charities in the UK
- To provide insights and ideas into how charities can develop their digital communications and fundraising work in the UK
Who is the Digital Benchmark for?
The three main intended audiences for the Benchmark are:
- Senior management teams, both as part of an established reporting function and as justification for activity/investment
- Digital teams, to show how performance compares to other charities
- Other teams within the organisation, to show what is and isn’t working and to act as both stick and carrot for wider organisational digital participation
How does it work?
Participant charities grant CharityComms access to their Google Analytics data. CharityComms pulls this Analytics data from each charity into an interactive dashboard in Google Data Studio, where participant charities can see how their stats compare to their peers.
Beyond the dashboard, we also run an annual survey of participants to provide more detailed insight into online fundraising and campaigning, the results of which are delivered at an annual meeting.
To get a feel for how it works, check out our sample version of the dashboard.
Do you measure anything else?
We also run an annual survey of participants, the results of which are reported at an annual meeting. The questions evolve every year to reflect the digital landscape, but crucial components always include:
- the structure of digital teams and cultures
- digital systems and tools
- online fundraising tactics and results
- online service provision and communities
- online campaigning
How can I use the data?
- Understand your online performance
“Highlights areas where you can improve as well as areas that you’re performing well in.”
- Set high standards
“We use the CharityComms results alongside other data to show progress against digital KPIs and how we compare across the sector. It also helps us set KPIs.”
- Maximise your marketing ROI
“Great value for money. We use the tool to complement other reporting, to ensure we’re investing our digital spend in the places where we can maximise impact.”
- Make your case for additional resources
“A powerful tool when trying to gain support for projects and initiatives.”
How much does it cost to participate?
Participation costs £400+vat per calendar year for CharityComms organisational members. For non-members, it costs £1,000+vat.
Please note, your whole charity must have organisational membership to be eligible for the discounted price. Individual membership will not make your charity eligible for the discount.
What do you need from participant charities?
If your charity wants to join, we will need four things:
- Access to a Google Analytics view containing your website’s data, which is maintained in accordance with our guidelines. Instructions on how to set that view up can be found here.
- A commitment to complete our annual survey as fully as you can.
- Acceptance of our terms and conditions, which can be found here.
When can I join?
We add new participants to the Benchmark every quarter, so you can start including your data from any of the following dates: 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, 1 October. Fill in this form to sign up in time for the next quarter.
Please note, you will need to create your new Benchmarking Google Analytics view (instructions here) and notify us of it at least 21 days before the start of a quarter. We may also be able to arrange access for you to view the dashboard before we add your data in, though payment will need to be made before any access is granted.
Who else will be able to see our data?
All charities who participate in the Benchmark will be able to see your data. We also work with external suppliers to deliver the Benchmark, who may be able to see your data. All external suppliers sign an NDA before we allow them access to any sensitive data.
No one else will be allowed to access your charity’s data (though we may share certain trends and top-level statistics based on aggregate data, as detailed in our Ts&Cs).
Who else do you work with?
Both upriseUP and Bertie advise and assist us with the Benchmark so that we can provide the best possible product for participating charities.