Data nerds, unite!

Each year Mary Meeker, a general partner at venture capital firm Bond Capital, releases her Internet Trends report. It is one of the most anticipated and important slide decks of the year. Mary provides a thorough overview of what’s happening on the Internet and what will happen over the coming year.

This year’s deck didn’t disappoint- 333 slides (yes, 333!) of stats, graphs, trends, data and updated info about the global and U.S. online markets. Since I know you’re very busy, I reviewed all 333 slides and have 16 takeaways for nonprofits from the data Mary presented, broken down into six categories. For those who want to take a deep dive, click here to view the entire deck.

Here are my takeaways:

Where the Donors are

  • Eyeballs: Americans spend 6.3 hours per day with digital media and 57% of that time is on mobile.

Nonprofit takeaway: Your supporters and potential supporters are sitting online. That’s plenty of hours during each and every day to attract eyeballs to your content and website! Once you get them clicking, your site BETTER be mobile responsive or you’ve lost them.

  • Refresh, refresh: The percent of Internet users using select platforms more than one time per day globally: Facebook (30%), YouTube (27% and rising), Instagram (19% and rising), Twitter (11%).

Nonprofit takeaway: What an opportunity! Not only are people using social media in large numbers but they’re on it more than just a one time check-in. Your charity of course needs to have a strategy in place first, know where your audience is and which platforms will yield the highest engagement. But once that’s prepared, start posting!

Users using platforms more than once daily

Screenshot, slide 47, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019


Donor Retention

  • Retention is cheaper: The cost of acquiring new customers is rising.

Nonprofit takeaway: As a sector, we already know this. It is cheaper to retain a donor than to acquire a new one. And yet, donor retention rates are abysmal. Keeping current donors happy is both a better short-term and long-term strategy than constant churn.

  • Keep em loyal: Effective + efficient marketing = One’s own product + happy customers + recommendations

Nonprofit takeaway: Look at that equation and now you know what your charity’s marketing has to include. You’re not just selling your mission, you also need to keep donors happy (timely thank you’s anyone?) and provide them with recommendations from current cheerleaders. It’s all about word-of-mouth: Get your donors to recommend your organization to their online friends and followers.


Pictures, Video and Storytelling

  • It’s ALL about the video: In the U.S., people spend 84 MINUTES PER DAY watching digital video, i.e. not TV.

Nonprofit takeaway: If your organization does not have a strategy for utilizing video to tell your story, get working on that! No one says you need Spielberg produced videos. Your phone works just fine. People are watching and searching for video- your charity needs to be in the game.

  • Post a pic: More than 50% of Twitter impressions involve posts with images, video or other media.

Nonprofit takeaway: Pictures and video are an effective communications tool. Take a pic, shoot video, tweet and tell your story.

More than 50 percent of Twitter impressions are images or video or other media

Screenshot, slide 78, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019

  • Storytelling: People are increasingly telling stories via edited images/video.

Nonprofit takeaway: Communications and marketing is about storytelling. How are you telling the story of your organization? How can you use images and video to describe your mission and encourage people to get involved? Additionally, Instagram has 1 billion users. HALF of them are viewing Instagram Stories every single day. How is your organization taking advantage of this golden opportunity?

  • Storytelling II: Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom: “Instagram has always been a communications platform, not an image sharing tool. Instagram challenges the notion that beauty comes in a traditional, artsy form…it’s not about beauty, it’s about the story you tell.”

Nonprofit takeaway: See takeaway above.

Ads and Security

  • Where to advertise: Google and Facebook continue to lead with online ads but Amazon, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest are moving up.

Nonprofit takeaway: There’s plenty of competition on Google and Facebook. Do your due diligence and see if your audience is using Pinterest, Twitter or Snapchat. If yes, consider advertising there as well to attract eyeballs.

Advertising platforms

Screenshot, slide 25, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019

  • But be careful: Targeted advertising will be tougher as GDPR and other regulations begin taking effect. Additionally, there is a major push for Apple, Facebook and others to provide more privacy for users.  

Nonprofit takeaway: Are you protecting the privacy of your newsletter subscribers? Are you receiving their permission to add their name to certain lists? Are you providing them opt-out opportunities? The last thing your organization wants is to be accused of spamming and not ensuring data security.

  • Hacking away: Cyber-attacks continue to rise.

Nonprofit takeaway: Same question as above: Are you protecting your data? Your organization keeps records with sensitive information about donors, staff, volunteers, the board. How are you keeping that data out of the hands of hackers and thieves?


Social Media Plus and Minus
  • Creating change: In a June 2018 Pew Survey, 67% of respondents stated that social media is important for creating sustained movements for social change.

Nonprofit takeaway: Your mission is to change the status quo? Social media provides a wonderful opportunity to encourage people to join and carry out your mission- provided you’ve got a strategy laid out on how and where to reach the target audience.

Social media and social change

Screenshot, slide 200, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019

  • Great for self-expression, bad for anxiety: See the below slide.

Nonprofit takeaway: Your employees- is social media use making them feel better or worse? Managers and executives should definitely be talking with their employees and keeping on top of their well-being. Yes, social media is just one part of a much larger issue of people being happy or sad. But it’s worth exploring.

Positive and negative of social media

Screenshot, slide 161, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019


Employment and Learning
  • Current employment: In the U.S., unemployment is at a 19-year low, job openings are at an all-time high and wages are rising.

Nonprofit takeaway: How will your organization keep your employees from moving? How will you attract new employees given all the competition? Executives should be contemplating this as they start considering the 2020 budget.

current employment in U.S.

Screenshot, slide 219, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019

  • Remote work: About 5% of total U.S. workers are remote workers. Slack, Google Sheets and other platforms allow collaboration from everyone, wherever they are physically located.

Nonprofit takeaway: Does your organization permit workers to work from home, even for part of the week? Considering the above data, workers you’re looking to hire may want that option. Your organization needs to consider offering it.

  • Online education: More growth + more users + more choice. Additionally, the cost is lower for the consumer.

Nonprofit takeaway: Are you providing your employees opportunities for professional development? Maybe you claim your charity can’t afford it. With online courses readily available and for a fraction of the cost of a class in university, your employees can expand their horizons. Their growth is beneficial to the overall growth of the organization. And consultants- there’s a huge opp here to create online courses for nonprofit professionals!

Those are my takeaways for the nonprofit sector. The data is fascinating. Now to put it to good use!

Could your nonprofit benefit from 10 HOURS OF FREE CONSULTING WORK??? My birthday’s coming up and in honor of the occasion, I’m giving one lucky nonprofit free help. Enter your org in my big birthday giveaway– contest closes July 2!