So, you’re a fundraising guru. You’ve nailed the ask, segmented your donors, set up your CRM and come up with creative campaigns. You’re almost there, but the final step is measuring the actual effectiveness of your fundraising efforts and the impact of your nonprofit.
Here are some KPIs to keep an eye on:
- Retention Rate: According to the AFP Fundraising Effectiveness Project report, the overall donor retention rate in 2020 was 43.6%, which is a 4.1% decrease from 2019 and a 9.2% decrease in the new donor retention rate (the percentage of donors who gave to a charity in 2019 but did not give to the same charity in 2020). These are the industry numbers, but how is your nonprofit tracking? Remember: Retaining donors is much more cost-effective than soliciting new donors. And we also can’t deny the impact of donor loyalty! Measuring your organization’s retention rate can help you see which areas your nonprofit is performing well in, and which areas are could use improvement.
- Donor Growth Rate: This more generic KPI is essential to help you gauge the effectiveness of your fundraising. VolunteerHub defines donor growth as “the increase in donors over a defined period of time.” So, while you do want to retain the donors you have, you also want that donor list to be growing over time, in addition to the number of donations you’re receiving and your donation revenue. Looking into these metrics will allow you to analyze how effective your new donor outreach is and how effective your communication channels are.
- ROI: Just because you’re not working in for-profit doesn’t mean that ROI isn’t an essential KPI! Your nonprofit likely has overhead, from salaries to utility bills, so how much of what you’re making is going toward what you’re fundraising for versus your campaign costs? If you host an event, how many of those fundraising dollars are paying off the event? These are things to look into to help you determine whether you need to scale down your campaign costs, or if you can ramp them up.
- Gift Size: Are your donors giving regular small gifts? Infrequent large gifts? Knowing the average size of gifts coming into your nonprofit is essential to getting into the heads of your donors and learning about their giving habits. It allows you to see if your donors are giving regular smaller gifts, if you have a large group of major gift donors, if your asks aren’t big enough, etc. If most of your gifts are small ones, you may not be prioritizing the ask enough or you may need to focus in on the donors who have given larger gifts. Small gifts will obviously be the most common but honing your communication methods will help ensure that you are getting more frequent major donations.
- Community Support: Do you have corporations who regularly partner with you? Matching gifts programs with local for-profits? Companies that frequently send employees to volunteer? You are a member of the community, and as such it’s important to form relationships with your community. Those closest to you in proximity will often be your most loyal supporters, and getting your name out there amongst local businesses is a great way to generate support and form relationships for years to come. So, take a look at how you’re engaging with your community. You may find some gaps that can be bridged with a new relationship.
- Volunteer Attendance: Your volunteers are essential to your fundraising success. A great metric to keep a close eye on is your volunteer engagement. Do you have a group of volunteers who regularly help out? Do you have a consistent volunteer communication method? Do you have fair-weather volunteers who show up just for big events? Do you have a volunteer incentive program? Knowing the ins and outs of your volunteers is important because it gives you an inside look at how your messaging is resonating with current or potential volunteers and how engaged your volunteers are. If you’re struggling to get volunteers, you may need to change your messaging. If you have an over-abundance of volunteers who are always looking for ways to be involved, you are doing well and it may be time to look into finding a way to thank them for their time.
Even if your fundraising is wildly successful, it’s always crucial to look at the metrics so you can see which areas of your fundraising are working well and where there may be hold-ups and areas to improve. Not sure how to start measuring? A CRM is a great way to start keeping track of the success of events and campaigns, volunteer involvement, the average size gift, and even more. Our team is ready to help you figure out how ResultsPlus Nonprofit CRM can be an asset to you and your fundraisers!