Measure more than money

It is the end of the year – how will you measure your fundraising results? Are you watching these other vital measures?

Even if your fiscal year is not over, year-end giving is still important and this is a good time to check on your fundraising progress.

Measure more than money.

If your organization focuses exclusively on “money raised this year” it is in dangerous territory. Here are some other indicators to watch:

Retention Rate: A falling retention rate is a sure sign of trouble. Most fundraising software includes a report for tracking this year over year.

Be sure your retention rate is ever-increasing.

If your rate is low or falling, focus on building relationships with your current donors before spending a lot of money on donor acquisition.

Median Gift Size: Median is the point where 50% of gifts are above and 50% are below. The median is not skewed by a very large gift the way the average gift is. Track if your median gift size is increasing over the years.

Non-ask contacts: Fundraising is not about money. It is about relationships.

How many donors did someone from your organization meet with, call, write a personal thank you note, or invite on a tour? How many times did Mrs. Major Donor hear from you when you were not asking for a gift?

These are my top 3 measures. There are many more you can add, such as new members of your planned giving society, new donors, consistency of PR and messages, board giving, etc. 

Interested in discussing this more? Contact me – the first consultation is always free.


About Susan Suarez

I am a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant. I have 30 years experience in the philanthropic sector including senior level positions in management, fundraising and grantmaking. I started consulting in 2003, working with local nonprofits and with community foundations nationally. My experience as Executive Director of Eden Autism Services Florida, President of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Vice President of Marketing and Development for the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, and Development Director for the American Red Cross in Palo Alto, CA provides a deep background in philanthropy and management to benefit my clients.
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