Nonprofit Analytics: Metrics for Decision Making
Nonprofit Analytics can inform decision-making.
Nonprofit analytics can be found throughout your data, but when there are hundreds or thousands of data points, what matters? Whether you have decades of information or one year, there are metrics you can use to be more effective. Use these three nonprofit analytics in your database to gather intel on who your donors are and how you are cultivating these relationships.
Measuring Donor Retention Rates
The donor retention rate is the percent of donors who gave this year versus last year. These rates are a good indicator of the health of your organization and how well you are connecting with your supporters.
Analyze what type of donors have lapsed gifts. Who haven’t you contacted? Is there a reason they are not giving? What percent were first time donors?
More broadly, compare to last year’s donor retention rate to this year’s retention rate. Did your retention rate improve? What are ways you can work to improve this?
Measuring Return on Investment or ROI
Measuring Return on Investment or ROI can be used in many different ways, but here are two examples in fundraising.
What is Direct Mail ROI?
The Direct Mail (ROI) is how much money is sent in by donors minus how much your organization spent for a direct mail piece for production, copywriting, mailing, etc. Depending on the kind of mail, the ROI will tell you whether your mail program is effective.
• Was it a prospecting piece?
- You might lose money on a individual pieces, but in the long run you are building your pipeline and establishing a relationship with new donors.
- Test the different potential donor lists you are sending prospecting pieces to. The ROI will give you an idea of the type of person who resonates with your cause.
• Was it a housefile piece?
- Your ROI on housefile should be higher than your prospecting pieces.
- For a deeper dive look at the ROI on specific segments of your mailing which can be indicated by assigning mailcodes. What segments are doing well? What segments could improve?
- Test these segments, one variable at a time. Do these donors give more to a letter signed by the president of the organization or do they prefer a letter signed by a board member? Do they like blue envelopes or white? Little changes and techniques can make a big difference. The segments with the higher ROI will give you direction for future mailings.
Credit Card Processing ROI
The Credit Card Processing ROI is how much it costs to process credit cards compared to the return. Check the average rates periodically to make sure your processor is the best deal for you. Is the provider you are working with providing the support you need for the amount they charge? Are they integrating seamlessly into your database? Evaluating this ROI year to year will help with business decisions as you renew contracts.
Measuring Stewardship & Acknowledgement
Thanking your donors swiftly and often is an important part of cultivation. How many times have you thanked a donor? Are you behind on sending thank you letters? According to Non Profit Pro acknowledging donors quickly will dramatically increase your organization’s cash flow.
Using nonprofit analytics, you can be more effective. You know your data better than anyone and it’s right at your fingertips. Check out Julep to learn how you can quickly access these metrics that matter.