Your Campaign is Over, Now Let’s See How You Did!

May 25, 2016

Summer is starting to feel closer than ever, which means you’re probably nearing the end of the fundraising road for this fiscal year. But before any runner crosses the finish line, they have a sense of how they’re placing in the race. Whether you’re metric savvy or not, these 3 quick tips will help you determine whether or not your fundraising race is over or if you need to run another lap.

Net Revenues Matter, Too!

This might seem elementary, but it often goes overlooked. To get a real look at your campaign’s success you have to take into account all appeal-related expenditures, like design or mail and printing fees, and subtract that from your total. Looking just at your gross numbers paints an inaccurate picture of your results.

4 Fundraising KPIs That Matter

Four things that every team should analyze post-campaign are: response rate, average gift size, cost per donor, and return on investment. Insight in these areas will help you shape future appeals and predict future results. Evaluating these metrics will also help you make year over year comparisons, which can also help you assess your development team’s strength.

One way this makes a difference: Let’s say upon further analysis you discovered that in 2014, your response rate was lower but your average gift amount was higher. From this you might surmise that a lower average gift rate in 2015 was due to a low-range ask string on your response card. Again, it’s all about optimizing small opportunities and leveraging available technologies to your advantage.

Study Each Segment

Donor retention is arguably an organization’s biggest worry. Looking at response rates and other variables by segment will tell you if you have a problem. How many donors have lapsed? How many lapsed donors have you reacquired? How many loyal donors responded? Did you capture any new donors? Have gifts by segment increased or decreased? Are you leaving money on the table, where, and if so, why? If you’re not performing highly enough in these areas and losing dollars or supporters in general, you might need to implement a big change long before next year’s appeal season.

The Wrap Up

Become your organization’s fundraising archaeologist by implementing these methods of campaign evaluation. You will see that looking at these results year over year will only help you get better at reeling in the gifts you need to sustain your organization. Bonus Tip: Take a look at response rates and overall performance by channel to optimize your communications budget for next year. Knowing what works and what doesn’t goes a long way, especially if you’re operating on a shoestring budget.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Before You Make the Ask: Know and Apply Your Data!
Actionable Analytics: The Next Frontier
Is Direct Mail Still Worth It?

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