By Lisa Alvezi • July 30, 2021

    GRAVYTY FUNDRAISING ACADEMY: Fundraising Metrics You Should Care About

    GRAVYTY FUNDRAISING ACADEMYThis post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.

    Gravyty Fundraising Academy: Lisa AlveziYour guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is VP of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.

    After over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations from all sectors have had to adjust to no or limited donor visits, canceled fundraising events or a shift to virtual, and the resulting economic impacts on their donors and organizations. However, the news isn’t all bad as many donors who have the capacity to give have increased their charitable gifts during the pandemic.

    No doubt, your fundraising leadership is currently evaluating 2022, and consider how to measure performance and outcomes for the rest of this year and next. The best thing you can do ahead of the meeting where your manager lays it all out for you is to prepare your own metrics.

    Consider that in the past year, working from home has made you (in some respects) more productive. You were pulled into as many side meetings or asked to travel. As a result, you’ve had the opportunity to spend more of your days contacting donors. However, this progress may not directly show up on the “scoreboard" if those touchpoints were not direct solicitations. 

    At the end of the day, the most important metrics to track are the number of personalized interactions that a fundraiser has with a donor. Interactions can include a personalized email, a phone call, a virtual meeting, or a personal letter/note.

    Here are the metrics you should personally prepare as you get ready for the second half of 2021:

    • Measure how many of a fundraiser’s assigned donor/prospects were contacted per week and via what method. Track how many of the contacts elicited a response from the donor – a response to an email, a phone conversation, or a virtual meeting.
    • If a gift was received during the pandemic, how many stewardship touchpoints have been completed after the gift? Ideally, the donor is thanked immediately after the gift is received and then contacted again in a couple of months to tell the donor the impact of that gift.
    • Is your organization able to track the number of opens for emails and social media by donor/prospect? If so, those metrics need to be recorded in the donors’ records. Engagement isn't limited to responses, it can be social media shares or likes, or even multiple opens on emails. Silent engagement is still engagement.
    • If you’re holding virtual or hybrid events, it is important to track who opened the invitation, who responded, and who attended. Virtual event attendees need to be stewarded and cultivated in the same way a donor is after making a gift. Thank them for their attendance and then follow up with a personalized outreach a few months later.
    • Which donors have not only made a gift during this time, but have increased their giving? These people clearly support your mission and have the capacity to make increased gifts.

    Many organizations have reported an increase in first-time donors during the pandemic. Donor retention is a critical component for building the future pipeline. Make sure you are tracking stewardship contacts with these donors to show that you are working towards bolstering your giving pipeline and making sure that the largest giving year in history doesn't go to waste

    If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, connect with Gravyty today.

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