There has been a lot of discussion recently around fundraising metrics and how to best measure success in fundraising.
Dashboards are great resources to illustrate how a fundraiser - or a team of fundraisers - is doing. Yet, it seems that we are infatuated with how many different ways we can measure. So many dashboards end up looking like Jackson Pollock paintings with tons of colors and charts. But what value are we deriving from these metrics? Just because we can measure many different actions in many different ways does not ensure success.
It’s time for more organizations to re-think the way they go about holding their fundraising teams accountable. It is no longer adequate to just judge a fundraiser by his or her bottom-line because that doesn't ensure sustainability. If I am an MGO who brings in $2 million dollars a year from a small group of donors in my portfolio, what happens when that well runs dry, especially if I haven’t engaged other donors?
Metrics don’t need to be complicated. In fact, I believe the organizations that will win will do so by keeping it simple.
Focus on Saturation
Portfolio saturation is critically important. Get your fundraising team members thinking about what percentage of their portfolios they have personally engaged with more often. Start discussing regularly how many donors have received one personal touch or two to three. By measuring and ensuring portfolio saturation, you will not only naturally boost participation, but you will bolster your pipeline with sustainable relationships into the future.
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Re-Engage with Discovery
Fundraisers should be measuring how many prospects they are definitively qualifying or disqualifying each year. Ongoing discovery work is critical to future success. So, while fundraisers are saturating their portfolios with meaningful engagement, they should also be addressing the “rated, but unassigned” prospect pool within the database. Opportunity exists within this segment, no matter the number of prospects. Failing to execute qualification work here directly translates to fundraising revenue being left on the table.
Empower Personal Touch
I know what you are thinking. It’s easier said than done to simply find the time to saturate a portfolio and conduct significant qualification work. Let alone every day. But believe me, it’s possible. Especially with the right tools and processes in place. Leveraging technology is a powerful way to alleviate some of the day-to-day tasks that are hindering your team’s ability to do what it does best – make personal connections with potential donors. Looking at technology as a complementary player to your team is a great way to free them up to make great impacts for the sake of your organization and cause.
Curious about how all of this is possible or even how to use these metrics? Contact us for a conversation.