\With so many potential options out there, what metrics should your nonprofit spend time analyzing? Identifying the right metrics is a critical first step toward maximizing your fundraising efforts.

Our guest blogger Gareth Goh shares 5 important metrics that your nonprofit should track!


wwarby / Foter / CC BY

1. Donor retention cost

Retaining a donor is cheaper than acquiring a new one. Tracking the cost to acquire and retain donors can help your nonprofit determine how to divide the budget between donor retention and donor acquisition efforts. Here is how you can arrive at these calculations.

Acquisition Cost:

Add up all the campaign costs, plus salaries and overhead in a time period, divided by the new donors in that time.

Retention Cost and Rate:

Calculating retention cost is similar. Add up campaign costs to retain the donor and divide by the number of repeat donors.

This can help you find out your donor retention rate. Simply take the number of repeat donors over the total number of donors from the previous year and divide by 100. For example, if you had 1,000 donors in 2014 and 800 repeated their donation in 2015, then you have an 80% retention rate.

2. Cost to acquire donor

Calculating the cost to acquire a donor is important for budgeting. It guides expectations – from telling you what you should spend on campaigns to determining where to focus your efforts.

You can compare the difference in how well an email campaign performed versus a direct mail campaign. Simply compare the cost of each campaign method and divide by the amount of donors. An even more precise measurement is to incorporate the dollar amount donated and see what the return was.

3. Visitor to donor ratio

Tracking the number of site visits your website receives is fine and dandy – after all, being able to show that your marketing efforts are working is never a bad thing. However, taking this a step further and seeing the visitor to donor ratio can give you a deeper analytics dive. It’s more effective to track not only the visitors but find which ones actually donated.

4. Lifetime donor value

Identify your top donors by tracking their lifetime value. This means analyzing how much each donor has contributed over time, from the very first donation through their current generous efforts.

5. Lifetime donor value to donor acquisition cost ratio

Once you have the statistics on lifetime donor values, compare this figure to the acquisition cost (as well as retention costs). Provide a lifetime donor value to donor acquisition ratio for each of your donors. This will help you focus your efforts on the most productive sources to truly maximize your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts.

Gareth Goh is currently a Content Marketing Specialist for InsightSquared, the #1 Salesforce Analytics for small and midsize businesses. He has compiled hundreds of bylines on a variety of different subjects (sports, finance, entertainment, technology) over his career but is especially excited about tackling the ever-changing world of sales and sales analytics.

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