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Monday, October 4, 2021

4 Key Performance Indicators to Monitor This Giving Season

The last quarter of the year is the most important time for nonprofit fundraising, as the holiday spirit inspires generosity and supporters submit their final tax-deductible donations for the year. Is your nonprofit prepared to make the most of this charitable bonanza?

To gain the greatest insight from this year’s giving season, fundraising experts recommend taking a data-driven approach by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), also known as fundraising metrics. 

KPIs are measurements that demonstrate how effectively your nonprofit is reaching its fundraising goals. Tracking KPIs throughout the year-end fundraising season allows your organization to determine your most and least effective strategies. Then, you can adjust your plans accordingly for greater future fundraising success. 

As you’re crafting your fundraising plan for the upcoming giving season, these four KPIs will give you a more complete picture of where your fundraising efforts stand and how they can be improved.

1. Asks made

This metric measures how many fundraising requests your organization makes throughout the giving season. This is an important data point to track if you’ve set a specific goal for how many asks you’d like your team to make before the season is over. Tracking asks made tells you how aggressive your fundraising strategy is and how quickly you’re progressing toward your goal.

2. Gifts secured

Gifts secured is a summary of how many donations your organization received throughout the giving season. 

You can break down this KPI to measure specific gift types, such as:

  • Planned gifts
  • Major gifts
  • Mid-tier gifts
  • Small gifts
  • Monthly donations
  • Annual fund contributions

The number of gifts your organization secures throughout the giving season tells you which types of donors you engaged most effectively. For instance, perhaps during this period, you saw an influx of small and medium gifts, but not as many major contributions as you’d anticipated. Moving forward, you’ll know you should dedicate specific efforts to build relationships with your prospective major donors. 

After the giving season is over, you can compare asks made to gifts secured to determine your conversion rate. In this case, your conversion rate is the percentage of individuals solicited that you successfully convinced to give to your cause.

3. Matching gift rate

Your organization’s matching gift rate is the percentage of gifts contributed during the giving season that was matched by corporations as part of their philanthropy programs. 

According to Double the Donation’s matching gift statistics page, approximately $4-7 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed each year! By tracking your matching gift rate, you can determine if your organization is taking advantage of this effective revenue stream or if you’re leaving money on the table. 

4. Online giving percentage

With the rise of fundraising technology and the popularity of mobile devices, it’s more important than ever that your nonprofit tackles online fundraising efficiently during the end-of-year giving season. 

Your online gift percentage is the measure of how many donations your supporters make using digital platforms, including your online giving page or text-to-give platform, rather than other means, such as direct mail or in-person contributions at events. 

Your online gift rate tells you how effective your marketing efforts are for driving online donations and engaging donors remotely. 

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These four metrics will give your organization a solid foundation for measuring your success this upcoming giving season. 

Make sure your fundraising strategy includes both tools for measuring these metrics, such as a constituent relationship management (CRM) system, as well as a system for communicating these metrics to your team. When everyone is aligned on what is going well and what needs improvement, you can continue tackling each giving season with the strongest strategies available. 


Written by Sandra Davis, Founder and President of Donorly, a fundraising consulting firm dedicated to get organizations fundraising, through building strong systems and navigating the human landscape. Connect with Sandra on LinkedIn.

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