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Enhance Association Fundraising by Focusing on These 4 Metrics

There are a lot of moving parts to fundraising. Let’s take a look at 4 key metrics your association can use to keep a close eye on in order to generate more fundraising success and increase the funds you bring in over time.

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As any nonprofit organization knows, checking up on analytics is the best to way to keep track on all of your moves and successes. But while metrics for things like member engagement and marketing can come easy to your association, focusing on your fundraising efforts can oftentimes leave organizations in the dark. It can be confusing trying to figure out exactly what to focus on when trying to raise some extra revenue for your association.

For associations, collecting as much non-dues revenue as possible is vital in order to accomplish goals and strive for a stronger membership. And if your fundraising efforts have seemed to slow down, it’s best to dig down to the root source of your problems - and what better way to do that then by exploring your fundraising metric data.

So, if your association feels in the dark about the fundraising it does, it’s time to get a grasp on the metrics that matter. Let’s take a look at 4 key metrics your association can use to keep a close eye on in order to generate more fundraising success and increase the funds you bring in over time.

Total Fundraising Amount (Net)

First and foremost, your association should always know exactly how much money is being brought in by your fundraising efforts. While this seems obvious, many associations can lose track of the exact number of net profit brought in by donations and fundraisers that are held. With all of the commotion surrounding the fundraising world, you want to make sure all of your profits are tracked and analyzed at the end of the year for maximum insight on your fundraising strategy. Where does this metric count the most? Well, speaking in larger terms, keeping track of your total fundraising amount allows you to make sure your association is bringing enough revenue in to keep things running smoothly. It can help you watch out for dips in revenue and plan ahead of time to make sure nothing gets off course.

Similarly, it’s also a great way to see where certain fundraisers fell off from meeting certain goals. If you see a drop in your expected net amount, your association’s team can dive in and see exactly which fundraisers seemed to struggle that year. When it comes to measuring your net profit for fundraisers, make sure to include the cost of fundraisers in your math. If you leave out the money it takes to put on a fundraiser, your net profit will no longer be accurate. It’s important to include every last penny spent in order to keep your data as accurate as possible. So, if there’s any metric to focus on first for your association’s wellbeing, try total fundraising amount on for size.

Overall Rate of Growth (%)

Do you have an idea of how much your association’s donation amount grows over time? What about in a year? If the answer is no, it’s time to start paying attention.

Having assumptions about the amount of revenue your association takes in with fundraising can only get you so far. And when it comes to getting to the cold, hard facts of your association’s fundraising efforts, knowing your overall rate of growth is a metric that can help you analyze your entire strategy. But, what exactly does this metric show your association?

In more technical terms, annual overall rate of growth is measured by taking your association's net gains and losses in giving from a year and dividing that number by the total value of donations received within the year. Don’t worry, if you’re confused by that definition, it can be broken down into simpler terms.

Essentially, annual overall rate of growth is a way to see exactly how your donations fundraised increase over a year’s time. It takes the data from donations collected and money earned/spent over the years and, through simple math, gives your association an insight into where your donations seemed to fall within the year.

While we don’t think we need to explain why this metric is important to associations, tracking your overall annual growth rate can help your association set realistic goals for the future. If you know the rate of your growth year over year, you’ll have a better understanding of the goals your group can strive for, and the goals that might be just out of reach.

Donor Lifetime Value ($)

Does your association have a specific donor that donates the same amount of money annually? If you want to get down to the brass tax of your fundraising efforts, you can actually calculate how much money will come from this source over time.

While this metric might seem invaluable (and albeit a bit grim), it’s important to measure for nonprofits. While traditional organizations can measure the total dollar spent by a customer in their lifetime, your association can predict how much donation value will come from one source in the same way. Lifetime value of a donor is a more concrete metric to track than other metrics like average gift amount, which only takes the size of a donation into consideration. It’s also a great way for your association to decide how much money to put into your donor recruitment strategy. Chances are, your association sets aside time and a budget in order to attract new donors. You want your association to have a strong base of dedicated donors who believe in your mission, so putting together a recruitment strategy for these donors is the best solution.

However, if you’re putting more money into your recruitment strategy than you’re collecting from said donors over time, you could actually be losing out on profit. By estimating how much money to expect from each donor in a lifetime, you have an accurate estimate of whether or not your recruitment costs are worth it- and data to back that estimate up.

Dependency Quotient (%/$)

Relating to your donors, how would your association hold up if one of them decided to end its relationship with your organization? Tracking your dependency quotient will let you know if your association needs those donors to make ends meet.

Dependency quotient is a metric that gives your association insight into exactly how much it depends on its top donors. This is a key metric because it shows exactly how vulnerable your association will be if disaster strikes and a top donor ends up walking out of the door. And it’s a great way to prepare for that disaster if it happens in the future. Ideally, your association should strive for a lower dependency quotient, showing it can stand on its own if donors drop out. However, a high dependency quotient can help your association analyze where things need to be fixed for future stability.

To figure out your dependency quotient, your association needs to take the sum of contributions from its 5 top donors and divide that number by the number of organizational expenditures. This will result in your dependency quotient number, showing you what work needs to be done. Your dependency quotient can either come out to a dollar amount or a percentage depending on how your association wants to keep track of it. With that number, you can see exactly what portion of donation profit would have to be replaced with other sources of revenue should your donors drop out. A dependency quotient can save the day for any association unsure of its future without top donors.

While a multitude of fundraising metrics exist, incorporating just these few key ones into your association’s analytics process can provide serious informational insight where there was none before.