Health and well-being is the big news these days. As well it should be.
But what about the health and well-being of your organization and its most valuable and underutilized resource --- its data?
Successful nonprofits know that data is important. They collect it. They analyze it. They use it. Data can help predict future trends, gather donor statistics, analyze fundraising trends and so much more.
According to the “State of Data in the Nonprofit Sector” only 40% of organizations surveyed use data often in guiding decision making. Of those, only 5% use data to guide all major decisions.
The good news was almost 90% of organizations indicated that data was moderately to extremely important to operations and decision making. And they would like to learn how to use their data more effectively.
So how do the rest of us determine the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “how” if we’re not using data to guide our decisions?
Dart boards? Rock paper scissors? Magic eight ball?
No really, if you’re not using and analyzing data how do you know
- What you really raised, and lost last year
- What you can realistically raise in annual donations?
- What donor segment are most likely to respond favorably to a specific appeal?
- How many donors are not giving to you again this year and how much in revenue does this represent?
- What donors are ready to upgrade their contributions to mid-, major-, or legacy-giving?
We know that our fancy, turbo-charged databases and data collection devices can do wonderful things to improve our fundraising outcomes. But we often don’t have enough time, inclination, resources, or experience to work the magic.
For more than two years, J. Milito & Associates has been using the Fundraising Fitness Test and Growth-in-Giving reports to help our customers improve the health and well-being of their organizations’ fundraising.
The Fundraising Fitness Test measures and evaluates fundraising programs against a set of over one hundred performance indicators by five donor giving levels. The Growth-in-Giving reports “provide concise, yet informative pictures of fundraising gains and losses-growth in giving and attrition – in a simple, reader-friendly format that the executive staff and board members can understand.”
And it’s easy to complete and pays for itself by when you retain just 5-10 donors this year.
One of our clients recently completed their “year 2” assessment. Their initial test and reports were eye-opening and a bit concerning. The customer realized that their donor attrition rate was resulting in considerable lost revenue. Revenue they didn’t even realize they didn’t have anymore. Revenue that if retained, could have done so much more good for their mission and ministry.
“The fundraising fitness test was a fascinating look into the trends and realities of our donor base, with very little up-front work on our part. We pulled a few quick lists, sent them off to the Milito analysts, and within a few weeks, we received a trove of incredibly valuable data. Because of this unique service, we’ve doubled down on the good, and instituted several new techniques (with astonishing success!) and are very excited to continue serving our donors in the most efficient ways possible.” ~ Customer “Year 1”.
And here are their results . . . .
Fundraising Performance Indicators Report
Donor Retention Rates
|All Gifts||All Gifts||Nat’l Stats|
|New Donor Retention||25%||19%||22%|
|Repeat Donor Retention||68%||60%||62%|
|Overall Donor Retention||61%||52%||43%|
In “Year 2”, our customer was able to celebrate their donor retention rates showing them 18% above the national average with a 9% growth in overall donor retention in one year.
“Thanks so much! It was wonderful seeing the results of some hard work – all thanks to your help. We are grateful!” ~ Customer “Year 2”.
All because they looked at their data and made strategic fundraising plans based on the results and recommendations from J. Milito & Associates.
The late Maya Angelou told us “If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going.”
You’ll be glad you did.