FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Volunteer Help With Data Metrics

Volunteer Help With Data Metrics

Dear Kim,

We work with refugees and immigrants, providing legal services, workshops and even sanctuary in some churches. I have been reading a lot about fundraising metrics recently and wonder how much time I should spend figuring out our retention rates and return on investment and that kind of thing? We have three paid staff: I am the development director and we have an executive director and a director of programming. We have about 100 volunteers and serve 2,500 people a year, and growing. We have about 1,000 individual donors as well as a number of faith-based organizations who are partners in a variety of ways. Sometimes we make money from workshops. We are all stretched thin but I want to run a good development program. What is the value of all this data?

~Not Commander Data, But Should I Be?

Dear Data,

Your question is very important and there is no easy or exact answer. To state the obvious, when we are doing one thing, we are automatically not doing a whole lot of other things. In economics, this is called “opportunity cost” and means that you have to compare the return on investing your time in what you are doing against the return on what you could have been doing. In your case, spending a lot of time on evaluating the various metrics you name may mean that you are not seeing donors or working with your board to help them feel comfortable raising money. On the other hand, not measuring your retention rate and not knowing precisely how much an appeal costs relative to how much it raises may mean that you are spending time on strategies that are not working very well, which is good time after bad.

I would try to think of this in a different way. In an ideal world, you would have these metrics without spending a lot of your own time figuring them out. Since you have all these volunteers, why don’t you see if one of them can help you? I teach at the University of California and some of my students love helping with fundraising assessments. Another client has a retired engineer who does all their data analysis. Your organization clearly knows how to find and manage volunteers—use that skill to get the help you need.

Good luck!

~Kim Klein

Originally published in the Grassroots FundRaising Journal. FundRaiser users can subscribe at a special rate of $30/year by entering is "$30" in the coupon code field on the second page of the subscription process.

Find out how FundRaiser Software can help you with data analysis 

Take an online guided tour of FundRaiser and learn about the features in FundRaiser for tracking relationships

Spring Brings New Growth- Facebook flash sales and...
Preventing Code Creep to Keep Reports Accurate

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
NCOA processing disaster relief fundraising tribute gifts government grants password protection custom page increasing giving amounts annual maintenance plan recurring gifts appeal letters office customer portal major gift prospects merge fields how-to videos annual campaign operating systems foundations security phoning donors flash sales donor attrition features community supported gardens lapsed donor thank you letters memorial giving case study online donations training volunteering GoFundMe project community arts nonprofits mission driven event management moves management Crowdfunding Campaign Congratulations happiness data entry training tip campaign management End of Year Letters backing up data membersip benefits reports accounting software donor recognition PayPal Resiliency in honor of donations the Ask corporate sponsors grassroots campaign monthly giving segmenting donors on site training overview donation history Volunteer module support volunteers donor retention rate development director operational costs tech tip correspondence animal rescue National Change of Address premiums upgrade alumni look and feel motivation gift entry arts Donor Portal donor slip solicitors social media capital campaign upgrading donors donor data conversion pledges Facebook LYBUNTS advanced tab add ons major donors building donor relationships In-Kind gifts #GivingTuesday membership benefits updates charity golf tournaments giving levels fundraising letters new leadership donor attrition rate donor loyalty Excel relationship tracking motivation code spreadsheets general announcements mode code community broadcasting Snow Birds board members Alternative Addresses understanding giving trends customer service welcome packet data analysis Reporting to IRS Codes Company culture online donations tax summary letters budget publicity materials small donations nonprofit fundraising grants communications Facebook campaign change of address updating importing csv targeted mailings donor contact information membership programs Thank You GivingTuesday user spotlights product news ROI endowment campaign word processor Groupings

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password