You wouldn’t write checks without tracking them in your ledger; the same goes for tracking your campaign outcomes. If you run a nonprofit and aren’t tracking your outcomes this can cost your nonprofit time and funds. The question is, what should you measure and how can you measure it? You can start with a great fundraising software to help you collect, analyze and store the data you collect. Fundraising software will help with internal controls to keep your nonprofit in compliance. If we take a clue from our for-profit colleagues, we know that specific metrics around marketing campaigns are important: open rates on emails, click-through rates, and so on. Fundraising for non-profit is no different. Measuring how many people received messages, read them and responded to them are a few things we want to track.
Here’s an outline of basic metrics to collect, track and review after your fundraising campaigns have ended. How many of these does your nonprofit track? How many should you add to your next campaign? Do you have the fundraising software to help you manage this?
The Numbers You Need to Know: Fundraising Metrics
Most nonprofits are using email marketing to reach potential donors during fundraising campaigns. Email marketing offers a measurable marketing method that’s relatively easy for newcomers to the world of marketing math and metrics to understand.
Why bother tracking email marketing metrics? When you know your numbers, you know what’s working and what’s not. You can test different elements of the email, like the subject line or the pictures you use, to see which one spurs the most people to open it and donate. You can learn from your campaigns rather than send them out with fingers crossed.
Let’s take a look at three important email metrics, what they mean, and how to track them.
First, a word about email marketing metrics: your metrics are probably sitting somewhere in the system you use to send emails out. This may be a CRM system, or an email provider like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another company that helps you automate your emails. If you don’t have reports available, the formulas to calculate each rate are included below. They’re easy and can be done using just a calculator—no complicated math. If you want to take out the calculation step, a great fundraising software can do this for you.
- Open Rate: The open rate for an email marketing campaign means how many people clicked and opened the email. This tells you that your emails are interesting enough to read, and that they are getting a reaction from people. The open rate = (emails opened/emails sent out).
- Click rate: The click rate for a fundraising email campaign tells you how many people were interested enough to click the link in the email to visit your website. If you’ve asked them to click and donate, you can also compare the number of clicks to the number of donations and see how many people finished by donating to your cause or how many changed their minds after clicking the link and left before donating. The click rate = (emails clicked/emails sent).
- Donor retention: Retention means you are keeping donors. It’s important to your organization because it means you’re continuing to both do the good work you intend to do and that you’re keeping your donors engaged and informed. It’s easier to solicit donations from existing donors than to find new ones, so the higher your donor retention rate, the better. You can calculate this number on your own (your email metrics probably won’t include this figure) by using the following formula: Donor retention = (repeat donors)/(previous donors).
Download our Free Fund Accounting Software Success Kit
It’s important to understand all the benefits of an integrated fund accounting system before beginning your selection process. Our Fund Accounting Software Success Kit has the kind of information you’ll need to better understand what a fund accounting system can do for your nonprofit organization. This tool will save you money and help you get the performance your organization needs.
RBP Methods Offers Fundraising Software and More
RBP Methods can help determine the best solution for you. With over 20 years of fund accounting system implementation expertise and experience, we are uniquely suited to help meet your exact needs. RBP offers several Abila fundraising packages, each with different strengths to benefit your nonprofit. From Abila Elevate to Abila Fundraising online, we have a platform to meet your needs. Please contact us today at 503-648-9051 for more information.