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7 Metrics to Measure Year-End Fundraising Success


‘Tis the season for giving, and as a nonprofit, we know you’re gearing up for your year-end fundraising extravaganza.

But how do you determine if your fundraising efforts are as successful as finding the perfect ugly sweater? Don’t fret, dear nonprofit maestro! We’re here to help you unwrap seven metrics that matter and make your year-end fundraising a resounding success.

  1. Gross revenue: Let’s start with the obvious—how much moolah did your campaign reel in? Your gross revenue, or total donation metric, is your golden ticket to understanding the financial impact of your year-end campaign. So count those crisp bills and digital coins like a pro.
  2. Net revenue: If your year-end fundraising campaign were a business, your net revenue would be the year’s profit. It’s the actual money you pocket after you deduct all your expenses. In other words, it’s the magic that powers your nonprofit’s sleigh ride through the year ahead.
  3. Number of donations: Think of each donation as a little gift from your supporters. Just like kids count presents under the tree, you’re counting how many people believed in your cause enough to open their wallets to help determine if your campaign was the North Star of generosity.
  4. Average donation amount: How generous are your donors feeling this year? You can calculate your average donation amount by dividing your gross revenue (or total donation amount) by the total number of donors to reveal if you’re getting pocket change or heart-expanding gifts. A bigger average donation amount can indicate a deeper commitment to your cause.
  5. Number of new donors: Every nonprofit loves loyal donors, but your number of new donors is the lifeblood of your organization. They’re like fresh recruits to Santa’s workshop and bring new energy, enthusiasm, and potential long-term support.
  6. Donor retention rate: Think of your donors as Santa’s nice list. Your donor retention rate tells you how many people from your previous campaigns returned for this year’s festivities. High retention rates mean you’re not just attracting new supporters; you’re keeping the old ones enchanted and coming back for another round of generosity.
  7. Impact Metrics: Last but not least, don’t forget to measure the real-world impact of your campaign. How many people did you help? What difference did you make? Impact metrics prove your nonprofit’s effectiveness beyond the numbers.

As you jingle your way through the year-end fundraising season, these metrics are your guideposts. They’ll help you gauge the success of your campaign and provide insights into your nonprofit’s future growth. However, they don’t tell the whole story.

When assessing your campaign, make sure to check in with your team and get their point of view by by asking questions like:

  • What’s your overall impression of this campaign?
  • What are two things that worked really well?
  • What are two areas that didn’t work well?
  • What surprised you?
  • How can we make this better next year?

Continuous improvement is a critical component of effective fundraising strategies. As you gather feedback from your team, look for trends to help you navigate through the holiday season and beyond. For instance, if the majority of your team expressed concerns about a particular aspect of your last campaign, take a closer look at it to see if there’s any changes that can be made to help transform more Scrooges into holiday heroes.

And remember, just because your last campaign surpassed your fundraising goals doesn’t mean it was an unequivocal success. Conversely, a campaign that wasn’t a financial sleigh may have succeeded in many ways and simply needs some slight tweaking.

So grab your cocoa, wear that ugly sweater with pride, and let these metrics and discussion questions light the way to a successful year-end fundraising season for your nonprofit.

Looking to give your year-end fundraising campaign a boost?

To learn more about creating a successful year-end fundraising campaign that propels your nonprofit toward its goals, download our comprehensive year-end fundraising toolbox and check out our 8 Weeks of Year-End Fundraising Resources.

Questions?We’d love to help.

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