After running a fundraiser, it’s important to evaluate certain information to help you determine how successful you were in meeting your goals. Measuring your organization’s success can help you determine what additional activities to take to help with your fundraising campaigns. In this article, we explain what fundraising metrics are, share why they’re important to track, and list eight fundraising metrics to measure.

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## What are fundraising metrics?

Fundraising metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) that nonprofits or charitable organizations use to measure factors related to donations and donors. When selecting metrics to measure, those working on a fundraising campaign focused on ones related to their overall goal. Organizations use fundraising metrics to compare to past data so they can see how well they’re performing.

## Why are fundraising metrics important?

Fundraising metrics are important to track because they show an organization how successful it is in meeting its goals. Based on these values, you can determine how to allocate your resources and make decisions about how to spend money in the future. These measures can also help you assess your effectiveness by showing areas where your organization is excelling or falling behind.

## 8 fundraising metrics

Here’s a list of some common fundraising metrics to measure:

### 1. Gifts secured

Gifts secured are the number of donations a charitable organization receives during a specific period, such as the past week or year. This is the number of times they received a donation, rather than the actual monetary amount. For instance, a nonprofit that creates wells may receive 100 donations in the past three months. Some organizations may choose to divide the gifts by categories, such as “100 donations, including 13 “Gold Star” donations of over $2,000.”

### 2. Average gift size

The average gift size metric looks at the typical amount an organization’s donors contribute to a fundraiser. While some donors may give significantly more or less than this amount, this is the average your organization can expect to receive from an individual. This helps you determine the donor value. For instance, if a walkathon event raises $54,000 and has 5,400 donors, they would divide $54,000 by 5,400 to determine an average gift size of $10.

### 3. Cost per dollar raised

Calculating the cost per dollar raised can help your organization determine if your fundraiser is successful or causing you to lose money. Your fundraiser is net positive if the cost per dollar is less than one dollar because it means it costs less to generate donations. To find this value, divide your total costs for fundraising operations by the total amount you raised. For example, if an adoption grant agency spent $5,000 to run their fundraising activities and made $45,000, they would divide $5,000 by $45,000, and their cost per dollar raised would be $0.11.

### 4. Fundraising return on investment

Fundraising return on investment lets an organization know how successful its fundraising efforts are. This is similar to the cost per dollar raised metric, but instead of dividing your expenses by your revenue, the return on investment involves dividing your revenue by your expenses. If this value is greater than one, it means you have made a profit, and if it’s less than one, it means you lost money.

For instance, if an animal shelter spent $200 on a “Clear the Shelter” fundraiser and raised $8,000, their return on investment would be $40. This means that for every dollar they spent on their campaign, the animal shelter made $40, or increased their funds 40 times the starting amount.

### 5. Conversion rate

The conversion rate metric looks at how successful a fundraising campaign is in getting individuals to perform a desired action, such as attending an event or donating online. You can calculate this metric by dividing the number of people who completed your goal by the total number of people you invited. For instance, if a local charity sends 300 emails to potential donors asking them to drop off a school backpack for their back-to-school drive and 45 people participate, they would divide 45 by 300 and multiply it by 100, and their conversion rate would be 15%.

### 6. Donor lifetime value

Another fundraising metric to measure is your donor’s lifetime values or the forecast for how much money you can anticipate receiving from one donor throughout their life. This is the total revenue generated by an individual, starting with their first donation to their last, and helps determine how much money to spend on customer retention.

Donor lifetime value multiples the lifespan of your donor, average donation amount, and frequency of donations. For example, a natural disaster relief organization may receive an average donation of $20 from donors two times a year for an average of 15 years. To calculate, you would multiply $20 by 2 by 15, which means the donor’s lifetime value is $600.

### 7. Donor retention rate

The donor retention rate metric examines how many donors a fundraising campaign keeps about the amount they had at the start of a period. Organizations can use this metric to determine how much money to spend on marketing. To find your donor retention rate, divide the number of repeat donors by the total number of donors. For instance, a tutoring nonprofit that has 50 repeat donors can divide 50 by 125 and multiply it by 100 to get a percentage, so their total number of donors to get a donor retention rate is 40%.

### 8. Donor acquisition cost

Donor acquisition cost is the amount of money an organization spends to persuade potential donors to give a gift to your cause. This value helps you see how much you may spend on marketing and advertising for new donors. You can find this metric by dividing the total number of acquired donors by the total cost for fundraising activities. For example, a senior community center may spend $4,000 on sending promotional letters and have 400 acquired donors. Dividing $4,000 by 400 means it costs $10 to acquire each new donor.

I hope you find this article helpful.

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