My organisation installed a new database 18 months ago. It works very well but so far we have only used it for mail management, donor records and gift aid reclaim. I know it ought to be doing much more for us, in terms of being used as a management tool.
Where should we start with analytical reports? What are three most important reports I should be giving to managment to get them to begin to understand the value of using the data we have. Life-time values? ROI? Campaign analysis?
I don’t want to give the impression that we are just playing with a new toy. I want to demonstrate that we are overlooking a key resource.
It depends on how much time your management want to invest in analysing your organisation’s fundraising. Not neccessarily very much time in my experience of fundraising – apart from bottom line results.
At the very least, they’ll surely be interested in return on investment, and the net return of your appeals generally.
Reporting on lifetime value might be handy if you segment your database – especially if your analysis shows some segments are more generous (& more worth persuing) than others.
And response rates to appeals is always a good one too.
Hope this helps
Other areas of interest might be the rate of acceleration of income from various activities – e.g. although your annual abseil only makes 10% of your Christmas appeal, you might find that income from the abseil has been growing at a rate of 30% over the past few years, whilst Christmas income is starting to fall.
Life Time Values can be quite complex to calculate – is this value to date, or projected value? I’m always more interested in what might happen in the future rather than just reporting on the past.
I agree with George that ROI is fundamental to your analysis. I’m always interested in how people calculate the costs – is it simply the cost of materials, or do others plug in labour costs in addition? Sticking a sample value of £5 per hour per person might produce interesting results.
To start analysing non – financial data, you might want to have a look at “Balanced Scorecard Step – by – Step For Government and Nonprofit Agencies” by Paul. R. Niven. Sadly it doesn’t have any formulas or sample reports, but it does advise on how to align your analysis with your organisation’s goals. I don’t have any relationship with the author or publisher.
Cancer Research UK
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