Are you able to recite the progress of fundraising for the year? If asked, do you know exactly where your organisation stands in terms of funds raised to goal, progress within each fundraising program, and other critical key performance indicators (KPIs)?
My experience is that some staff of nonprofit organisations are unable to, if pressed, offer the status of their fundraising programs and state the overall fundraising progress in their organisation. As fundraisers, we live and die by numbers. We ought to know, at any given point in time, exactly where we are in fundraising income and fundraising expenses and we ought to monitor progress and issues through fundraising reporting.
Why is it that some fundraising staff are unable to readily state fundraising statistics when asked? Here are a few reasons commonly stated:
- Fundraising database or CRM used is complicated. Reporting in the database/CRM is difficult, at best
- Lack of trust the data in the fundraising database/CRM and, therefore, incorrect fundraising reporting
- Conflicting reports. Staff run multiple reports, each offering different results
- Staff creating manually reports to track and expenses. Staff often times use Excel spreadsheet
- A desire to have fundraising reports available at the click of a button, available at one’s fingertips
Each reason given above is filled with a host of issues behind the scenes. As fundraising managers, we owe it to our organisation and to our staff to conduct a reports analysis session or workshop. This workshop will create change across the organisation so the organisation becomes data-driven instead of excuse-driven. The workshop will lead your organisation to create a suite of reports – some standard reports in your CRM, others customised for your organisation – which can be available each month (or on demand) and available at your fundraiser’s fingertips. Standardised reporting will lead to data cleansing, data standards, and a renewed focus on the fundraising numbers rather than on the distrust or lack of confidence that often times exists across organisations.