Geared Up for Growth
For many of the organizations we work with where they have a robust midlevel program or one that’s in rapid transition, we created seven super-KPIs (key performance indicators) that we apply to the midlevel audience. And they’re a little bit different than the campaign-based metrics. They are the scientific side to creating that binder with every single e-mail, mail piece and telephone script. This is the numbers-driven snapshot of what your program looks like.
There are, as I mentioned, seven of them. They roll the performance and cost data together, so it takes a little bit of compilation, but it is a nice way to look at your investment in these donors and what their return is, especially if you don’t have a complex and potentially expensive long-term value tool. I’m going to go through these seven really quickly. The first four are all performance-related. Remember, we’re not talking about campaign performance — we’re talking about annual performance in the program.
1. The first is response rate. Not your normal response rate, but taking all of your campaign pieces and dividing them by all of your gifts … or rather, the reverse of that. So you’re looking at the average response rate across the year.
2. The second, and this is a great yardstick, is gift per year, per segment member. It’s really the number of members that are in your segment or the number of donors that are in the segment, because you also want to include in that number donors who got treatment throughout the year but may not have made a gift. Perhaps they’ve lapsed completely to your organization.
3. The next one is annual average gift. That’s a great thermometer, and looking back in the last three to five years and seeing how that may have changed is a wonderful benchmark for you to establish your future growth opportunities. This is particularly important for programs that had changes in the frequency of their campaigns. We recently started working on one program that in 2009 had eight campaigns a year to midlevel donors. Last year they mailed 14. While they spent a lot more, the net delivered actually went down slightly.