2 New Reports Confirm Number of Fundraisers, Staff Retention Key to Raising More Dollars, AHP Says
In-depth regression analysis showed investing in the following areas maximizes fundraising revenue:
- Number of Direct FTE professionals - This individual factor has a ripple effect. Increasing FTEs increases market penetration, which builds stronger donor relationships leading to larger average gift sizes, all of which increase fundraising revenue, efficiency (CTRD) and effectiveness (ROI).
- For U.S. organizations, optimal staffing levels are identified at 7 or more.
- For Canadian organizations, greater success is tied to levels of 5 or more.
- Major Gift Programming - Well-established major gifts programming increases average gift sizes tremendously. High performing organizations know the importance of investments in people and programs including sophisticated research programs, major gift initiatives (including well-managed campaigns), planned giving, corporate sponsorships, grant writing, and identification of opportunities for major funding from partners such as foundations, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
- Professional Salaries and Benefits Budgets - More staff obviously calls for larger budgets for salaries. However, both qualitative and quantitative data analyzed for this report illustrate the linkages between professional tenure and compensation.
- For U.S. organizations, optimal professional salary budgeting is identified at $800,000 or more (e.g., for a staff of 7, average salary and benefits would be valued at $114,285).
- For Canadian organizations, this number is $500,000 (e.g., for a staff of 5, average salary and benefits would be $100,000).
- Employee Retention - More staff, focused on major gift activity, means that donor relationships are more genuinely cultivated and sustained. Qualitative findings point to better results when professionals have been on staff for five or more years.
- High Average Gift Sizes - Naturally, higher average gift sizes mean a higher yield in bottom-line fundraising revenue. Larger gifts are directly tied to net production revenues, but they also can be considered a ripple effect of employing and retaining an optimal number of professional staff.
- For U.S. organizations, higher success levels are linked with average gift sizes of $535 or more.
- For Canadian organizations, bottom- line returns grow for organizations that secured gifts of $650 or more.