Survey Results Are In! (The Real Skinny on Nonprofit Data)
Here's what was reported on other types of engagement captured across these organizations. (Percentage reflects only those who have these interaction types — all N/A organizations have been removed in the below data.)
Type of interaction …… % of organizations that capture it
- Community/Event Participation …… 83%
- Communication Preferences …… 79%
- Demographic Information …… 69%
- Volunteer Interactions …… 67%
- Call-Center/Donor-Services Interactions …… 63%
- Mission/Cause-Specific Interactions …… 51%
- Advocacy Interactions …… 47%
Perhaps the item that raised my heart rate the most was around mission/cause-specific interactions — only 51 percent of organizations capture those interactions. Again, while fundraising interactions are very important, the engagement around the specific services the organization delivers is critical.
The issue of capturing financial vs. non-financial engagement is one of the areas I went into deeper in the survey. While I didn't want any survey responder to have to run specific reports to answer a question, I did ask responders to quantify how good they were at capturing specific types of donations as well as non-financial transactions. Respondents were given a scale of 25 percent to 100 percent, with the assumption that 25 percent means they felt one out of every four transactions was captured — compared to 100 percent meaning they are very good at capturing these transactions and very few are missed.
As indicated previously, the data below reflects only those organizations that indicate they have these specific types of transactions to capture.
- More than 90 percent of the organizations indicate they capture all (100 percent) of their direct-mail donations, Web donations and membership gifts.
- Between 80 percent and 89 percent of the organizations indicate they capture all (100 percent) of their memorial/tribute donations, telemarketing donations, local office donations and event donations.
- For those organizations that have advocacy-specific donations, 78 percent indicate they capture all (100 percent) of these donations, with the other 22 percent of the organizations split evenly between 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent capture rates.
- For those organizations that sell products, only 58 percent feel they capture all (100 percent), with 17 percent feeling like they capture three out of every four (75 percent), 12 percent capturing only half of the transactions, and 12 percent capturing only 25 percent of the transactions.
As we think about the financial tracking and accounting regulations required of nonprofits, it is not unusual to see high estimates for tracking donations. However, it's a very different story when looking at the non-financial interactions.
- For non-financial advocacy interactions, a third of the organizations report they capture only one in four interactions (25 percent), 22 percent of them report capturing only 50 percent of the interactions, and the balance (47 percent) report capturing 75 percent or greater.
- When it comes to capturing mission/program interactions, it is almost duplicative to non-financial advocacy interactions: 54 percent of the organizations report capturing half or less of these types of interactions.
- The pattern follows with preference/interest information, non-financial website interactions and information requests. In each of these cases, more than 50 percent of the organizations report they capture 50 percent or less of these types of interactions.
- Volunteer engagement was slightly better with 43 percent capturing less than half of these interactions, 30 percent capturing three out of four transactions (75 percent) and 27 percent indicating they miss very few of these transactions (100 percent).
While the question about non-financial transactions was only one of the 10 questions, it was perhaps the most alarming to me.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.