Top 5 Nonprofit Impact Metrics of 2018
Collaborative nonprofit leaders and their board members often work closely together on cause-driven initiatives that seek to deliver social impact at scale. Their fundraising strategy can be one of the most challenging initiatives, as it requires management teams to constantly evolve based on the needs of their organization. Finding time to review and analyze what worked well and what failed is oftentimes difficult, yet the needs of benefactors continue to increase.
In a recent MobileCause poll of fundraising professionals and nonprofit board members, we gleaned insights into which metrics, beyond the obvious “dollars raised,” demonstrate nonprofit impact and how measuring these indicators can help inform future fundraising and donor engagement efforts.
Here are the top five nonprofit impact metrics:
Is it possible to grow your nonprofit organization, while also scaling your reach beyond the local community? There are some that secure major donors to support long-term growth strategies. For most, they focus on growing by a $35 donation at a time. The way they do this is by leveraging the power of technology to offer the ability to scale up quickly, reach a larger audience and tell their story in more dynamic ways.
4. Authority Level
With more than 2 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. that individuals can support, the competition for fundraising dollars is steep. That’s why nonprofits feel the pressure to continually promote the impact they’re making, while donors are asking for feedback on the specific ways that their dollars are being put to work. Nonprofit marketing professionals are now tracking their Klout score (between 1 and 100) to measure the level of authority their organization has in the minds of their supporters.
What respondents noted was that it’s very difficult to stand out when a common cause (i.e. clean water) has hundreds or even thousands of organizations trying to achieve the same impact. We also see that the number of active donors in a nonprofit’s database and the breadth of donor data can demonstrate influence. Being able to rally 200,000 supporters via email, text, social media and online is a powerful tool in a nonprofit’s arsenal.
3. Time to Impact
It goes without saying that nonprofit organizations seek to make a positive impact in communities around the world. Today, “impact” alone is table stakes for organizations that want to deliver lasting change. The time it takes to deliver enduring societal value (month over month, quarter over quarter, year over year) requires proactive goal-setting and measurement. One of the foundational ways to determine time to impact is to keep record of the number of your benefactors and a list of support factors (i.e. monetary, goods or services) to more easily build impact models within specified timeframes.
2. Donor Loyalty
While dollars raised is certainly an important metric, donor loyalty is now an essential stat that can indicate future impact potential. Donor loyalty can be measured by recurring or repeat donations, but also by the number of activities taken such as newsletter sign ups, social media sharing, peer-to-peer fundraising participation, event attendance, volunteering, advocacy awareness building, among others. Respondents stated that tracking all of these metrics can be overwhelming, so I would suggest to start with the three loyalty factors that are most relevant to your organization to better predict future growth.
1. SROI (Social Return on Investment)
SROI, the Social Return on Investment accounts, for a double bottom line—the financial performance of a campaign with the resulting social effect that the dollars delivered. This relatively new and more insightful way to measure the impact that a nonprofit has on a community offers both quantitative and qualitative calculations of returns. You don’t need a finance degree to measure SROI, but it can be more cost and time efficient to use a fundraising software platform that automates the reporting of campaign performance and analytics to make it easier to evaluate and present results.
Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. The MobileCause platform includes advanced reporting and analytics that makes it easier to measure campaign performance and improve fundraising. Whatever you decide to measure, poll your supporters and benefactors first and see what would be most impactful for them. That way, your program directly addresses their needs and tracks your progress towards your goals.
Phil is the SVP of Customer Success at MobileCause and drives strategy, training and support services that help our customers achieve their fundraising goals through smart donor engagement. He is a versatile executive with 15 years of operational experience at high-growth, venture-backed, B2B SaaS startups.
Prior to MobileCause, Phil was the Managing Director of Customer Success at ClearCare and the VP of Customer Success at Moovweb. Phil has also held a variety of roles at previous technology companies in services and support.