To accurately set expectations and goals for future fundraising initiatives, it’s important to evaluate your campaign history and create a habit of data analysis. This approach along with identifying trends both within and outside your industry and researching donor expectations will ensure you prepare for the future while you realize your own organization’s success.
Here are five steps to inform comprehensive online fundraising strategies:
1.Review previous campaign data.
It’s easy in the world of fundraising to always move on to the next campaign, the next appeal, or the next ask without pausing to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in your previous campaign.
Two key pieces of data to track after your online giving campaign is complete include the total number of donors and total donation amount. You may also want to consider tracking average gift amount and the number of one-time versus recurring gifts. Depending upon the frequency and duration of your campaigns, you can evaluate the success of your campaigns based upon these four data points.
For example – let’s say you run a spring and fall fundraising campaign. You identified that your fall fundraising campaign had 10% more donors participate versus your spring fundraising campaign. You dig further into the data and identify that you held an additional virtual fall fundraising event that contributed to that success.
Make it a habit to review each campaign after its conclusion, and you can tweak your next campaign based off these findings.
2.Build continuous data analysis into your day to day.
How often do you log into your online giving system and evaluate your campaign results? Once a day, once a week, or after the campaign has concluded? Depending upon your technology provider, you may even be unable to access real-time reporting.
As a data-driven technology company, we recommend that you build data analysis into your everyday. This will help create a routine, so each day you are aware of donation amounts, number of donors, and even each individual credit card transaction.
Taking it a step further, by evaluating your data over a 30- or 90-day period, you can identify peaks and troughs of giving. If you had a spike in donations one day, identify the reason why. Tracking donation totals on a day-to-day basis will ensure you can course correct in case it’s clear you won’t hit your campaign goal.
3.Evaluate success with campaign types and experiment.
Your organization can execute an online giving campaign through a variety of giving modes including DIY, peer-to-peer, corporate campaigns, or team-based events. By examining campaigns by campaign type, you can identify which giving mode is most successful for your organization and experiment with new giving modes.
Here is a scenario to consider. Let’s say your organization supports hunger alleviation, and you hosted a virtual fundraising event on September 17, Hunger Action Day. After the event concludes, consider beta testing a DIY campaign with your top donors to determine if this giving mode proves a fruitful way to expand your campaign types.
4. Don’t forget to monitor donor networks/affinity groups and partner agencies.
Don’t stop your analysis at the campaign or giving mode level. Consider monitoring the growth of your donor networks or affinity groups. How many total members does each group have? How many new members? How many are first-time members, or have joined in the last 30 days? Continuous analysis of these groups will inform your planned giving and major gift strategies.
Another constituent group to monitor is your partner agencies. Monitor the success of their donations regularly, and encourage your program officers to provide progress reports to your partners. This effort will strengthen your partner relationships.
5. Upload previous campaign data when implementing a new online giving platform.
It is best practice to upload past campaign data to a new online giving platform. This will encourage donors to renew their gifts at their previous giving levels. Plus, it will allow you to compare campaign growth year over year and demonstrate the ROI of your new technology investment.
These five steps will successfully inform a comprehensive fundraising strategy. Remember to not bite off more than you can chew. It’s more important to identify a few key metrics and continuously monitor those metrics versus tracking every data point. Here’s to continued online giving success!