Friday, February 13, 2015

You can’t measure what you don’t track

One of the key issues any fundraising department faces with the use of fundraising software is getting staff to actually record what they're doing with donors and other constituents so that they can track and report on those activities. It's arguably the primary conundrum related to moves management or, as we call it in ClearView CRM, opportunity management.

Opportunities are generally something of substantial value that an organization wants to obtain from a prospective donor. Fundraisers who don’t regularly record details on their pursuit of specific opportunities usually say it’s because they don’t have the time to do so. This functional inertia is a common ailment in nearly anyone who is asked to track their behavior in a system, from fundraisers and salespeople to those who have to bill their time by the hour.

If you or your staff isn’t currently tracking opportunities, you may want to address that situation for one key reason: the growing trend toward ensuring accountability among fundraising professionals. This trend is primarily driven by the increasing pressure on nonprofits to justify their costs in raising money, pressure coming from trustees, senior management, major donors and others who expect measurable returns on their investments.

Accountability is not going away. The more data fundraisers record about their opportunities, the better able they’ll be to demonstrate their effectiveness on the kinds of measures related to fundraising performance, among them:
  • Gift officer revenue goals
  • Key prospects
  • Regular review of progress against goals
  • Significant activities/touches against achieving goals
  • Return on investment and productivity
Identifying and tracking activities related to opportunities in the appropriate fundraising software system will allow you the kind of detailed reporting that clearly shows progress toward all these measures. (You can also display the data in a fundraising dashboard to keep everyone aware and on track, as we discussed above.)
If you’re not tracking, you can’t measure. It’s as simple as that.

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