Create Your Fundraising Metrics Dashboard with this Free Excel Template

Ines Alvergne • Nov 15, 2019
create your fundraising metrics dashboard

As you start analyzing your nonprofit data, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What should you measure? What is safe to ignore? How much is too much? Are your numbers accurate?

Instead of trying to monitor every piece of information, you may want to focus only on a specific handful of metrics. To streamline this process, a fundraising metrics dashboard will come in handy.

What is a fundraising metrics dashboard?

It’s a data visualization tool that consolidates and displays the current status of fundraising metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your organization. It sheds light on areas in your organization that need attention and show you which initiatives are producing industry-leading results.

An effective dashboard focuses on a specific handful of metrics. In this post, we’ve outlined the 4 fundraising metrics that need your attention. Of course, there are many more data you could track, but this is a good start to understand the health of your organization. In addition, we’ve included nonprofit metric benchmarks so you can understand how you compare and where you excel or need a little work.

Are You Tracking the Right Metrics?

Create your own fundraising metrics dashboard with this free Excel Template. 

 All of the data needed to produce this dashboard can be stored and analyzed in your database, whether it’s a spreadsheet or a nonprofit CRM. Keep in mind most CRMs will manage the data and run the analysis for you, providing you with these metrics each month in seconds. For $70 a month , that could be worth it.

1. Donor Retention Rate

What it is:

The donor retention rate refers to the percentage of donors who give to your organization one year and then give again the following year.

How to calculate it:

(Number of donors who donate this year ÷ Number of donors who donated last year)*100

how to calculate donor retention rate

Let’s look at an example:

Out of the 234 donors who gave to your organization in 2018, 122 of those donors gave again in 2019.

Your retention rate is: (122 ÷ 340)*100 = 51% (this is a pretty good retention rate!)

Some CRMs offer benchmarking so you can always see if you are ahead of the curve or behind.

What this means and why it matters:

The Donor Retention rate gives insight into how effective you are at nurturing your donors. This is one of the most important fundraising KPIs for your entire organization. 

Recurring donations are the most sustainable source of income for most nonprofits because they reliably increase the size and volume of donations. In fact, it costs 10x more to acquire new donors than it does to keep the donors that you already have.

Levers for improvement:

  • Set up a recurring gifts program . If donors can opt into a donation subscription, they’re more likely to make regular gifts to your organization. To encourage recurring giving, explain to donors why recurring donations are needed and the impact they can have.
  • Maintain strong supporter relationships . Whether it’s through a personal thank you call or a short impact report, nurturing donors after their first gift is key to keeping them interested in your mission

2. Donor Lifetime Value

What it is:

Donor Lifetime Value (LTV) is a prediction of how much revenue a single donor will generate for your organization from the moment they first donate to the time they lapse.

How to calculate it:

Length of time a donor remains an active donor * Average donation of that donor * How often that donor donates

how to calculate donor lifetime value

Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say that your organization throws a fundraising event that costs $5000 to put together and raised $5500 from 70 donors.

At first glance, you might say that $500 profit was not worth the time, effort, and investment to throw this event. But this doesn’t paint the whole picture. Let’s say that 50 donors who first came in contact with your organization through this event, continue to give $25 every month for 4 years – that’s $1,200 per donor. 

Using the LTV calculation, you know the event was responsible for $60,000 in the next 4 years. That’s revenue and value that wasn’t accounted for in the first assessment of the event’s success.

What this means and why it matters:

Donor LTV measures the dollar value of your relationship with a donor during its entirety. It answers the question “from the first gift to the last one, how much revenue will a donor contribute to my organization?” This is key information to understand the actual value of retaining more donors.

Levers for improvement:

Segmentation. To get the most out of the donor LTV metrics, you want to segment your donor list. For instance, segmenting by giving levels makes a lot of sense. Having a donor LTV for each of the most important segments to your organization will be a great way for you to understand what segments need more love, and where the opportunities exist for you to increase gifts or double down on something that’s been working well. 

Are You Tracking the Right Metrics?

Create your own fundraising metrics dashboard with this free Excel Template. 

3. Average Gift Size

What it is:

This is the average size of gifts (or donations) received from your donor base.

How to calculate it:

Donor’s total dollars given ÷ Total number of gifts given

calculate the average gift size of your campaigns

Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say you want to know the average gift size of your major* donors. In 2019, your major donors made 35 donations worth $30,000.

Average gift size for major donors = 30,000 ÷ 35 = $857

*You decide what “major” means to your organization and set these parameters.

What this means and why it matters:

Measuring the average gift size helps you better understand your donors and their giving behavior.

 If you understand historical giving behaviors, you can make strategic changes to your engagement and fundraising efforts. One example, by understanding average gift size for a segment of donors (major donors for example) you can ask for exactly the amount that is most likely to encourage the largest donation they will feel comfortable committing to. 

For instance, you can set larger default giving levels for donors with historically larger gifts. Believe it or not, if you ask a major donor for $20 in your next email communication he is more likely to donate only slightly above that, whereas asking for $200 may result in a $250 donation. It’s a concept called anchoring and it’s powerful, don’t take the risk of ignoring this simple strategy.

Levers for improvement:

Effective communication. To boost average gift size, you have to communicate effectively and engage donors showing them why they should increase their gift amount. This may mean showing them a special project that requires larger donations or simply suggesting for the new year they increase their monthly recurring donation by $5, a small amount that adds up over time. By giving donors a solid reason to give more, you fuel their aspirations about making a difference.

4. Donation Growth Rate

What it is:

Annual overall rate of growth in donations measures donation revenue year over year.

How to calculate it:

((Donations amount from this year – Donations amount from last year) ÷ Donations amount from last year) * 100

how to calculate donation growth rate

Let’s take a look at an example:

Let’s say you received a total of $170,000 donations in 2018 and $220,000 in 2019.

Donation growth rate= ((220,000-170,000) ÷ 170,000) x 100= 29%

This means you have a 29% donation growth this year (pretty good!).

What this means and why it matters:

The annual rate of growth in donations is a key metric to see if your organization is succeeding by increasing donations. Tracking changes in annual growth rates can inform strategic decisions and help you set realistic fundraising goals each year.

Levers for improvement:

Visualize it . Measuring the donation growth rate is pretty easy, but you can take this to the next level by using a line chart to map donation growth rate year over year. A graph will help you spot trends and opportunities. Check out Keela’s downloadable tool, it will make this easy.

Fundraising Metrics Benchmarks

fundraising metrics benchmarks

* M&R benchmarks (2018) ** Fundraising Report Card benchmarks for donations between $100 and $250 (2018) *** This is the growth rate of donations across all sectors from 2016 to 2017. As this is a massive sample, smaller organizations should be able to record significantly higher growth rates. If your rates are below this overall industry rate, and your aim is to grow, you need to address your approach or add resources.

The metrics we have outlined in this post are considered nonprofit guiding indicators, they are commonly used and have benchmarks against which you can assess how you’re really performing. You may want to add a few more metrics, specific to your mission or organization, but if you are not yet measuring the ones on this list, you should definitely start here.

Now that you know the metrics worth tracking to improve your organization’s performance, don’t stop here! We’ve created a guide and a free excel template to help you keep track of the most important nonprofit metrics.

Or, maybe you’re ready to take it one step further.

Keela’s Fundraising Dashboard compiles, prioritizes, predicts, and analyzes these four fundraising metrics and more in order to give you a holistic overview of your organization’s fundraising health. 

Never miss your monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals again. With our new features, you can now track recent fundraising activity, transactions, and pledges for current and previous campaigns to make sure you’re set up for long-term success. 

These insights will grant your team a deeper look into the data driving your fundraising campaigns, pinpointing areas of improvement, as well as implementing artificial intelligence to automatically recommend which steps you should take next.

Are you ready to take the next step? Book a demo and learn how Keela’s powerful Fundraising dashboard can elevate your nonprofit.   

Are You Tracking the Right Metrics?

Create your own fundraising metrics dashboard with this free Excel Template. 

Are You Tracking the Right Metrics?
Create your own fundraising metrics dashboard with this free Excel Template