Some of My Favorite Measures

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Which measures do you use right now? Which would you like to add? Which measures are you afraid of adding? And why are you afraid? Below are several lists of measures—curious measures and important measures. Measures and more measures.

Relationship with Stakeholders (e.g., clients/customers, donors, volunteers)

  1. Clearly defined services designed to focus on experience customers want
  2. Well communicated, effective management of customer expectations
  3. Acceptable balance between cost and value-added services
  4. Employee management system that fosters top quality customer service
  5. Customer management system that fosters top quality service
  6. Customer/donor satisfaction with key components of customer service
  7. Level of confidence and perception of trustworthiness customer/donor/volunteer has for the organization
  8. Overall satisfaction with execution of mission/progress made
  9. Frequency of compliments/referrals
  10. Frequency of complaints and response/solution

What the Organization Does to Nurture Relationships (e.g., inputs/process)

  1. Effectiveness of communications strategies, e.g., donor-centrism, content, readability, frequency, etc.
  2. Quality and execution of relationship-building program (e.g., match with target audiences, regularity, and frequency)
  3. Quality and execution of relationship-building program personalized to specific donors
  4. Frequency of contact with prospects/donors without starting gift transaction
  5. Number of donors in pipeline (active relationship building)
  6. Number of qualified prospects in pipeline
  7. Number of qualified prospects who become donors
  8. Transition from first-time donor to second gift

Performance Measures for Infrastructure

  1. Staff, board, and other fundraising volunteers respect, accept, and use the most critical “best practices” in fund development
  2. Participation rates of board members in pledging and pledge payment
  3. Participation rates of board members and other volunteers in helping with fund development
  4. Level of discomfort experienced by board members and other fundraising volunteers
  5. Adoption of and adherence to key policies
  6. Establishment of formal fund development committee
  7. Level of strategic questioning and conversation at board and committee meetings
  8. Effectiveness of staff in enabling board members and others to accomplish desired results
  9. Breadth and depth of information in agency database, with an emphasis on interests and disinterests, motivations and aspirations, and emotional triggers
  10. Quality of reports to inform conversation and support strategic decision-making

Some Solicitation and Money Measures

  1. Satisfaction rates of staff, board members and other fundraising volunteers in the planning and implementation of activities
  2. Regarding fundraising events:
    1. Repeat attendance, new attendees, and attendee satisfaction with event
    2. Effectiveness of relationship-building and documentation of resulting information
    3. Transition of event attendees into donors
  3. Donor trends
  4. Acquisition, retention, and attrition rates
  5. Percent of prospects who transition into donors
  6. Second gift by first-time donors
  7. Donor loyalty and lifetime value
  8. Frequency of giving
  9. Increase in number of donors and gift size
  10. Increase/decrease in gift size
  11. Diversity of donors reflective of the agency’s cultural competency
  12. Number of prospects/donors solicited face-to-face and number of board members participating in this strategy
  13. Total dollars raised, number of donors, average gift size, and cost to raise a dollar

Yes, I know. This is overwhelming. But find the balance that works for your organization. That balance is probably more measuring than you do now—but not necessarily all the measures that I keep inventing in my fantasy world!

  • James V. Toscano

    Nicely done!

  • Amy Jones

    These are great indicators of the health of your relationships, infrastructure, fundraising, etc., but as stated, many are not measures (i.e. not measureable). How are NPQ readers measuring that their products/services are adequately addressing (or anticipating) their customer requirements? (in terms of product design, customer support, price, etc) Is it mostly through satisfaction surveys? Or proxy measures like market share, repeat usage, referrals, etc? Or something else? Would love to hear your ideas!