Sector Source is a resource website to help those who run nonprofits to stay informed on management tools and issues related to charities and nonprofits.
A recent report reveals that in the U.S. more money is being donated by fewer people. This mirrors similar findings here in Canada.
Since 2006, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Centre on Nonprofits and Philanthropy have collaborated to release the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP). Participating U.S. nonprofits submit their annual fundraising results, which generate insights on fundraising trends. The resulting report helps nonprofit leaders and fundraisers compare their organization’s fundraising performance from one year to the next as well as compare it against the performance of other nonprofits in a variety of categories. In addition to the report, you can download and use two Excel-based templates to produce your own fundraising growth reports and measure fundraising performance from year to year and against report statistics. Instructions are available to help you use these templates.
Highlights from the 2015 report include:
- Every $100 gained in 2014 was offset by $95 in losses through gift attrition. Meaning, 95 percent of gains in giving were offset by losses in giving for a net gain in gifts of 5 percent.
- Every 100 donors gained in 2014 was offset by 103 in lost donors through attrition. Meaning, 103 percent of the donors gained were offset by lapsed donors for a net loss in donors of -3 percent.
- The median donor retention rate in 2014 was 43 percent; no change from 2013’s rate. The gift or dollar retention rate increased from 46 percent in 2013 to 47 percent in 2014. Over the last nine years, donor and gift or dollar retention rates have remained week, averaging at less than 50 percent.
- Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size, with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones.
One of the most important uses of data and evaluation results is to build a compelling story about your organization’s work. Here are a few guides to get started:
Stories worth telling: A guide to storytelling for non-profits | Capacity Canada (2014)
Q&A How charities can take their impact to the next level with Jason Saul. (article) | The Globe and Mail (Sept. 28 2015)
The Storytelling Nonprofit Blog Blogger Vanessa Chase offers lots of great advice on storytelling broken into short pieces. These two offer some very good practical advice to get started:
- From Impact To Story. How To Explain Your Organization’s Real Impact Through A Story
- 5 Tips You Need To Keep The Story Pipeline Flowing
More Evaluation Resources!
- Simple tips for communicating about impact - Part 1 & Part 2 | The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN)
- Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI) | The Foundation Centre offers this database of over 150 tools to help assess social impact.
- Better Evaluation (website resource).
Research and Trends
Money for Good 2015 | The Camber Collective
Money for Good ($FG) 2015 is a US study that reveals the donor’s perspective on their personal philanthropy. This report outlines key facts about barriers to engaging donors and also provides suggestions to move beyond them.
THREADS Insights from the Charitable Community | The Independent Sector
You may remember the “Nine Key Trends” document produced by American sector advocacy group the Independent Sector. This report expands on those trends and the challenges they foresee for the sector emerging in the next 30 years.
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