If real estate success is about location, location, location, success in fundraising is all about relationships. Specifically, the cornerstone of successful fundraising is donor relationships. The better you and your organization are at building relationships with your donors, the more money you will raise.
Also, the more prospects you convert to donors, the more money you will raise. You want to first connect prospects to your mission, then consistently cultivate prospects and steward donors.
If you develop a fundraising plan every year (and I recommend that you do!), be sure to include measurable metrics as part of this plan. The obvious metric is how much money you raise in a given fiscal year, but there are many other important metrics to consider.
You might consider setting goals and tracking metrics for…
- New individual prospects
- New corporate and foundation prospects
- Tours conducted of your facility
- Donor visits by staff (separate goal for each development staffer who meets with donors)
- Donor visits by Board member (separate goal for each Board member, as appropriate)
- Board introductions
- New volunteers
- Donor phone calls
- Newsletters sent
- New event attendees
- New event attendees later called or emailed to learn more about your organization
- Donations from new donors
- Increased donations
- Major gift donations (level as defined by your organization)
- Re-engaged lapsed donors
- New planned gifts
- New planned gift expectancies
- Corrected donor addresses in database
- Decreased duplicate records in database
- Gifts to your endowment (if applicable)
Metrics like these can be incorporated into your annual fundraising plan and your development team’s evaluations. Staff should be a part of the planning process so they are invested in the metrics. Metrics that are ambitious but achievable will push staff and volunteers while allowing them to be successful!
What metrics do you like to track?
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