Why fundraisers should care about measurement

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  • 1. Why fundraisers should care about measurement:The urgency of assessing your impactto stay fundedWorkshop Description: In thesetough financial times, can youjustify your fundraising return tocost? What ranking will the newcrop of online evaluators give yournonprofit for its missioneffectiveness? What answer do yougive prospective donors when theyask for evidence of your societalimpact?Like it or not, measurement is directly linked to your fundraising success. In thisworkshop, you’ll explore the basics of measuring results, get introduced to the mostinfluential online rating systems, learn what social investors are looking for and receivepractical steps to help you and your leaders prepare. Expect a lively exchange on a topicas controversial as this one.May 2010Presented by:Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, Presidentwww.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.comThe Butterfly Effect www.ceffect.com/blogOn Twitter @gaylegiffordCopyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 2. Presentation: Do you know what’s working?Where: Annual Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals, RIWhen: May 20, 2010Page: 1TOPICS The challenge of defining Social Impact The national conversation and who is talking Measuring impact Measuring fundraising effectivenessSOCIAL IMPACT What change are you creating in your community? For your clients? What matters most to you? What impact are you having on what matters? How do you know? What do you do with what you learn?WHY A FUNDRAISER SHOULD CARE ABOUT MEASURING SOCIAL IMPACT Because donors want to know their money is well used Because funders like the government, corporations, private foundations, and social investors expect it Because you can make a more compelling case for support So your volunteers can feel confident in your case for support Because it’s going to be hard to ignore the raters Because it’s hard to undo the fallout from a poor rating online ___________________________________________________________THE CONVERSATION There are “too many public charities” asking for funding Rating systems based only on finances are not the best measure of effectiveness Many charities are not effective Donations should be “social investments,” not merely “giving” Donors need independent advisors/rating systems to help them evaluate charitiesWHO IS PUSHING RATING SYSTEMS? Hewlett Foundation Wall street types Intermediary organizations Philanthropy bloggers/TwittersphereCopyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 3. Presentation: Do you know what’s working?Where: Annual Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals, RIWhen: May 20, 2010Page: 2WHO IS RATING? (a sampling) Guidestar.org – promoting, providing a platform for others CharityNavigator.org – “experts” GreatNonprofits.org – crowd sourcing GiveWell.net – independents reviewing research CharityRater.org – donor against standards Philanthropedia.org – “experts”WHAT WOULD LIKE YOUR DONORS TO SAY ABOUT YOU ON A RATINGSITE ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________EVALUATION IN A NUTSHELL You decide what you want to accomplish You try something You measure what happens You learn from that data You act on what you learnEVALUATION QUESTIONS Did we do what we said we would do? What happened? How do we know? So what? Now what?Copyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 4. Presentation: Do you know what’s working?Where: Annual Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals, RIWhen: May 20, 2010Page: 3WHY YOU SHOULD MEASURE FUND DEVELOPMENT To raise more money To understand what activities are working or not To understand where you get the best return on investment so you can invest more there To ensure future success To justify the investments you need to expand giving, to be more successful To justify your presenceSOME BASIC FUND DEVELOPMENT MEASURES Did you meet your revenue objectives? Going up? Going down? What was your return on your investment? What is the lifetime value of a donor? What is the retention rate of your donors? Longevity? Retention to longevity? How stratified are your donors? What does the giving pipeline look like for future years?WHAT YOU CAN DO Model a culture of learning and inquiry in your department Advocate for a culture of learning and inquiry in your organization Choose outcomes that matter, including designing your own Develop a measurement system that measures the right thing Collect and analyze “data” Be transparent about unknowns, successes, failures ____________________________________________________SOME REPORTED FUNDRAISING BENCHMARKS eMail fundraising response rate: .13% . Average one-time gift: $81.33 Special events benchmarks: raise at least $2 for every $1 in costs Direct mail acquisition: Response rates of less than 1% are not uncommon Direct mail renewal: 10% and upCopyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 5. Presentation: Do you know what’s working?Where: Annual Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals, RIWhen: May 20, 2010Page: 4A FEW RESOURCESMeasuring Program Impact A Guide to Actionable Measurement, www.gatesfoundation.org The Center for What Works www.whatworks.org outcome frameworks W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Guide http://tinyurl.com/2bd6538 Initiative for NonProfit Effectiveness www.independentsector.org (in development)Measuring Fundraising Association of Fundraising Professionals www.afpnet.org various resources Fundraising Analytics. Joshua Birkholz, AFP Fund Development Series eNonprofits Benchmark Study http://www.e-benchmarksstudy.com/2010.html Revolution in the Mailbox, Mal WarwickCopyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 6. Presentation: Do you know what’s working?Where: Annual Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals, RIWhen: May 20, 2010Page: 1Copyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272
  • 7. Dreaming about having a bigger impact on your community? Let us help you.Research* shows that community benefit organizations (otherwise known as nonprofits) with a bigimpact:  Pay attention to what is happening around them by listening and learning.  Value collaboration and nurture leadership.  Build evangelists among their volunteers, donors, staff, and advisors.  Act strategically to take advantage of opportunities that lie around them.  Serve well and advocate for the systems changes that will magnify their impact.That’s what we’ve been helping our clients do for over a decade.Our experiences as staff at respected national, international and local organizations and ourconsultation with scores of others proved to us the effectiveness of these practices. We use them in ourown work.We can help you:  Build a more engaged Board of Directors  Listen and learn from research and the community around you  Plot a future course based on strategic thinking and acting  Develop a plan to enhance your revenues and state your case more effectively with supportersAbout Cause & Effect Inc.Together, President, Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE and Vice President Jonathan W. Howard bring almost 50years of combined experience to their work.Gayle served as a senior manager and fundraiser at PLAN USA, Save The Bay, and City Year RI. Sheteaches organization development at Simmons College and Brown University. An in-demand consultant,trainer and provocative writer, Gayle writes a column for Contributions Magazine and is the author ofHow are We Doing? a popular, easy to read guide to evaluating your Board.Jon’s expertise includes research, interviewing, strategic and business planning and production of allaspects of internal and external organizational communications including direct mail, collateralmaterials, videos, newsletters, manuals, exhibits and international project management. Jon’s work hastaken him around the world, including staging two major exhibits on habitat presented at the UnitedNations in New York City, Turkey and Japan.Our clients have included, among many others, , Community Works Rhode Island, House of the SevenGables Settlement Association, John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage CorridorCommission, New Roots Providence, PLAN USA and PLAN International, Progreso Latino, GrassrootsInternational, Rhode Island Foundation, and WaterFire Providence.You’ll find free articles and tools that you can use today at www.ceffect.com. You can also subscribe toour blog, The Butterfly Effect at www.ceffect.com/blog or follow our Tweets @gaylegifford.* Forces for Good: Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits. Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant. Jossey-Bass. 2007.Copyright (c) 2010 Cause & Effect Inc. Permission to reprint. Not for commercial use. www.ceffect.com gayle@ceffect.com 401.331.2272