Data problems that comes from poor interdepartmental communication.One reason we were compelled to do this workshop is we knew that nonprofits have data in different departments that is not shared or looked at cohesively. This means that your marketing department may know that online communications are working better than direct mail and fundraising department may know that messaging from program staff works better than from the ED. How powerful would an email message from a program person be if they knew each other’s data???
Elizabeth: Development DirectorKeidra: Development Associate
Data, goals & metrics:Tons of data: web, direct mail, fundraising, social media, mobile.You don’t have to measure everything.Focus on the critical few, not the insignificant many.
Multi-channel marketingDo this with your departmental counterpartUsing annotations in Google Analytics
Look at time on site as a way to show more engagement for a content-driven siteYour database should have the means for attaching replies to your solicitation code and sign-ups to your event code. If you can’t do this, you should consider getting a database that does or figuring out how to easily do this in excel. (Boo!)
“Establish the right key metrics.Far too often, organizations track an array of metrics associated with a single channel but are much weaker at tracking cross-channel metrics. It was surprising to us, the degree that organizations stated that they did track integrated metrics, though upon further probing, we learned that many did not actively use the information (either because of lack of bandwidth or analytical expertise). Larger organizations should be tracking a majority if not most of those metrics and analyzing trends. Smaller organizations should be more selective, picking the metrics that really define the progress of the organization towards an integrated marketing approach. More focus is needed across the board on migration of constituents from one channel to another, as well as more granularity around retention rate by channels of engagement.” Convio whitepaper
The infographic on the left was created by Bloomerang summarizing the results of the 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project, which was created by The Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. The 2013 survey from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project showed some devastating findings for nonprofits:Donor attrition is at 61% and donor retention has plummeted from 50% 7 years ago to 39% today.Bounce rate:From KISS Metrics, a 2010 survey and breaks down bounce rate by function of website. Notice I said “function” and not industry. This is why figuring out what your website content is supposed to get your audience to do is so important. (raise money, generate potential donors)Bloomerang, who created this infographic, posits:Improving donor retention by just 10% can double the lifetime value of your entire database.
Expressed as a cost per dollar raised, meaning how much you spent to raised that moneyKnow that capacity building activities are important for long-term growthWeb & social media ROI, this is the beginning of a theory. Key is to have a strategy and test it, not just send stuff out ‘cause everyone else is.Tips: Know up front why you are doing something. Be honest with yourself. Is this event to raise money, or get sign-ups? You won’t know if you are successful, if you don’t know what you’re trying to do. Some activities like web, social media, awareness events, cultivation events, an acquisition mailings are not about up-front money. That is great. They have other goals. Live with it, know the maximum you can spend, and track the value to your goal.
Code each source list differently- series of letters & numbers may be necessary (ex. 1CHLA). This is important, so you know which lists to re-buy and which to drop for next time.Their first gift response will be informative, but the list cannot show value until you get the second gift. According to Grizzard Communications Group, the donor will break even on acquisition between 6 and 24 months of subsequent gifts.The best metric for this project is lifetime value.Some lists have low initial response rates, but high average gifts, high retention rates, and high upgrade rates. These will ultimately represent a higher value than lists with a high response rate, but low average gift and low retention rates.Keidra: Also track sourcing from e-blasts on URL builders
First gift amount is a powerful predictor of high LTV. Even one-off donors with high first gift amounts improve the value of the list.After 5 years, most donor lists have lost significant value. However, the donors who stay with you beyond 5 years and often most valuable for your organization.Lots of ways to calculate this (unfortunately). Experts recommend choosing the variables and formulas that best suit your organization.
Your handout packet has a sample worksheet with data and a blank sheet so you can start this at your office.For your example, you need to keep a spreadsheet with the following data divided by list: number of first responding donors, income, costs, average gift, lifetime value and retention rate.To calculate the LTV the formula will be (total dollars to date- total costs to date)/number of first responding donors.
Finally, if you can manage It, a list size of 14,000 is perfect for testing. With sample sizes this large, you can get statistically significant results. Testing is important in all campaigns. If you aren’t testing, you aren’t learning. If you have been looking at the big picture and determining what questions you want answered, you are ready to test. Pick one thing to test.Pick something worth answering. Big organizations with large segments can test small things like how a stamp is affixed. For the rest of us, test something that is going to help you do everything else better.Tests I have done include: Are personal stories better than organizational stories? Does a mailing work better with or without a reply device? Does a small or large reply device work best? Do 2 mailings work better than 1? If you are communicating, you should be testing.Arthur Middleton Hughes says that for email you absolutely must test communication frequency. Too much you turn people off. Too few and you risk leaving money on the table.Follow the simplicity principle when testing. What one question can you answer with this campaign? Is it answerable? Can it be tested over every piece of your campaign?When you test, everything else needs to be consistent. This is not the time to also find out if your donors prefer purple or green envelopes. Test that same thing over the whole campaign. Because of small sample sizes, you will need to test over multiple communications to get valid answers.
How often should I test?AlwaysRun the tests for at least 4 weeks. Google won’t let you run a test for too short a time. If your test is too long or complicated, Google will tell you.
INTERNAL MEETING FREQUENCYMost online and offline marketing teams are still separate groups, even if they report to the same leader. As such, this 2011 Convio whitepaper on Multi-channel marketing wanted to understand if those teams met to collaborate. Groups that score higher on integrated multi-channel marketing sophistication met more often. They had someone accountable for making communication trade-off decisions based on an integrated calendar that tracks all planned messages and campaigns across channels.
Messages have no meaning, meaning is in peopleHave I correctly defined the context and provided context, so the odds of people getting the message are as high as possible?Specifically, media richness theory states that the more ambiguous and uncertain a task is, the richer the format of media that suits it. Theory by Richard Daft.Richer media-No other distractions. In-person: hear tone of voice, see body language and hand gestures.Leaner media-Email & text- practical detailsPrinciple: use the smallest bandwidth you can get away with without distorting your message. People are often using a smaller bandwidth than they need.What’s the leanest medium you can tolerate without distorting the media?Key stakeholder critical to your project, see them more, cultivate a relationship, instead of just inviting to a meeting.Don’t use meetings as a proxy for relationship development. Leads to “meetingitis”.Don’t go to any meeting that can happen without you. Does the meeting need to happen at all? Principles and process.
Create quantitative fields for qualitative dataUse single or multiple choice fields to create structured data for qualitative dataEx. Program interest: education, workforce development, leadership developmentBeen able to get much greater understanding of major donors from this informationExamples include: Program interest, political affiliations, demographic data, survey data
Great thing about arts is there are a lot of data points to analyze, because people are buying tickets to shows, buying merchandise, attending opening nights, filling out survey data and generally interacting with the organization frequently. This is a lot more difficult if you are, say, an advocacy organization with less interaction with the public. First, start with the data you do have. Second, create interaction points.
Discuss the components that indicated giving to create a full profile.
Stop Fighting, Start Analyzing:
Data Driven Strategy & Collaboration for Non-Profits
Who we are…
• Started as web content manager,
• Started in development right
knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP at
Trained through books, courses
Became a web analytics
evangelist (and nag) at my
Started consulting on digital
analytics and website
optimization to non-profits of all
before September 11th and have
managed flourishing programs
during 2 recessions
Because of my direct mail
training, database and analytics
have always been a personal
Started consulting on fundraising
program development, analytics,
and providing coaching to nonprofit professionals
What we are here to solve
Lack of budget
Lack of strategy
Lack of understanding of data
Too much data
Lack of staff
Lack of trust in analytics
Let’s meet the cast…
-10-year senior manager
-Wine from Argentina
A lot of numbers
Development Associate- New!
-Right out of college
-Happy to have joined the nonprofit workforce
-Creating new vegan dessert recipes
-15-year senior manager, 8 years at
-The Development Director
-5-year Marketing Associate, waiting for
the Marketing Director to leave so she
can take her job.
-Experimental, noise music
-Playing the viola
That guy in your office who only makes
suggestions after the plan is in motion…
-To make suggestions after a
plan is in motion
How it starts…
The Development Director says to the new
Hey new girl,
it’s time to
write the fall
letter. Go do
You can count
on me. I’m on
“New Girl, we need to do a Facebook
Development Associate doesn’t know the
organization has a Facebook page and makes a
Marketing Director pushes for a postcard mailer with
no trackable response. The Development Director
pushes for a landing page or reply device to no avail.
I’ve been doing
this longer than
her, why doesn’t
she listen to what
I thought this
A week before the campaign
Hey, don’t we
normally do an eblast?
copies last year’s eblast, makes a couple of
changes & sends it out.
“That Marketing Director is a real stickler, you’ll
need to tag everything for the campaign.”
The Development Director shows the Development Associate how to tag in Google
Analytics. Her profile was incorrectly configured by the previous Development
Associate. Also, she doesn’t know is that the Marketing Director also has her own
A few weeks later…
• The Development Director goes to the Marketing
Associate… Hey, can you
Why did you
get me the
numbers on the
send an eblast
…who goes to the Marketing
Oh, no! Can
you draw up
This e-blast went out the same day as the e-blast for their first advocacy campaign!
“These development people don’t
know what they’re doing.”
We need to
The Marketing Associate & Marketing Director both go to their offices and tag
everything- resulting in all campaign communications being double tagged!
Last year, an intern ran a Twitter campaign that brought in
$2,000- unfortunately, because she saved it on her home drive,
there was no documentation of the campaign.
When the direct mail portion of the campaign beats last
year’s goal, the Marketing Director takes full credit.
The hardworking, idealistic
Development Associate is fired.
• Missing income from
the Twitter campaign
• Missing metrics
…Pissing off the Marketing
Don’t let this
happen to you!!!
Top Down vs. Bottom Up
Approach to Measurement?
• Top Down: Starting with defined set of
goals and a selected group of relevant
• Bottom Up: Starting without a defined set
Planning a Measurement
• What is your campaign’s overall goals?
• What specific outcomes will help achieve
• What is the purpose of your organization’s
marketing materials? (ex. sell tickets,
• How will you measure whether your
outcomes have been achieved?
Average time on
# info form
# of direct mail
Then think measurement tools!
Average time on website
Your Web Analytics Tool!
# info form signups
# of direct mail replies
Success Metric Example: New Visitor
Subject: A mid-level ($1 mil annual budget)
non-profit’s newly launched fundraising
website, rich with multimedia content
Objective: Increase leads for offline
individual gifts through engagement with
New Visitor Engagement
• Standard Metric: video views
• Key Online Success Metric: # of videos
viewed per visit
• Standard Metric: offline donation
• Key Online Success Metric: # of
newsletter/info contact signups
Is it the right success metric?
• Does it show results? Can you use it to show definitive ROI
on your efforts? Does it show that it’s helping you sell
widgets, create awareness? Increase registrations?
• Does it give insight? Can you learn more about your users,
the effectiveness of your content/campaign by looking at
• Is it actionable? Can you look at it and take some kind of
immediate action to make things better?
• Can you benchmark it? Can you look at data month or
month/week or week and see trends?
The one metric you need to know…
Principle: If you’re not keeping people, you are wasting your time.
Created by Bloomerang based
on Fundraising Effectiveness
Project 2013 Survey Data
Website Bounce Rate
From survey by KISS Metrics
Know your benchmarks: ROI
$1.00 of gross
Web & social media
$.20 - $.25
$.50 of gross
$.10 - $.20
$.20 - $.30
Cost per Dollar Raised
$1.25 - $1.50
Sources: Fundraising, Second
Edition by James M. Greenfield
and ROI Analysis by Baruch
• “I manage a donor group of individuals who
give between $1k and $10k and we are about
to mail out our fall promotion to a list to
around 14,000 potential donors (including
both cold leads from a purchase list and warm
leads from our own database).”
Lifetime Value- Quick & Dirty
Current Project LTV Formula
(Total Dollars to Date - Total Costs to Date)
Number of First Gift Donors
Historical LTV Formula
Average first gift
Lifetime Value in Practice
Average Gift: $100
Attrition Rate: 61%
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
$100 $139 $154 $160 $162
Lifetime Value in Practice
Average Gift: $100
Attrition Rate: 61%
• Trends in aggregate may hide actual insights.
• Look at segmented traffic to compare traffic from
• Segmentation allows you to give context to your
data by focusing on a specific slice of your
audience or audience behavior.
• Recency, frequency, amount (RFM)
• More helpful: Interaction with your organization
• The future…
Why Testing is hard
• It’s not, but working with people can be.
IT Dept says:
My design is rock
You want to put
solid. You’re an idiot
CODE on MY pages? and don’t know
Dev. Asst. says:
I have enter all these
I know what I’m
doing. You want to
prove me wrong? No
So present it to the BOSS:
Long term, we can make more
money/get more signups/ for a
minimum cost. It’s stupid not to do
it. Oh, and the utility is free.
Dev. Dir. says:
I have to pay for two
• Start with your audience & donors…
• Think about your groups
• What separates these people? What is similar
• Can you look at behavioral as well as financial
• Ex. Click-throughs, attend events, average gift
High levels of uncertainty
Spending more than 3
minutes, it’s a phone call
What, why, not how
Details of How
Details of How
Internal Communication Channels
Noise & distortion increases
Getting Ready for the Predictive
Getting Qualitative & Subjective Data
into Your Database for Analysis
• Turn qualitative data into quantitative data
• Sources of this data:
– In-Person meetings
– Social media- follow your donors on Facebook and
LinkedIn- have a relationship manager keep track
of important posts from major donors
• Get into your database
Closing your Campaign
• Do a quantitative & qualitative summary of
• Make it visual
Arts Org. Analytics Project
$1.8 million organization
20,000 donors in database
$1,000 major gift entry point
$5,000 - $25,000 majority of major givers in
• Goal: looking to create a donor and major
giving profiles to predict future giving