8 Donor Metrics to Improve Donor Stewardship & Fundraising

Stewarding your donors is the key to increasing your retention rates. But sometimes, your donor stewardship plan can feel a lot like spinning your wheels. How can you measure the success of your stewardship? That's where these key donor metrics come in! Tracking them will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your donor stewardship plan and sharpen your strategy. Read on to learn what these donor metrics are and why they're so important.

6 minutes read
8 Donor Metrics to Improve Donor Stewardship & Fundraising

In the nonprofit world, finding the key to fundraising success can be tricky. We try out new strategies, connect with new donors, exhaust our fundraising budgets, and whatnot. But what if the secret is just understanding the donor data we already have?

In this article, we’ll look at the 8 vital donor metrics when it comes to improving donor stewardship and fundraising.

What are Donor Metrics?

Donor metrics are statistics or KPIs that help measure your fundraising efforts, relationships with donors, and donor behavior. You’ll find donor metrics primarily through the data you securely store in your donor management system.

Ideally, with the right donor management, your donor data gets stored automatically the minute someone gives through your donation form.

For example, Donorbox Donor Management – it not just stores your donor data securely in its database but also lets you update information, add offline data, segment the donor records, as well as help you build reports for important donor metrics. You can also easily integrate with leading CRM solutions for better use of the data.

Donorbox donor management

Manage Your Donor Data on Donorbox!

Why nonprofit donor metrics are so important

Understanding donor metrics is key to improving your fundraising efforts because you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t working with your supporters.

For example, your lapsed donors. When you identify them, you also get an opportunity to dig further and discover what made them move away from your organization.

These findings will help utilize your hard-won fundraising budget in the best way possible to get these donors back to your nonprofit.

Similarly, every metric has something to teach you about the effectiveness of your donor relationships and fundraising. Let’s go through each of them to learn more.

8 Essential Donor Metrics for Nonprofits

1. Donor acquisition

This measures the number of new donors you’ve acquired. Pretty obvious that this one is important, right?

You’ll want to measure this by year, but also by your campaigns. This helps you see which of your campaigns were most effective for acquiring new donors.

Donorbox lets you segment your supporters by campaign name as well as a number of other filters. To find out new donors you’ve acquired for a campaign, simply go to your supporter database on Donorbox, select the campaign, and add the time frame. You’ll get your desired results.

donor acquisition metric

On the Donorbox dashboard, you also get a Reports section that helps you get a report on overall new donors to your organization during a specific interval.

donor report on Donorbox

Create Donor Reports on Donorbox

2. Donor retention

The donor retention metric or the number of donors who kept giving to your organization is an important component of your fundraising strategy.

Find out how many donors gave to your nonprofit last year. Now, see how many of them gave again to your organization this year. If last year’s amount was 100 and this year’s 60, then your donor retention is 60/100 = 60%.

With Donorbox, you can easily pull data for measuring this metric. Segment donor records based on last year and repeat the same for this year. Export both lists from Donorbox. Now, you will need to compare them to get the result.

donor retention rate

For most nonprofits, donor retention stays at around 40-45%. But you can improve this further by including better strategies like recurring donation campaigns, memberships, etc. You must also cultivate your relationships throughout the year irrespective of the need for donations.

3. Upgraded donors

These are donors who give more than they have in the past. So if a donor gives you $20 on their first donation and then ups it to $25, you have an upgraded donor.

This metric can help you determine if your strategies for bringing in larger donations are effective. If you’re accepting recurring donations via Donorbox, your organization gets a triggered moment alert when your recurring donors upgrade their donation amounts. This helps you reach out to them to show your gratitude.

4. Reactivated donors

Reactivated donors are lapsed donors who have given to your nonprofit again after some time.

It’s important to know who your reactivated donors are so you can adequately re-engage. Connect with them to rebuild that relationship so they don’t lapse again. You can have a staff member or a volunteer make a call to them or send a survey to know what made them give to your campaign.

You may find out this metric by comparing your latest donor data against that of the last few years. This is an important activity to also find out several other metrics related to your fundraising and donor behavior.

5. Donations by campaign

Filtering your donations to see how one particular campaign performed is essential to understanding what your donors respond to. Your donor management system should automatically store your donation data as it does with your donor data.

For example, on Donorbox, you can easily access your donation data. You can apply filters to this data according to the campaign name to find out how each campaign did. This will help create targeted marketing and communication pieces for your donors.

donations by campaign

6. Event conversion rate

This measures the number of people who attended your event and then became a donor. For example, if 100 people attended your event and 70 of them donated to your organization, your event conversion rate would be 70/100 = 70%.

To easily calculate this, create a separate donation page to accept donations at an event. Now, share ways like text-to-give, donation kiosks, QR codes, etc. to direct people to that page. After the event, check your donor database to find donors who gave to this campaign against all those people who attended your event.

Donorbox stores your event ticket purchasers as well as donors in a single place – the supporter database. It helps you effectively segment data to find out the details you need for such metric calculations.

event conversion rate

7. Donor lifetime value

Knowing how much a donor has given over their “lifetime” is a powerful tool.

This indicates donor loyalty as well as a particular donor’s giving ability. When you know how much they prefer to give, you have the chance to personalize your appeals to be able to get more from them.

For example, you wouldn’t want to send a generic $100 appeal to someone who has the ability to give in thousands of dollars. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to scare someone who prefers to give $10 with an appeal of $100.

On Donorbox, you can open a donor profile to find all their donations listed under the “Donations” tab. This helps you find out their lifetime value.

donor lifetime value

Manage & Retain Supporters Like a Pro!

8. Lapsed donors

Even though this isn’t a fun one to find, knowing how many donors stopped giving to your organization is important.

Try to determine why they dropped off – was it during a period of lower engagement? This can help you avoid lapses in the future and turn lapsed donors into reactivated donors!

Donorbox’s Reports module helps you determine LYBUNT – Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year. This means you get to find out which donors gave last year but they did not give this year. With this report, you can amp up your communication with these lapsed donors to re-engage them through a better approach.

nonprofit donor metrics

Use Donorbox to Successfully Manage & Track Your Donor Data

Donorbox offers a powerful, data-driven donor management system to help maximize your donor data. Our easy-to-use tools all work together, letting you get a seamless look into your fundraising and donor stewardship efforts.

The below list gives you an insight into the key features of Donorbox Donor Management

  • Automatic storing of donor and donation data in the Donorbox database.
  • Add offline donor and donation data and update existing records.
  • Segment donor records with advanced filters and export data.
  • Create and download donor reports – new donors, donor overview, and LYBUNT.
  • Add communication notes to donor records and keep track of them.
  • Get triggered alerts on the first donation, first-year giving anniversary, recurring plan upgrade, recurring plan cancellation, and other important moments.
  • Merge duplicate donor records to maintain a clean database.
  • Give donors the ability to log in and manage their donation plans and receipts.
  • Automatically send personalized thank-you emails with donation receipts after each donation.
  • Integrate with Salesforce NPSP, Blackbaud RE NXT, and HubSpot for better tracking and utilization of data.
  • Integrate with MailChimp, Active Campaign, Slack, QuickBooks, Sendinblue, and 2000+ more platforms via Zapier for marketing, communications, and other activities.

How do you get started? Follow these four simple steps and start fundraising with Donorbox in just 15 minutes – your donor data will be safe with us!

Get Started With Donorbox

Getting Started

Tired of spinning your wheels trying to figure out why your fundraising efforts aren’t working? It’s time to make the most out of your fundraising budget with data-driven fundraising.

You should plan on pulling reports to understand your donor metrics at least a few times a year; even better is after each campaign to make small adjustments to your strategy as you go.

Donorbox is there with its simple-to-use and powerful tools to make this process as easy as possible for your organization. In addition to donor management, we offer an array of fundraising products to help boost your online donations. Check them out here.

Read helpful blogs on donor management at the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. We also have a number of free templates and samples to better your appeals and communication pieces.

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Lindsey Baker

Lindsey spent years wearing many hats in the nonprofit world. Whether she was helping arts nonprofits with their messaging and content, planning a fundraising gala, writing an NEA grant proposal, or running a membership program with over 400 members, she learned how to navigate – and appreciate! – the fast-paced world of fundraising. Now, she loves sharing those hard-earned lessons with the Donorbox community.

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