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You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The trick is to measure things that matter.

Here are 7 reports you should be running at least monthly and monitoring the results, so you can tweak your fundraising plan accordingly, and stay on track to fully funding your nonprofit’s good work.

1. New Donor Report

Your donor base is the lifeblood of your fundraising program. Set a goal for the number of new donors you need during the year, then break it down into monthly goals. Watch not only the number of donors but where they’re coming from so you know which marketing and outreach efforts are really paying off.

2. Lapsed Donor Report

In addition to watching the number of new donors coming in, be sure to monitor the number who are leaking out the other end. Minimizing the number of lapsed donors will mean fewer new donors are needed. Prevent the lapse in the first place with a lapsed donor renewal campaign.

3. Donor Retention

Keep a close eye on the number of donors that are giving from one year to the next. The more detailed this report is, the better. As you review the data, look for trends. Are there groups of donors that seem to give at the same time each year? Or maybe in response to an appeal? The more you can learn from your data, the better job you can do raising money.

4. Total Revenue by Solicitation

Think of everything you do as a solicitation or campaign. You have a grant solicitation, an appeal solicitation, an event solicitation, etc. Then measure revenue by solicitation. Each month, have a close look at your goals to see if they’re on track. It’s easier to make adjustments as you go than to get to the end of the fiscal year and try to fix a derailed train.

5. Monthly Donors

Check on your monthly donors each month to make sure they’re all giving. Think of their donations as pledge payments (because that’s what they are). Pull the report each month and call any donors who are a couple of months behind. It’s the best way to keep your monthly revenue stabilized and flowing in.

6. Top Donors

Each month, ask your donor software to show you who your top 10 donors are. Are there any names on the list that surprise you? Do you need to take steps to get their attention this month? What seems to be motivating them to give? Let the data talk to you.

7. Volunteer Hours

Most nonprofits can’t run without volunteers, and measuring the number of volunteer hours not only tells you how much time people are giving, but also gives you an idea of what it would cost if you had to pay for a staff person(s) to cover those tasks. Plus, many donors like knowing that you’re using lots of volunteers to get deliver services.

Originally written by Sandy Rees, CFRE



MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.