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Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, Third Edition by Simone P. Joyaux

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Measuring and Benchmarking for Fund Development

So much to measure, so little time. But for sure, don’t measure money only. Please.

Measures describe what you want to evaluate. And evaluating results is more than money or retention rates or number of donors. Measuring results might include donor centrism, donor satisfaction, effectiveness of relationship building, and much more. Then you set benchmarks for a particular period. Benchmarks quantify and qualify your hoped-for results for the particular measures.

For example:

  • The measure might be volunteer participation. The benchmark might be recruiting two new volunteers to participate in face-to-face personal solicitation.
  • The measure might be newsletter effectiveness. The benchmark might be producing four issues with content, writing, and readability all adhering to the body of knowledge.
  • The measure might be number of donors. The benchmarks might be increasing the number of donors by 10 percent and increasing retention rates to 75 percent.

You might set benchmarks compared to your own performance. You might also set benchmarks compared to standards in the sector or in your particular line of work.

What should you measure? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Your organization’s donor-centric quotient.
  • Quality and effectiveness of your relationship-building program—from the donor’s perspective, and based on your inputs into the process.
  • Quality and effectiveness of your solicitation program—from the donor’s perspective, and the results ...

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