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8 key performance indicators for digital fundraising

March 30, 2022
Nonprofit leaders discuss data that has been siloed in separate systems and how to resolve the issue.

Successful nonprofits who raise enough money to fund their purposes have learned to optimize their returns on investment (ROI) by using data and technology. Thus, your nonprofit needs to invest in tech-savvy fundraising techniques to effectively maintain your financial health over time. If your organization is new to digital fundraising, it helps to use the following metrics to gauge your digital fundraising campaign’s effectiveness. 

Top 8 digital fundraising key performance indicators 

Here are the most important digital (and general) nonprofit fundraising metrics that your team should consider tracking:

  • Social media engagementThis measures how many times your posts have been liked, commented on, or shared.
  • % of fundraising goal achieved: This is the percent of your fundraising goal that you reached in a certain timeframe.
  • Email open rate: This metric is measured by dividing the number of people who clicked on your fundraising emails by the total number of recipients.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Determined on a campaign-by-campaign basis, ROI is measured by dividing the amount of value your nonprofit received from a campaign by the cost of the campaign.
  • Click-through rate: Similar to the email open rate, this is the percentage of people who clicked on a fundraising appeal to donate.
  • Average donation amount: This is calculated by dividing the total amount of donations by the number of donors.
  • Cost per donor acquisition: This is calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the number of new donors acquired.
  • Time to conversion: This measures how long it takes a site visitor to donate to your nonprofit after they click on your homepage.

How to leverage your donor database to analyze KPIs

Once you know which metrics you want to monitor, it’s important to be organized during the collection process so that you can quickly recall data. The best way to do this is by using a donor database software solution, or CRM. Your CRM can help you:

  • Store data in customized donor profiles
  • Segment data by KPIs
  • Report data so you can visualize your process
  • Notify you when you hit your fundraising goal 

The beauty of CRMs is that they can be integrated with your other digital fundraising tools for seamless data synchronization. For example, if you have a separate email management system that tracks email open rates, your CRM should be able to automatically import and organize the data from the external system. 

While most of your data will be collected from your online donation form and other digital sources, you can also store non-digital data in your CRM. For instance, you can track insights that you’ve picked up in donor communications such as their wants, values, habits, and preferences in the donor’s profile. So, your CRM can accommodate nonprofit professionals who like to store as much data as possible.

How to analyze digital fundraising key performance indicators

Collecting key performance data is just the beginning of the process. The real value comes from analyzing them and using them to guide future campaigns. 

Begin by analyzing your digital fundraising metrics on their own. Then, compare them with your metrics from past years. For example, if you’d like to see how your Giving Tuesday campaign grew from last year, compare data from both events. 

Once you’ve contextualized your data with your existing metrics, point out any trends you see emerging. Has your fundraising revenue been increasing over the past five years? How have your social media impressions changed since you made accounts on new platforms? Ask and answer these questions with your team so you can determine your next priorities. 

Leveraging digital fundraising metrics

By focusing on these essential digital fundraising metrics, you can hone your strategy and harness your CRM’s capabilities to the fullest extent. As long as you keep your donor and purpose at the center of your campaign and use a data-driven approach, you’ll connect with the right audience online. 

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