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Apples To Apples: Compare Your Fundraising Performance With Benchmarks

With the recent release of Benchmarking to Canada and the UK in addition to the United States (Australia and New Zealand to come soon), let's take a look at the fundraising analysis available on this dashboard. As mentioned before, understanding how other organizations perform can provide insight and help identify gaps in your own fundraising effectiveness. In Fundraising, Analyze or Reporting, you can use the Benchmarking dashboard to compare your donor pool and their giving to other organizations in your country that use Raiser's Edge NXT.
97745c4a7f00a8c7af480ea24ff9aa82-huge-apTo enable consistent, apples-to-apples comparison, the benchmarks consider the same types of records across all organizations:
  • All donors, including those now marked as inactive or deceased
  • Calendar years — not fiscal or financial years
  • Cash-in-hand gifts — not soft credits — through one-time gifts; payments toward matching gifts, pledges, and recurring gifts; and gifts of stock and sold stock
That said, you to use filters to help narrow the focus, such as to include only organizations similar to yours.
  • Industry — In the United States, you can choose the mission or focus of the organizations to include, based on their National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities Core Code (NTEE-CC) classification reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax(To help ease comparison of education institutions, you can choose between K-12 or Higher education.)
  • Fundraising revenue — You can choose the total cash-in-hand revenue — based on the last full calendar year — for the organizations to include. If you aren't sure of your own annual revenue, you can choose multiple ranges to include where your organization might be.
  • Calendar year — You can choose whether to compare your performance for the current year or one of the past five years. For example, you can compare your current performance to identify areas to improve and adjust in real-time, or compare previous years to identify trends and consistent areas to improve going forward.
6cd48a5e538fed06cfe4e87ce3daef47-huge-beOnce you set your filters, you can use the benchmarks to determine which areas and donors to focus on to improve performance, compared to the applicable organizations.
  • Average — Your score is higher than that of 50% of organizations.
  • Good — Your score is higher than that of 70% of organizations.
  • Great — Your score is higher than that of 90% of organizations.
Donor acquisition & retention. To compare how well your organization acquires and retains donors over the course of a calendar year, use these benchmarks:
  • Retention rate, which compare how many donors — as a percentage — gave during both the selected calendar year and its preceding year. For example, say you select the current year in the Calendar year filter, and 1,000 donors in total gave cash-in-hand giving the previous year; if 200 of them gave a similar gift during the current year, your retention rate is 200/1000, or 20%. (If you're a brand-new organization, a low retention rate is expected).
  • Recapture rate, which compares how many donors — as a percentage — gave during the selected calendar year and two-to-five years prior. For example, say you select the current year in the Calendar year filter, and 800 donors in total gave cash-in-hand giving two-to-five years ago but not last year; if 100 of them returned with a similar gift during the current year, your recapture rate is 100/800, or 12.5%. (If you're a relatively new organization, a low recapture rate is expected.)
  • Acquisition rate, which compares how many donors — as a percentage — gave for the first time during the selected calendar year. For example, say you select the current year in the Calendar year filter, and 1,000 donors in total gave cash-in-hand giving over the past five years; if 200 of them are new donors (or returning donors, after a gap in giving of over five years) who gave during the current year, your acquisition rate is 200/(200 1000), or 16.6%. (Note that if your donor retention and total revenue are both strong, a low acquisition rate may be okay.)
If your Retention rate or Recapture rate is less than Great, the Potential revenue total displays how much more you could raise if you increase to the next level. With this total, you can identify money you may be leaving on the table and where to focus your efforts. For details around the calculation behind potential revenue, select its total. 

Giving. To compare your donor pool and their annual giving, use these benchmarks:
  • Total revenue, which compares how much your organization raised through cash-in-hand giving during the selected calendar year.
  • Revenue per donor, which compares how much a donor gives in total — on average — during the selected calendar year.
  • Recent donors, which compares how many constituents gave during the past five calendar years, including the selected calendar year.
  • Current donors, which compares how many constituents gave during the selected calendar year.
If a benchmark is less than Great, the Potential revenue total displays how much more you could raise if you increase to the next level. With this total, you can identify money you may be leaving on the table and where to focus your efforts. For details around the calculation behind potential revenue, select its total. 

For more information, check out the Fundraising Benchmarks Help.
Posted by Steve Stegelin on Nov 19, 2018 9:00 AM America/New_York

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Hi Steve, Is the benchmark available on all NXT versions. I don't seem to have it available with mine at the moment??.....
  • Posted Tue 20 Nov 2018 02:16 PM EST
Hey Gemma! For some Canadian organizations (yours included), we have additional configuration on our end to help ensure apples-to-apples comparison with other Canadian Raiser's Edge NXT customers. Expect the Benchmarking dashboard to become available in a future release. Thanks!
  • Posted Tue 20 Nov 2018 02:47 PM EST