We have had some interesting reactions from Board Member of nonprofit organizations about statistics we have recently published. Our recent blog about donor data, seems to be a conversation starter.
Improve Key Performance Indicators by using TPI’s
Internal discussions found us using the term TPI for Technology Performance Indicators. We think that reviewing some TPI’s can result in a focus on KPIs that can dramatically increase the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.
The use of donor data can help move the nonprofit organization toward its goals. In other words, increased donations can help increase the number and manner in which clients can be served. Let’s analyze what happens when only 30% of the prior year donors donate again. Yes, that is the average. This means that the average nonprofit is investing effort and money toward an audience that could be very unknown. How does the use of technology help?
Identifying repeat donors
- What percentage of last year’s donors donated this year?
- Create List of consecutive year donors
- Remove and List Consecutive Year Major Donors
Market research is pretty clear that communicating with repeat donors separately from the general public has great results. One of my favorite leaders in the field, John Haydon, recommends that the nonprofits make their repeat donors into heroes, not just by thanking them but by publicising what organizational results can be generated through their generosity, and yes thanking them in as personal a way as possible.
How does the use of technology help?
Your data should identify the individuals, families and organizations who donated the prior year. Your system had this info, if for no other reason than you generated letters, hopefully emails, that are needed for tax deductions. Please, PLEASE ensure that your data is clean enough that when ‘John Smith’ donates in April, July, and again in December that you know it is the same person, and gets your special thank you once.
Identifying donors from prior years who did not donate this past year.
Your same data can tell you who did not return. I think that this is a sensitive area deserving of extra effort.
Major donors who did not repeat should receive some extra attention. Once you know who they are, you should be dying to know why. So figure out how to ask, and that ask needs to originate with a senior person in the organization, a board member, or the executive director.
Other non-repeat donors
This list also deserves special attention. A letter saying “We Miss You”, tells them that you recognize their contribution to prior year results, and gives you the opportunity to tell them what you are going to do this year.
TPI’s About the Rest of the Planet
Yes, you can do more than put up posters or send direct mail or hand out flyers at events. You do have the ability to focus on those who have shown interest in you.
Your website analytics won’t provide you with names and addresses of those who have visited, but the analytics can tell you what someone was searching for when they found you, which pages on your site were visited, how long they stayed, and sometimes even where they went when they left your site.
This information will tell you one of two things. Either your site is attracting readers for the wrong reasons, or by putting up more information of the kind you want people to be looking for, you can attract more viewers.
For some information about how you can attract more viewers, you should listen to our podcast about optimizing your site: Episode #4 Nonprofit SEO – Technology in the 21st Century
Here is some research on the subject which we refer to in the podcast about answering customers questions
Facebook can provide you with information on the results of you published articles. To get to them you must first go to your organization’s Facebook page. Across the top of the page you will see several tabs. If you click on Insights you will go to a page that shows high level data on your site and most recent articles. After reviewing that data you should click on the tab labeled Publishing Tools. On that page you will see the number of viewers you have had on each article as well as the number of viewers who have actually clicked onto the article.
If you have populated your Facebook page from your website you can compare data.
As always, board members should be reminded that you are not the techie, instead by knowing a little, you become able to ask better questions of your organization managers.
Please let us know of any questions or comments you may have…….
This post is part of a series. Here is a list of the other posts:
- Part 1: Nonprofit Board Members and Technology
- Part 2: Donor Data for Board Members
- Part 3: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Board Members