A couple of weeks back we explored how to effectively collect data for your prospect management system. But now the question is: once your nonprofit has consistent and relevant prospect data at your disposal, what should you measure?

I have some ideas on metrics that might prove helpful, and for each item below I would measure this for each gift officer and then your nonprofit and/or fundraising department as a whole:

  • How many prospects are in the pipeline?
  • How many of these prospects are active and well known?
  • How many need initial discovery?
  • How many prospects are at various stages?
  • How long have they been at these stages?
  • How many contacts are made at each stage and what is the average for each stage?
  • How long does it take, on average, whether it be in days, weeks, months, or years, from initial discovery of a prospect to realization of a gift?
  • What is your average gift amount?
  • What is the average time it takes to receive certain gift amount thresholds? The amounts will depend upon how your organization defines a major or managed gift prospect (for example, $1K, $5K, $10K, $25K, $50K, $100K, $250K, $500K, $1M+, and so on.)

With these above metrics in place you can also measure the differences between each capital campaign, or you can measure the results between a specific campaign and your on-going major gifts program.

There are a lot of ideas provided here, so pick a few to start with and see what works for your organization.

This guest post was authored by Carol Belair. She is a consultant for Target Analytics at Blackbaud. You may reach her at carol.belair [at] blackbaud [dot] com.