The Fundraising Effectiveness Project

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The most recent FEP fourth-quarter report highlighted some of the issues that many organizations have been facing.

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) conducts research on fundraising effectiveness and helps nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results at a faster pace. The most recent FEP fourth-quarter report highlighted some of the issues that many organizations have been facing -- total giving increased, but there were fewer donors. Support of the nonprofit sector increased by 1.6 percent over the $410 billion given in 2017, yet the total number of donors fell by more than 4%, and the donor retention rate fell by more than 6%, increasing the urgency to solicit larger gifts and find new donors.

So, what does that mean for your organization and how do you create a fundraising strategy to make sure your organization can avoid the trends and meet your goals?

The first step is to evaluate your organization’s fundraising program. One tool for evaluating your program is the Fundraising Fitness Test, created by the FEP. This tool allows nonprofits to measure and evaluate their fundraising programs against a set of over 100 performance indicators and measure your fundraising effectiveness.

If you lack the time or resources to evaluate your program, contact our team at Meyer Partners to learn how your organization can receive a free, no obligation, donor file performance audit.  Our customized audit will evaluate the effectiveness of your fundraising efforts, benchmark fundraising performance to other similar focused organizations and identify the best areas to focus attention moving forward.  

Once you’ve identified the areas in need of improvement it is time to create a plan to tackle these issues. The decrease in donor retention reported by the FEP is concerning for the long-term growth of many organizations. If your organization is also seeing a decreased retention rate, either with new or repeat donors, it is likely time to take a broad look at your communication plan for mail appeals, email communications and stewardship pieces.

Many of our clients have been able to maintain or increase donor retention with consistent communications – including regular, donor-centric appeals, a detailed thank you plan (letters, calls and cards), and stewardship touchpoints throughout the year.

Understanding your fundraising performance is the key to making any strategic improvements in your development program. And we’re here to help you! Please contact us today to run your free donor file performance audit and create your fundraising communication plan today.




John Payne