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From: Margie Fleming Glennon
Subject: A Free Analytics Tool That Strengthens Fundraising
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As my colleague Drew Lindsay recently reported, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio uses a free data-analytics program to identify gaps or weaknesses in its fundraising.
As Drew puts it in his article, “Is retention lagging among supporters who make gifts of less than $250? They’ll find out. Is the share of lapsed donors growing? The numbers tell them.”
“It spits out stuff that you wouldn’t even think to ask,” Colby Falconer, annual-giving manager for the zoo as well as the Wilds, a sister venue, told Drew.
The Zoo is highly successful, surpassing annual revenue goals with ease and recently bypassing its capital campaign goal of $44 million by more than $6 million — three years ahead of schedule.
Despite their prowess, the program identifies chinks in the armor so fundraisers can develop solutions and get even better results.
The zoo uses a program called Fundraising Fitness Test. Created in 2006 at the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, the tool has grown over the years. Now groups “can evaluate their fundraising based on more than 100 performance indicators — donor-acquisition rate, net donor gains and losses, share of donors giving less or more than the previous year, etc. — across five donation levels — under $100, $100 to $249, $250 to $999, etc.” And a “what if” tool estimates potential revenue growth for improvements.
To learn more read How the Columbus Zoo Tests the Fitness of Its Fundraising Program.
Have a good week,
Margie Fleming Glennon
Director, Learning & Editorial Products
Join Our Next Webinar — Fundraisers planning events have a lot to juggle: keeping people safe from illness, entertained, and inspired — while staying within budget as expenses rise. How can you plan a successful event this year — and maximize results — amid uncertainty? Join us Thursday, February 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern for actionable advice and real-world examples from two experts. They’ll share proven ways to build community, raise more money, and create a plan that can be adapted if circumstances change. Register today.
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AdviceThe nonprofit revved up small-gift donations with a free data-analytics product offered by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.
VideoSeveral frontline fundraisers joined the Chronicle to discuss how the pandemic has changed their relationships with donors and which donor-cultivation strategies are most effective now.
Keeping FundraisersUnrealistic expectations and feeling undervalued are among the factors that drive turnover.
Diversity, Equity, and InclusionA nonprofit that works to advance equity identified four core commitments that are critical to furthering racial equity. Here’s how one nonprofit adopted them — and how you can, too.
Tip of the Week
Evaluate the success of fundraising events by using a customized event evaluation form and holding a debrief with event staff, committee members, and other volunteers. Hold the meeting one to four weeks after the event and seek input from all attendees. Write a summary of the session and send it, along with a thank-you note, to all participants. Consult the summary as planning begins for your next event. For more advice, including a sample post-event evaluation form and checklist, read After the Ball: How to Evaluate the Success of Your Fundraising Event. For more tips and examples, consider signing up for our next webinar Fundraising Events in 2023: How to Plan and What to Know.
New Grant Opportunities
Nursing health care. The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation is providing grants to support nursing-driven interventions to improve the health and health care of marginalized populations. Letters of intent will be accepted from January 17 to February 28.
Domestic violence. The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program of the U.S. Justice Department supports efforts to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance for 11- to 24-year-old victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault by providing funds for comprehensive direct legal services to victims. Priority areas for funding include advancing racial equity as an essential component of such crimes and improving outreach, services, civil and criminal justice responses, prevention, and support for survivors, particularly LGBTQ people and immigrants. The grants.gov deadline is February 21. Applications are due to JustGrants by February 23.