Closing Your Fiscal Year With Donor Data

It’s fiscal year-end for those with June 30/July 1 fiscal years. Congratulations on another year of impact!

Over the next month, you’ll be diving into all sorts of data as your finance team closes the books to prepare for your audit and your program team finalizes outcomes data to prepare your impact report. How you balanced your budget and how you fulfilled your mission will become key messages for your annual report.

In addition to these activities, there is another key step – your development team needs to assess relationships tended, donors renewed, and stakeholders engaged.

Your development plan for FY23 needs to begin with an analysis of FY22.

Taking the time to understand FY22 donor data is critical. Key data points to track include:

  • How many donors gave in FY21 and gave again in FY22? (Year-over-year retention rate)
  • How many donors gave at least once in the three years from FY18 through FY20 and gave again in FY22? (Lapsed donor rate)
  • What is the year-over-year retention rate broken down by categories, such as board members, corporations, sponsors, foundations, individuals, major gift donors, members, etc.? (Segmented retention rates)
  • What is the average gift when dividing the total number of donors who gave in FY22 by the total amount raised? (Average gift size)
  • What is the average gift broken down by categories? (Segmented average gift)
  • What percentage of your revenue is earned vs. contributed income; has that changed in FY22 over prior years? (Income ratio)
  • What is your risk assessment in terms of reliance on the top five funding sources? (Dependency quotient)
  • How many activities occurred for cultivation or stewardship purposes that were not solicitations? (Engagement measures)

All of these questions have calculable answers, but they are much more than an equation — they are an indication of organizational health.

BoardSource writes about Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness, AFP publishes data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, and our team often talks about the importance of data-driven strategy. Additionally, Lisa Courtice wrote about the importance of thanking and stewarding donors in a guest column last week.

However, these resources cannot be helpful if your organization does not understand how your donors perceive their relationship with you and the impact of your mission.

We encourage you to not only use the answers to the questions above to craft your development plan for next year, but also to make changes in how you work. If your organization does not dedicate enough time to engagement activities, you will be spinning your wheels chasing dollars, which is not sustainable and leads to burnout.  And, that churn is not just with donors but also with development professionals.

We encourage you to take the time to celebrate the successes of FY22, and then join with all your team members who are crunching numbers to measure the health of your relationships with donors and stakeholders.

Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO

2022-11-17T19:39:26+00:00June 2nd, 2022|