While you've heard of “data-driven fundraising,” you’re no data scientist. But there’s a lot of power in the data you’ve got... Power that'll point you in the direction of awesome insights about your fundraising program. ...How do you get these awesome insights? Fundraising reports! (And here are the examples you need!)
Every fundraiser needs reporting to leverage their data; it's your ticket to data-driven fundraising. But listen, it can get rabbit-hole-y, so don't let reporting become your full-time job. By regularly using a couple of essential fundraising reports, shown here in handy-dandy list format, you'll be on your way to being BFFs with your data.
8 Essential Fundraising Reports
Let’s start off with some of the essential fundraising reports and types of donor reports you should be running inside your donor CRM:
- Donor retention
- New donors
- Recurring donors
- Revenue by Channel and/or Appeal
- Major gifts
- Donation page conversion
- Amount raised per email sent
- List growth and churn
1. Donor Retention
By now, you probably know that keeping your donors is more economical than acquiring new donors. Which means... your nonprofit needs to prioritize donor retention. While you know you're gonna run a report on donor retention at the end of your fiscal or calendar year, it's time you started keeping a finger on the pulse of your retention numbers year 'round.
By regularly looking at which donors have not yet renewed their giving, you’ll be able to test out fundraising strategies and asks to try to win back more of those donors. This proactive and targeted approach is your best bet to fixing the perpetual leak in your fundraising bucket.
2. New Donors
Okay, yes, donor retention is your priority. But that doesn't mean you can slack on bringing new donors into your donor community. More importantly, you need keep up with who’s become a new donor so that you can make sure to retain them.
Adding a regular report on new donors will help you stay on top of new donor stewardship and set benchmarks for what you can expect in terms of new donor acquisition. And that'll help you improve your annual fundraising projections.
3. Recurring Donors
Another report to add to your repertoire is one highlighting your recurring donors. We majorly heart recurring donors for the sustainable revenue they bring to your organization. If your nonprofit is prioritizing your recurring donor program, having the right report set up to track program growth is essential.
Every month, check how much money is coming in from recurring donors, how many new recurring donors you’ve acquired, how you’ve acquired new recurring donors, and how many recurring donors have lapsed. All this information will inform your recurring donor strategy and help you make smart decisions.
4. Revenue by Channel and/or Appeal
Smart fundraisers know that the majority of their revenue comes from one or two best-performing tactics. Knowing your top performers helps you hone your strategy for those superstar tactics, maximizing your fundraising opportunities. But in order to do that, you need a regular report that breaks down your revenue by channel and/or appeal. Ideally, gifts will be coded by channel or appeal inside your CRM to easily allow you to see the breakdown.
Once you've pulled this report for a few months or quarters, you’ll be able to see broader trends in your fundraising tactics. For instance, this report might help you identify key giving times that your nonprofit can double down on with extra fundraising resources.
4. Major Gifts
The last thing your nonprofit needs is to have a major gift go unacknowledged. Talk about a fundraising fail! And yet it happens—especially when the gift is from a first time major donor—because there isn’t a report to cue us to do follow up. To make sure you’re giving all major donors top notch treatment, set up a major gifts report.
The major gifts report should be run frequently, at least once per week if not multiple times per week. Set the report to show you new gifts at or above your major gifts threshold. Regularly looking at this report will ensure no major gift goes unthanked.
6. Donation Page Conversion
This isn’t a report that you’ll find inside most donor CRMs, but it’s one we think you need to look at monthly. Your online donation pages are the hub of online giving activity. For that reason, you need to make sure they're performing at their best by tracking conversion rate. The donation page conversion rate tells you how many of the page's visitors actually made a donation. It can be a good indication of the effectiveness of your donation page and may give you ideas to improve the conversion rate over time.
7. Amount Raised Per Email Sent
This is a useful metric to track as it sheds light on giving trends on your email list and helps you forecast how much money you can reasonably expect to raise through email appeals. Let’s say you raised $2,500 from one email appeal that was sent to 3,500 email list subscribers. By dividing 2,500 by 3,500, we learn that we raised $0.83 per email sent.
In case you’re wondering what industry benchmarks are for these metrics, according to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks Study, nonprofits raise an average of $45 per 1,000 emails sent. That makes it about $0.04 per email sent.
8. List Growth and Churn
Email can be an important driver of online donations. Two reports you’ll want to monitor through your ESP (email service provider) is your list growth (AKA the number of people who are new to list) and list churn (AKA the number of people who are inactive). For list churn, most email marketing programs have a way of defining inactive subscribers. This is natural for every email list and not something your nonprofit can avoid. But by being aware of list churn, you’ll be more prepared to adjust your strategy and your benchmarks accordingly.
8 fundraising reports samples
Now, you’re well versed in all the must-have, must-run fundraising reports. But what do those reports actually look like in action? Personally, we learn best with a little firsthand inspiration, so let’s break out a fundraising report example or eight! Below, we’re showcasing the latest collection of fundraising reports samples, straight from the runway …er, database … to your screen.
1. Donor retention fundraising report sample
If you want to retain donors, this is the fundraising report sample for you. Donor retention boils down to accurate data and consistent communication, and with a few critical elements in your report, you can stay on top of each gift and every donor. The key here is having a platform that makes building and saving reports a (very leisurely and productive) walk in the park. Don’t overthink things here; instead, focus on knowing each donor’s name, the amount they gave, and the type of gift. With this information, you can thank them quickly, personalize your outreach, and plan for future asks.
2. Fundraising report for new donors
A fundraising report for new donors should clearly and concisely lay out exactly what you need to know. When someone new enters the scene, you want to connect with them ASAP to solidify that relationship and show them that you mean (nonprofit) business. Name, amount, type, and channel/appeal are all you need to ensure speedy follow-up and gauge where their interests lie.
3. Recurring donors fundraiser report
When it comes to recurring donations, your fundraiser report needs to include donor name, one-time amount, and recurring amount. That’s it! Then, your platform of choice* can format it exquisitely, so that you can export it, share it, and keep those monthly gifts coming.
*Funraise turns every fundraising dashboard into a gorgeous report PDF with a few clicks.
4. Revenue by Channel and/or Appeal donor reports
Want to know which of your channels and/or campaigns are bringing in the big bucks? That’s where donor reports focused on channel and/or appeal come in. Here, it’s all about tracking specific channels or appeals with clear visuals to show what’s working and what’s not.
5. Major gifts donor report
Your most generous donors deserve a little extra loving, so it makes sense to give them their own donor report. The important addition in this report is keeping track of who each donor is assigned to; that ensures a carefully cultivated relationship with personalized communications and a regular outreach cadence. What’s more, as a nonprofit focused on supporting staff and donors alike, you can make sure no one person is stretched too thin.
6. Donation page conversion report
As a tech-savvy nonprofit, you’ve experimented with all sorts of donation pages, and now, you want to know what’s working. All the answers lie in a simple donation page conversion report, which clearly shows the amounts you’re receiving and where they’re coming from. With this vital information in hand, you can optimize your content to ensure consistent—and consistently high—donations.
7. Amount raised per email sent report
Email outreach is an art, and once you’ve unlocked the magic formula to success, it can bring in new donors and more gifts. To determine which of your emails flipped and which ones flopped, run a report that details the amount raised from your various emails. You need the email name, email type, and amount raised. Then, you can focus your efforts so that every email is effortlessly effective.
8. List Growth and Churn report
Donors come and go, but we long for all of them to commit and become life-long partners. A list growth and churn report is an easy way to help you see who’s sticking around and who’s heading for the hills by revealing patterns in donor segment growth and shrinking. With this report in hand, you can adjust your retention strategy accordingly to make everyone a lifelong fan.
3 fundraising report templates
Have you donned your most high-end lab coat yet as you prepare for a data science deep dive? (We know data scientists don’t wear lab coats. But … any excuse to play scientist!) Before you venture forth, check out these fundraising report templates that will make #ReportingLife even easier. These three templates are real-life screenshots so you can see exactly what a great report looks like in the wild.
1. Sample fundraising report to the board
Keeping your board apprised of all the latest without getting too down in the weeds is a delicate dance. We hope this sample fundraising report to the board helps you achieve that perfect balance, but keep in mind that you won’t even need this template if you use Funraise! We provide ready-made, perfectly balanced dashboards and templates that provide just the right level of detail. Furthermore, you can save your favorite reports and automatically schedule them to go out to board members so you never miss an update.
Essential fundraising report elements
- High-level overview
- Visually engaging
- Key fundraising metrics
- Broken out by total and month
2. Nonprofit quarterly report template
Nonprofits are beholden to the fundraising goals gods, and that means constantly wondering whether you’re on track or falling behind. The nonprofit quarterly report template below shows you just what you need to know to stay on top of your goals.
Essential fundraising report elements
- Progress meter
- Different ways of examining progress to goal
- Key donor names
- Visual display that highlights anything unusual
3. Fundraising summary report template
Ultimately, everyone wants to know what’s going on when it comes to your fundraising so you can have a healthy organization. And with a fundraising summary report template, you can share that information in the blink of an eye (or the click of a button).
Essential fundraising report elements
- Clear visualizations
- Revenue ratios
- Comparative data versus previous year
- Breakdown of expenses
How AI can help with your fundraising reports
While we’re about to wrap this party up, we wanted to briefly speak to AI’s role in your nonprofit’s reports. Actually, we’ve already written a whole article about the matter, so feel free to jump on over there for answers to all your deepest, darkest questions about AI and data. If you’re not in a link-clicking mood, we get it. The short version is that AI can help analyze your data, but it comes with some significant limitations. Feel free to pop in your 100% accurate reports for donor analytics, clean-up, pattern identification, and other recommendations, keeping in mind that ChatGPT only accepts text, and it needs you to provide a fair amount of context to share useful insights.
Once you have all this data, what do you with it? One thing to do is create a fancy (or simple) annual report. We've got a basketful of advice on our blog to give you all the direction you need to make the report your nonprofit deserves.
- Nonprofit digital annual report software: make an impressive report with ease
- Awesome nonprofit annual report examples and what you can learn from them
- The Best Way for Your Nonprofit to Do an Annual Review of Your Fundraising Program
Fundraising report: Final points
- Fundraising reporting is easier than you think!
- Fundraising reporting is more powerful than you think!
- You have important data on your donors' activities, personal attributes, and tendencies. Using it to personalize their giving experience builds a relationship of trust and increases conversions on your donation form.
- Maintaining data over time provides long-game strategy for your nonprofit's fundraising and programming.
Data is here to stay, fundraiser, and the sooner you find ways to make it your friend, the better! By setting up the reports suggested in this article, you’ll be on your way to better fundraising in no time.