End of the Year Analysis

man holding sign
December 2, 2022

We are almost at that special end-of-year timeframe. And for many organizations, this means the end-of-year analysis. This is the time of the year that we compare actual money raised to the budgeted (or even forecasted) amounts. Odds are better than not, that you did not land on that predetermined number — you are either higher or lower.

There are, of course, the hard financial numbers. But being the Statistics major I am, I believe you should not only make the comparison using actual versus budget, but you should also compare the last two or three years’ worth of data. A single data point does not portray a trend. (I could argue that two or three data points don’t signal a trend either — you need to look at five or ten years of history to get an accurate picture).

End of the Year Metrics

There are some metrics to look at. These may include:

  • Revenue
    • I would look at NET revenue for each of Major Gifts, Direct Mail, Events, Legacy Giving and General Fundraising streams.
    • You may wish to count the number of unique initiatives as well.
  • Unique Donors
    • You can easily pull this from your database, right?
    • You may find donors that are included in multiple revenue streams. Decide where to count them (and stick with that decision for this report).
  • Grants
    • Look at the number and size of grants requested. Perhaps one year you applied for three grants of $50,000 each, but now you have applied for ten grants of $5,000.
      • Was the effort worth it?
      • Were all the grants approved? How can you change your application in the future to ensure success?
  • Stewardship
    • This might be a challenge to track if you don’t make a habit of recording interactions in your database.
      • How many touchpoints were there? How many touchpoints before another ask was made?
      • If you have this information for many years in history, you may track the retention rate of the stewarded donors vs. non-stewarded donors. You may even be able to track the donation increase of this cohort vs non-stewarded donors.
  • Team Compliment
    • Did the staff grow or shrink?
    • Sometimes the proof will be in the pudding. I would suggest that if you have increased the staff size, you will probably have seen an increase in revenue.

By completing this exercise, you not only get a better feel for how 2022 performed, you will have better insight into how 2023 will perform.

Until next week,