Metrics and Trends Behind Fundraising Campaigns

For successful short term fundraising campaigns, the typical rate of donations chart looks like this.

Donation Rate Curve

There is a higher rate in the beginning and end, with a slight leveling out in the middle. In other words, most short-term campaigns slow down in the middle of the campaign.

This is typical across many of nonprofits. We call the plateau the mid-campaign lull. It is scary because your rate of donations is decreasing. For the first-timers, you might think your campaign is failing.

Many times, the lull is caused by fundraisers and donors saving their efforts for the end of the camapign. There is more urgency during this period. During this lull, you should create new content and stories to energize your base of fundraisers. You should also try to get as many fundraisers to sign up to fundraise as you can.

If you don’t see a high rate of donations in the beginning, then that may be an indication of a mis-launched campaign. You need to do some investigation at this point. Look at your open and click through rates of your email newsletter campaigns. Check the number of visits your site has been getting. Perhaps you need to change your messaging or target your support base in a way that resonates with them better.

For peer to peer based campaigns, the number of registrations for personal fundraising pages is a leading indicator of your donation rate. In other words, if you see a higher rate of fundraising page sign ups, then you will see higher rate of donations come in.

There is also a general rule for fundraiser attrition. 30% to 40% of your advocates will not raise any funds. Sometimes it may be more or less, depending on how vibrant your support base is.

World Help | Crisis in the Horn

80% of your funds raised through personal fundraising pages occur from 20% of your fundraisers. Make sure you thank your high performers and recognize them accordingly. The best way to maintain the new donors that they bring in is to turn your fundraiser into an ambassador for your cause.


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