Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Jun 15, 2015

The first half of 2015 is already coming to a close


The first half of 2015 is already coming to a close. And for many of our clients, so is their fiscal year. Here is my review of the state of fundraising so far.

  • Most clients are still living this narrative: their active donor counts continue to slip; however the donors staying active are giving more generously. So from a revenue perspective, most organizations are experiencing growing revenue. But this is the first year I have seen a few clients where the increased giving of their donors is not mitigating the file decline. We may be at a tipping point.
  • Encouragingly, last fall’s acquisition was the strongest it’s been for a number of years. Those organizations that are employing multi-channel efforts to support their direct mail acquisition showed the best performance.
  • Despite improved acquisition performance, the time it takes for a donor to break even continues to be a concern. This is primarily because fewer new donors hang around to make a second gift. In the good old days of direct response fundraising, about 40% of new donors gave a second gift. That percentage is now under 30%. It’s hard to grow donor files with such a metric.
  • Digital continues to be a growing source of revenue for nonprofits, but its growth rate is slowing. This makes sense, as it’s hard to keep up double-digit growth rates indefinitely. However, original forecasts that digital revenue would surpass traditional revenue in 2018 don’t seem likely. Direct mail is still the king of channels.
  • The trend of nonprofit organizations taking their fundraising in-house and not using agencies continues to pick up momentum. Though this trend seems to be growing, the jury is out on whether this trend is a good one.

That’s what I have been seeing. Sound familiar?

Right Tools for the Right Job

Goodness gracious. Are you serious? Apparently in UK, COVID19 cases were under reported due to an Excel limitation on the number of cases in a database. Lives are at stake people! Use the right tools of the trade. And even when lives are not at stake, use the right...

read more

Fall Forecast 2020

I’ll start with the obvious: No one knows how this fall’s fundraising campaigns will do. We are at in a turbulent time. Global pandemic. Rising unemployment. Stimulus checks. Divisive election. World powers butting heads. Us analyst rely heavily on past data to give...

read more

The People Behind Nonprofits: Part Three

Interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit operations management? Here’s what experts in the field think you should know: It’s not enough to just be passionate about the cause. The nonprofit sector also needs business-minded people who excel at their jobs and are...

read more


© 2020 Analytical Ones