Must-Know Fundraising Metrics

Highlights: Fundraising Metrics

  • 1. Total Funds Raised
  • 2. Return on Investment (ROI)
  • 3. Donation Growth Rate
  • 4. Donor Retention Rate
  • 5. Donor Churn
  • 6. Average Gift Size
  • 7. Donation Frequency
  • 8. Donor Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • 9. Donor Acquisition Cost
  • 10. Pledge Fulfillment Rate
  • 11. Online Giving Rate
  • 12. Major Donor Metrics
  • 13. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Metrics
  • 14. Event Fundraising Metrics

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In the world of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, one crucial aspect that often takes center stage is fundraising. After all, the success and operations of these entities largely depend on the financial support received from donors, grants, and other revenue sources. To ensure effectiveness of fundraising efforts, relying on data-driven fundraising metrics becomes paramount. It is through understanding these key performance indicators that organizations can measure the impact, optimize their donor strategies and ultimately, secure a sustainable future.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the world of fundraising metrics, outlining their importance, the most critical indicators to track, and how you can use these insights to refine your fundraising approach and secure your organization’s mission.

Fundraising Metrics You Should Know

1. Total Funds Raised

This metric measures the total amount of money raised during a specific period, usually a fiscal year or quarter. It helps organizations evaluate their overall fundraising performance and success.

2. Return on Investment (ROI)

This shows the efficiency of fundraising activities by dividing the net funds raised (total funds raised minus the fundraising expenditures) by the fundraising expenditures. It demonstrates how effectively the organization is using investment in fundraising activities to generate revenue.

3. Donation Growth Rate

This metric indicates the percentage increase in donations received over a specific period. It helps organizations track their efforts to grow their donor base and raise more funds.

4. Donor Retention Rate

This is the percentage of donors who continue to contribute over a given period, indicating the organization’s success in maintaining the loyalty and support of its donors.

5. Donor Churn

This is the percentage of donors lost over a given period, providing insight into how many donors an organization is losing, and emphasizing the importance of strengthening donor relationships.

6. Average Gift Size

This metric measures the average amount donated by each donor during a specified period. It can indicate the efficacy of the organization’s fundraising efforts to encourage higher contributions.

7. Donation Frequency

This measures the average number of donations made by each donor during a specific period, illustrating if donors are engaged and consistently supporting the organization.

8. Donor Lifetime Value (LTV)

This measures the estimated total donation amount that a donor will contribute to the organization over their lifetime of engagement. It helps organizations assess the long-term value of each donor and enables them to invest appropriately in donor cultivation and stewardship.

9. Donor Acquisition Cost

This indicates the average cost of acquiring a new donor through fundraising efforts, such as events and campaigns. It helps organizations determine the effectiveness and efficiency of their donor acquisition strategies.

10. Pledge Fulfillment Rate

This metric measures the percentage of pledged donations that have been successfully collected. It can help organizations evaluate their pledge management processes and the reliability of anticipated revenue.

11. Online Giving Rate

This shows the proportion of donations made through online platforms compared to other donation methods, highlighting the effectiveness of online fundraising initiatives.

12. Major Donor Metrics

These include the number of major donors, major donor acquisition and retention rates, and average major gift size. These metrics are important for understanding the impact of major contributions on the organization’s revenue and evaluate the success of major donor cultivation strategies.

13. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Metrics

These metrics measure the success and reach of fundraisers organized by supporters, such as the number of fundraisers created, total funds raised, and average fundraiser revenue. These metrics help organizations assess the effectiveness of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and strategies.

14. Event Fundraising Metrics

These metrics analyze the success of fundraising events, such as attendance, net funds raised, and ROI. They help organizations determine the effectiveness of events as fundraising strategies and provide insights for improvement.

Fundraising Metrics Explained

In summary, fundraising metrics are essential for evaluating the performance and effectiveness of an organization’s fundraising efforts. Metrics like Total Funds Raised, Return on Investment, and Donation Growth Rate help assess overall success and efficiency. At the same time, metrics such as Donor Retention Rate and Donor Churn emphasize the importance of maintaining strong donor relationships. Metrics like Average Gift Size, Donation Frequency, and Donor Lifetime Value provide insights into donor engagement and long-term value.

Additionally, measurements such as Donor Acquisition Cost and Pledge Fulfillment Rate help organizations optimize their strategies for acquiring and managing donations. Furthermore, evaluating specific campaign types like online giving, major donor cultivation, peer-to-peer fundraising, and event fundraising allows organizations to fine-tune their tactics and maximize their fundraising potential. These metrics collectively create a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s fundraising performance and provide valuable insights for continuous improvement.


In conclusion, fundraising metrics are an essential tool for any serious nonprofit organization seeking to maximize its impact and maintain long-term financial sustainability. By keeping a close eye on key performance indicators such as donor retention rate, average gift size, and overall return on investment, organizations can make data-driven decisions and strategically allocate resources to optimize their fundraising efforts.

Furthermore, the utilization of donor personas and segmenting supporters based on their unique characteristics essentially paves the way for tailored elicitation strategies that foster both lasting donor relationships and increased revenue streams. In this ever-evolving philanthropic landscape, embracing the power of fundraising metrics could indeed be the vital difference between the success and stagnation of your nonprofit organization’s mission.


What are fundraising metrics and why are they important for nonprofits and charities?

Fundraising metrics are quantitative measurements that nonprofit organizations use to track the success and effectiveness of their fundraising efforts. These metrics are essential for making informed decisions, setting realistic goals, and evaluating the return on investment (ROI) in fundraising campaigns. They help organizations analyze performance, identify areas for improvement, and refine their fundraising strategies to maximize income and donor engagement.

What are some common fundraising metrics that organizations should track?

Some key fundraising metrics include donor retention rate, acquisition cost, cost per dollar raised, fundraising event ROI, average gift size, and donation growth. These metrics help organizations assess the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts, identify successful campaigns, and develop strategies to increase donor engagement and giving.

How can organizations calculate their donor retention rate?

Donor retention rate is calculated by dividing the number of donors who gave in both the current year and the previous year by the total number of donors in the previous year, and then multiplying the result by 100. This metric measures the percentage of donors who continue to support an organization year over year, which is crucial for evaluating the success of donor stewardship efforts and maintaining a stable income base.

What does the cost per dollar raised metric tell organizations about their fundraising strategy?

Cost per dollar raised is a measure of fundraising efficiency and shows how much it costs the organization to raise one dollar. It is calculated by dividing the total fundraising expenses by the total funds raised during a specific period. A lower cost per dollar raised indicates a more efficient and cost-effective fundraising strategy, meaning that more of the funds raised can be directed toward the organization's mission and programs.

How can fundraising event ROI be measured?

Fundraising event ROI (return on investment) can be calculated by subtracting the total event expenses from the total event revenue and then dividing this result by the total event expenses. The ROI indicates the financial return obtained from the event and helps organizations understand if the investment in the event was worthwhile. A positive ROI demonstrates that the event generated more revenue than it cost to organize, while a negative ROI signals that the event was not cost-effective and may require reevaluation or adjustment in future events.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

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