It’s spring, so it’s the season—the season for spring annual appeals, galas, auctions and—for many—the fiscal year-end cash crunch. Measuring fundraising performance for many—if not most—organizations is about counting the cash. And yet, cash should be seen as a byproduct of fundraising efforts, not the goal.
Don’t’ get me wrong, I like cash. Without it an organization would cease to exist. It arrives at the door, however, as a result of strong investor relationships which are built upon shared values and the desire to see real impact in the community.
If you’re looking to evaluate the health of your fundraising program, don’t focus on measuring the cash. Know how many active donors you have; how many gave to you this year as opposed to last; how many new donors you have from last year; what the mean gift size is, and how that has been trending.
By concentrating our attention only on the “finish line” we’re not watching the horses as they go around the back turn.
Larry C. Johnson
M. E. Grace & Associates