Why You Should Pay Attention to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Dec 16, 2015

As a fundraiser, I am always looking for ways to understand the effectiveness of various fundraising strategies and donor groups. Today, I came across a post about the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, and it reminded me of the useful analysis and resources it has made available. So, I thought I would share it with you!

In 2006, The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Urban Institute started the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (commonly called FEP) to gather data on nonprofit fundraising and to help nonprofits increase their fundraising results. Over the years, the data they have collected has helped thousands of nonprofits compare their fundraising gains and losses with other similar organizations.

One of the most useful resources from the FEP is the annual report called the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey. The first report came out in 2006 and each year the report looks at giving for the prior year. The thing I love about this report is the giving gains and losses breakdown by donor category – new, recaptured, upgrades, downgrades, lapsed new, and lapsed repeat. And, now that there is over a decade of giving history to report on, the trend reporting is super helpful.

Did you know you can participate in the report? In Raiser’s Edge™, it literally requires just a few clicks to submit your aggregate giving data and see your results. By participating you also gain the right to see how your organization compares to other similar organizations. Organizations I have talked with really like this easy way to participate while at the same time gaining the value and insight of benchmarking.

The FEP also provides some helpful tools, like the Growth in Giving (GiG) Fundraising Fitness Test. This enables nonprofits to look at your fundraising program against a set of over 100 performance indicators. More information can be found at http://afpfep.org/tools/.

Finally, the FEP website http://afpfep.org provides resources from a variety of sources. Want to know more about donor lifetime value or learn more about why donor retention matters? Both of these—and much more—can be found here.

While the Year of Donor Retention is officially coming to an end, it’s critical for every nonprofit to continue focusing on showing genuine appreciate to donors each and every day. As you begin to think about next year, it’s a great time to do some analysis on your own fundraising program, starting with participating in the FEP survey. You will be enlightened through the results you get! Happy Fundraising!

Stu Manewith, CFRE
Stu Manewith, CFRE joined Omatic Software six years ago and serves as the company’s Director of Thought Leadership and Advocacy. In that role, he is Omatic’s nonprofit sector domain specialist and subject-matter expert and is responsible for actively promoting and demonstrating Omatic’s position as the nonprofit industry’s leading partner in the areas of data health and integration. Prior to Omatic, Stu spent 13 years at Blackbaud, working with Raiser’s Edge, Financial Edge, and Blackbaud CRM client organizations as a consultant, solution architect, and practice manager. Previously, Stu spent the first half of his career as a nonprofit executive, fundraiser, and finance director, working in both the healthcare and arts/cultural arenas of the nonprofit sector. He holds business degrees from Washington University and the University of Wisconsin, and he earned his CFRE credential in 1999.