Does your nonprofit have a process for impact measurement? Are you a part of the 75%? If not, here are a few metrics to measure.

All nonprofits want to make an impact and provide good to the community that they serve. Nonprofit impact measurement is crucial to success. Is your organization making an impact? Remember, an impact is the result of your nonprofits work and service to the community and not the process by which you reach results. That being said, an organization needs to fully understand the program components that led them there.

A study by the Stanford Social Innovation Review found that 25% of nonprofits do not have a system in place for measuring program impact. Is your organization part of the 75% that does? If not, it is never to late to develop a plan for measuring outcomes and using data to make sure your nonprofit is on track. Even if your organization is tight on budget and does not have access to resources there are still metrics that can signify success and program opportunity.

Nonprofit Impact Measurement - Lack of Resources

Volunteer Program Metrics to Measure

Regardless of how much money your nonprofit is investing in its volunteer program, measuring results is critical. According to a recent study, 33% of nonprofits have annual budgets of up to $5000 set aside for their volunteer program. Volunteers play such an important role in helping your organization make an impact. Because of this optimization and measurement is key.

Here are a few metrics to measure the success of your volunteer program and its impact:

New (Reach) vs Returning (Retention) Volunteers

Volunteer reach and retention should be consistently measured. Organizations can measure reach by tracking how many new volunteers were influenced by recruitment efforts and they can measure retention based upon repeat fulfillment by an individual volunteer. Tracking this information manually is challenging. Best practice is to implement a volunteer management tool to streamline this capability.

Volunteer to Financial Donor Conversion Rates 

There is a strong data-backed relationship between financial donors and volunteers. Volunteers have been proven more likely to donate financially than individuals who do not volunteer. In fact, The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) found that people who volunteer are twice as likely to donate financially to charity.

The same study concluded that 80% of the 62 million Americans, who volunteered last year, made a financial donation. Based on the data it is easy to conclude that leveraging this relationship can provide your organization with tremendous value.

Nonprofits can measure volunteer to donor conversion rates by integrating their volunteer database and donor database.

Volunteer Attendance 

Are your communications enticing and reminding volunteers to show up on event day? Why arent volunteers showing up? Measuring volunteer attendance can tell an organization a lot about the success of their volunteer program. Measuring attendance can be difficult without a streamlined volunteer management process in place. This is yet again, another opportunity to consider investing in a volunteer management solution.

Opportunity Costs 

If your organization is investing money in volunteer recruitment and retention it is important to measure the cost. How much on average does it cost to staff an opportunity and event? The best way to measure these costs is by keeping track of your allotted budget and spend.

Measuring Volunteer Impact - Learn More


Fundraising Metrics to Measure

Fundraising is one of the top challenges for nonprofits today. According to a study, performed by Nonprofit Tech for Good, for every 1000 fundraising messages nonprofits raised $17.00. Talk about a lot of work! Measuring the impact of your fundraising efforts can help your organization optimize efforts and strengthen results.

Here are a few metrics to measure:

Donor Retention Rates 

According to Bloomerang, the average donor retention rate in the United States is 45%. Are your fundraising campaigns, communications, and engagement strategies keeping donors giving? Organizations can use their donor database to measure this metric. If your nonprofit does not have a donor database consider investing in one.

Donor Growth

Donor growth is the increase in donors over a defined period of time. One of the key success metrics of fundraising is finding and enticing more people to give. One of the best ways to measure donor growth is by reviewing the size of donation revenue year-over-year. Nonprofits that can estimate their average donation size can predict donor growth.

Here are additional donor metrics to measure:

  • Donor count
  • Donation count
  • Donation growth rate
  • Donor growth rate

Fundraising ROI

How much money is your organization putting into fundraising campaigns vs getting out? ROI is the most important metric your organization can measure. Determining fundraising ROI is fairly straightforward. In order to measure subtract your campaign costs from funds raised.


Average Gift Size

According to Blackbaud, the average online gift size in 2016 was $178.00 (average across sectors). Keeping track of your organization’s average gift size is important because it can help you estimate how many donors your campaigns will need to generate to reach fundraising goals. Analyzing your nonprofits average gift size will also allow you to compare your data to national averages and potentially identify gaps.

Nonprofit Impact Measurement - Fundraising


Mission Attainment Metrics to Measure

Clients Served 

Measuring how many in the community your organization has assisted is one of the most impactful metrics to measure. Recording this data demonstrates the difference your organization is making to others. The goal should be to grow the number impacted by your nonprofit’s mission.

Example: meals served, families fed, animals saved, beds taken)

Community Support/Awareness

One metric that is not often tracked is the amount of community support/awareness growth. Is your organization becoming more recognized as a leader in the community? How has this recognition/lack of recognition impacted your nonprofits ability to serve? Your organization should review social growth, partnership, and recruitment data in order to calculate.

Future Goals

It is always important to make sure that your organization is setting itself up to reach and exceed future goals. Do you know what your overall program goals are? Track what is working now, what isn’t working, and how you plan on reaching your end goal.

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