AHP Connect Articles

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Improve your institution’s fundraising through metrics

Published:  12/11/2014

Originally published in the December 11, 2014 AHP Connect

The following is an excerpt from AHP’s free new guide, Improve your institution’s fundraising

We are often asked about the differences between the three AHP benchmarking tools—AHP Report on Giving, AHP Report on Giving Online Database and the AHP Performance Benchmarking Service—and how to use them to help improve fundraising performance. This document uses a sample scenario to walk you through the three tools and to demonstrate how each might help you evaluate your organization’s fundraising efforts. To learn more about the three tools, visit www.ahp.org/reportongiving.

Why metrics?

To get to where you want to be, you need to know your starting point. AHP has collected benchmarking data since 2003, using consistent standards for measurement as published in the AHP Standards Manual. These data can help you assess where you are and provide starting points for discussion to identify goals for future growth.

If your institution is new to the AHP Report on Giving or AHP Performance Benchmarking Service, be sure to explore the definitions for different types of fundraising activity and fundraising costs presented in the AHP Standards Manual so that your comparison figures are as close as possible to the benchmark figures used in this paper, which are based on AHP survey responses that do use the standards.

What metrics?

Many institutions look at return on investment (ROI) or cost to raise a dollar (CTRD). These are helpful, but a recent study of AHP data identified several measures that characterize top performers. These are:

  • Net Fundraising Revenue.
  • Total Fundraising Expense, especially staffing levels and staff costs.
  • Extent to which program emphasizes major gifts.

These success factors are discussed further in the spring 2014 issue of Healthcare Philanthropy, in an article by Kathy Renzetti, CAE, and William McGinly, Ph.D., both of AHP; they are key metrics in AHP’s Performance Scorecard, which is provided in all three benchmarking tools.

How will this work?

This guide presents a hypothetical scenario and illustrates which data resources at AHP can provide useful benchmarks or metrics data.

The scenario

The CEO of City Hospital, Terry Asher, has asked the chief development officer, Chris Washington, to compare City Hospital Foundation’s fundraising performance with peer organizations and to propose approaches to improve the total amount raised.

This guide views the process from the CDO’s starting point and goes step-by-step through various questions and the available AHP resources for getting information.

To read more, download your free copy of Improve your institution’s fundraising through metrics: A sample scenario.

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