AHP Reporting Standards

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AHP has tracked health care philanthropy performance since 1984 and working with the AHP Health Care Philanthropy Standards Council published its reporting standards in the AHP Standards Manual for Reporting and Communicating Effectiveness in Health Care Philanthropy in 2012. 

Throughout the years, AHP has discovered that adherence to its standards and consistent reporting help to:

  • Identify the factors that influence fundraising performance
  • Set reasonable long and short-term goals for philanthropic investment and returns
  • Educate organizational top executives to elevate philanthropy as a key strategic asset
  • Promote transparency by meeting the information needs of donor-investors 

Below are key concepts of AHP's reporting standards. Professionals are encouraged to review the AHP Standards Manual (available in the AHP Bookstore) for information on defining and reporting fundraising revenue and expenses; key performance metrics (net fundraising returns, return on investment and cost to raise a dollar); and industry reporting definitions and methodologies. 

Questions or comments on the standards? Email ahp@ahp.org

Learn about the AHP Reporting Standards revision process here

Full procedures for submissions and consideration of proposed changes to the standards can be found here. 

Reporting Fundraising Revenue – Understanding Cash and Production

To provide a thorough accounting of fundraising performance, AHP reports fundraising revenue in two categories — “cash” and “production.” Cash represents the dollars available for immediate use by the organization, while production provides a more accurate measure of total fundraising, including both projected and secured revenues.  Cash and production are then attributed to the appropriate fundraising programs (i.e., annual giving, major giving, planned giving, special events, etc.). 

It is important to understand the definitions of these two terms when reporting fundraising returns. These measures are not mutually exclusive. One cannot simply add them together to create a single calculation of fundraising returns. Instead, cash and production are meant to be examined as two separate metrics. 

Cash includes the current market value of outright gifts (made in any form) plus current-year payments from the previous year’s pledges, planned gift maturities, bequests, and marketable securities. This formula provides a picture of “cash on hand,” including the amount available for immediate use by the organization. 

Production represents all outright gifts of cash (excluding payments on pledges from previous years) and new gift commitments made in the reporting year. New gift commitments effectively combine all new pledges and letters of intent (including revocable gift commitments) and the current market value of irrevocable planned gifts. Development professionals have found this to be a more thorough measurement of fundraising performance (particularly during a comprehensive campaign when pledge activity can increase by as much as 75 percent).

Programmatic Reporting

When reporting revenue as cash or production, fundraising dollars must be attributed to the appropriate individual fundraising program. Fundraising programs that are present in just about every organization are listed below. The definitions for each fundraising program were developed by AHP member practitioners and have been the AHP standard definition since 2003 (see Chapter 5, AHP Standards Manual for more definitions). 

Annual Giving — Programs that attract gifts of $9,999 or less from individuals and support groups/auxiliaries.

Major Giving — Programs that attract gifts of $10,000 or more from individuals and support groups/auxiliaries.

Corporate and Foundation Giving — Programs that attract gifts of any value from corporations/businesses and foundations.

Planned Giving — Programs that attract gifts (or commitments) from individuals made as part of an estate or financial plan.

Public Support — Programs that raise grants and gifts from local, state/provincial, and federal government funding sources, which the development function is responsible for raising.

Special Event — Programs that attract gifts of all sizes received in response to any event sponsored by the organization. 

Gifts and pledges secured in response to a campaign should be counted under the relevant program area listed above, based on gift size, donor type, or event. 

Gifts secured for endowment or endowed-fund purposes should be reported at current market value in a separate category for endowments.

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AHP Standards Manual

The AHP Standards Manual provides health care philanthropy industry standards from a trusted source. This guide contains peer-established definitions and consistent rules for industry reporting. Discover a better way to communicate philanthropic impact to your boards, executive teams, donors and the public! 

Paperback, 81 pages, Now available as an E-book, via amazon.com.

Ket Metrics

Dashboard Metrics Defined

Whether it be “overall” or at an individual program level (annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, etc.), AHP standards emphasize three common metrics that are considered dashboard indicators of results for any given year (fiscal or calendar) or averaged over a five to 10-year period for more comprehensive reporting. They include: 

  • ROI — A key measure that represents the financial return on each dollar spent raising funds during the reporting year. It is also the inverse of the CTRD metric. ROI is an indicator of fundraisingeffectiveness, illustrating the amount applied toward the bottom line, in relation to the cost. ROI is the product of dividing gross funds raised by total fundraising expenses.
  • CTRD — A key measure of fundraisingefficiency, providing an abbreviated look at the total amount spent to raise each dollar in support of the organization’s mission. It is the product achieved by dividing fundraising expenses by gross funds raised during the reporting year.
  • Net Fundraising Returns — An important metric that reflects bottom-line fundraising returns in support of the organization’s mission. It is commonly described as the “what” that accompanies the “how” provided by CTRD and ROI. It is the product achieved by subtracting fundraising expenses from gross fundraising revenues from production.
Questions or comments on the standards? Email ahp@ahp.org.

Procedures for submissions and consideration of proposed changes to the standards. Click here.

Order the AHP Standards Manual in the AHP Bookstore.