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October 2015
Performance, Fundraising Metrics, and Visualization              
Survey says...
In early October we ran a survey in which we asked questions about three areas of fundraising metrics: prospect research, relationship management, and major gift officers. The survey used APRA's Body of Knowledge domains—prospect research and relationship management—to help segment the fundraising roles. (Learn more about APRA's Body of Knowledge here.)
We gathered over 100 responses to our survey. Some of the outcomes from it follow below.
Nearly half of the respondent organizations use metrics to measure performance/success of the major gift officers, while only about one-third measure performance/success metrics of prospect research. In the survey, less than one-third of the respondent organizations measure performance/success metrics of relationship management.
For prospect research, the four top metrics used to measure performance/success related to:
  • proactive research (e.g., the number of new prospects identified),
  • the volume produced (e.g., the number of profiles created),
  • capacity ratings (e.g., the number of capacity ratings assigned, or the number of capacity rating above a certain threshold), and
  • timeliness (e.g., the timeliness in which research reports were generated).
A few respondents listed quality as a metric and two-thirds who used quality indicated that they measure quality using an internal survey. The metrics of only three respondents were tied to the amount of money raised. Yet, when we examine the metrics for major gift officers, the top three metrics are related to dollars raised, proposals submitted, and face-to-face visits made; all top three metrics are about volume.
In the survey, we discovered that the prospect research metrics are almost always maintained by the prospect research department. The major gift officer metrics are maintained by the prospect research department and the executive-level management (VP, Associate VP, etc.)—and at a nearly equal split between the two. We wonder: Does executive-level management maintain the major gift officer metrics more often than prospect research metrics because the metrics relate to money? If the answer is yes—and we believe it is—then perhaps prospect researchers should focus on metrics that can be translated to dollars raised.
In the survey, we learned that some of the tools used to visualize prospect research metrics include:
  • Excel
  • Dashboards
  • Tableau
  • PowerPoint.
Most respondents, however, reported using simple bar charts and pie charts to visualize their prospect research metrics.
When we examined the survey results of the tools used to visualize major gift officer metrics, we saw a shift in the sophistication of the tools used. The tools include:
  • Advizor
  • Dashboards
  • Excel
  • Reeher Goal Management
  • Tableau
  • PowerPoint.
Of course, respondents reported using simple bar charts and pie charts to visualize the major gift officer metrics, too.
Why the shift in sophistication? Perhaps it is the way we collect and store the data for these metrics that makes a difference in the tools we use.
Next month, our newsletter, Solutions, will report on more of our findings from the Performance, Metrics, and Visualization survey. We will examine why fundraisers think collecting, analyzing, and reporting metrics help move their organizations forward. Please join us next month; it'll be a most interesting topic you won't want to miss.
In the meantime, we'd love to hear your thoughts on performance, metrics, and visualization. Send an email to me at
Struggling to select the right prospect research tool?
Need to know about the latest and greatest prospect research resources?
Information products vary widely in scope and range. Your product needs will not likely be the same as those of other organizations in your industry. Price alone should not be your only consideration when subscribing to an information product. To help with addressing your information product needs, the editors of Prospect Research Review developed an information product evaluation tool for you.
Download a copy of the information product evaluation tool now here.
However, if you don’t have the time or resources to internally evaluate products yourself with our evaluation tool, or if you simply want an unbiased opinion of an information product, then keep in mind that Prospect Research Review is available for purchase on either a single issue or an annual subscription basis.
Prospect Research Review is the only publication that reviews and highlights the products Prospect Researchers use. 

Prospect Research Review features one product review—with no advertisements—per issue. Each review is unbiased and comprehensive, edited by prospect research professionals Marge King, President, InfoRich Group, Inc., and Joann Wleklinski, Principal, Wleklinski Information Services.
Each issue of Prospect Research Review features:
  • An At-A-Glance summary – a concise abstract of the full review,
  • An in-depth review – with screen shots illustrating product features,
  • A cool tool – free to low-cost tools that will help Prospect Researchers with their work,
  • An international research tip – tips to help North American Prospect Researchers find and use information about prospects from non-North American regions.
Reviews of iWave PRO, DonorSearch, and ResearchPoint are already available. A review of WealthEngine is coming soon, with more on the way.
Subscribe to Prospect Research Review for a full year and received six issues annually, OR you can purchase individual issues, without an annual subscription—the choice is yours.
Subscribe to Prospect Research Review now here.
(c) Copyright 2015 InfoRich Group, Inc.  All rights reserved. 
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Annual report season will soon be upon us—will you be ready?
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Send us your comments.
I welcome your ideas, comments, and suggestions.
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Margaret King
President, InfoRich Group, Inc.
Email your comments.
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