They say hindsight is 20/20. So, what does your nonprofit's 2020 data tell you?

In a recent blog post, the folks at Classy suggested you look at these 5 key year-end campaign metrics:

  1. Total Amount Raised for Year-End Campaign(s)
  2. Total Number of Gifts Received for Year-End Campaign
  3. Average and Median Gift Sizes
  4. Number of New Donors Acquired
  5. Percent of New Recurring Donors

I recommend you take it one step further.

Compare your year-end 2020 numbers to year-end 2019. That way, you can see what's up, down, or flat.

In fact, go one level deeper.

Look at your numbers for the full calendar year 2020, and compare them to 2019. What surprises you?

Maybe this will surprise you. Many nonprofits finished the year stronger in 2020 than 2019.

I know, because many of my clients did just that. They raised more money in spite of the pandemic, the economy, and the election.

If your fundraising didn't hit the mark, remember, there's more than one way to measure your nonprofit's success.

Here are a few more fundraising metrics I like. They can help you see the bigger picture beyond the bottom line.

  • donor retention % (Who gave in two consecutive years?)
  • total number of donors
  • number of first-time donors
  • number of donors who gave more this year than last
  • number of monthly donors
  • number of major gift asks (and commitments secured)
  • the size of your "major gift" (It's not the same for every nonprofit.)
  • % of board members who made a personal contribution

The list above isn't exhaustive. But it should get you thinking beyond dollars raised.

Want more ideas? Check out this post from the archives on Fundraising Metrics Worth Measuring.


I can think of reasons why each of the numbers above would be important to your nonprofit.

And I can also think of ways to use this data to focus your fundraising efforts in 2021.

Data points like these can help you see what's working.

They can also help you see where you need to do some work.

I hope you'll think about your nonprofit's 2020 numbers. More specifically, I hope you'll use the data to refine your own development strategy.

How will you adjust your fundraising plan for 2021? What will you do differently?

Photo credit(s): Marcus Spiske and Unsplash

Need help measuring the effectiveness of your 2020 fundraising communications? Or creating different messages for the new year? Laura Rhodes can help.

Send a message to start the conversation and learn how Laura can help you and your organization.

You may also be interested in upcoming training events.