Man analyzing financial data and charts on computer screen

No matter what industry you are in, internalizing a holistic view on the progress of your cause or your project can give you the necessary strategy for future steps. This type of healthy development requires that style of internal reflection so that you can truly pave the path in reaching your financial goals at a timely manner.

Regardless if you are for-profit or non-profit, having these talks can benefit your cause greatly. For the private sector, this is usually done through quarterly annual reports, which breaks down the overall revenue, expense, and net profit a company attains within a three-month span. For non-profits, this type of analysis varies from organization to organization.

To help non-profits with this dilemma, below, you will find three key questions you and your team will need to ask themselves to see if your company is heading in the right path. If there is any hesitation or uncertainty for any of these questions, then you need to make sure you are able to attack that problem to its fullest. Keep in mind, this is standard in any company or organization. The best thing to do is to look at these gaps as windows for opportunity so that you can improve your logistics for the betterment of your cause.

1. When will you be sending your next donation newsletter? (Who is responsible for that? How will you market why they should donate today?)

For this question, it requires a variety of answers to fully grasp your next strategic moves. When you are looking for donations, there needs to be a way for you to reach out to the public. This can be done through actual newsletters or via email. The key thing is planning deadlines and responsibilities for your team so that you can meet your goals. These deadlines, also known as action steps, will be crucial in reaching future donors for the next up and coming months. In addition, for every newsletter, you want to continue raising awareness of why your cause needs more financial support. Just having the same speech is not enough to make a strong or compelling case to your donors. To get your team running strong, think of compelling reasons of what the funding can do for your cause. Will it be used to hire a new team or will it be used to help fund the equipment? These answers to these questions will give your pitch a stronger essence for your future donors.

2. What is your Donor Retention Rate?

By definition, a donor retention rate is a measure of how many of last year’s donors gave again this year. Donor movement is a fundamental discipline of strong organizations. You must have a plan for moving your donors through the fundraising funnel. In addition, not only are you looking to add to this pool of donors, but you also want to keep those for their contributed support, especially the big ones. Ask yourself a variety of questions such as: How many people from last year donated again? If they did not donate what was their reason? How many of the big donors did not donate this year? What is our future plans to have them donate again? Answering these types of questions will give you a stronger understanding of the people who are supporting your cause. In addition, this information will give you more knowledge on the overall numbers you are attaining in a calendar year.

3. How Many of Your Current Donors Came through Referrals?

At the end of the day, you want to make sure you are knowledgeable of the overall numbers. As much as some sales are done through a your own efforts, many donors come from referrals through current donors, board members, volunteers, and supporters. Make sure you know the number and the people on this list. These are investors who are supporting the growth and development of your cause. In addition, show them how impactful their donations have been to the overarching development of your organization’s goal.