Many nonprofit leaders wonder how their fundraising programs
compare to those of their peer organizations and what they can do to imitate the
highest performing organizations in their sector.

To help nonprofits measure their performance against their
highest-performing peers, American
 is pleased to announce that the launch of the 2019
Fundraising Performance Survey on June 17th 2019.

This survey—the fifth of its kind—was born out of frustration.
We were frustrated at not being able to tell our nonprofit clients how their
fundraising results compared with industry benchmarks, since such benchmarks
often didn’t seem to exist. And we were frustrated at not being able to inform
clients how their results compared to those obtained by their peers.

Decision-making suffered in the absence of such information.
Nonprofit executives had to lean on intuition, anecdote, and conventional
wisdom to guide fundraising strategies, with little or no hard data to confirm
or disprove their gut instincts. These executives themselves often lamented
this situation as much as we did. Given the proliferation of data made possible
by recent advances in information technology—which other industries have used
to their benefit—it’s to be expected that those in the nonprofit sector will feel
like they’re missing out on a crucial edge.

The Fundraising Performance Survey fills this gap,
accumulating and assembling fundraising data and allowing nonprofit groups to
see how their organization performs on various key development metrics such as:

  • Fundraising performance by source, including
    direct mail, foundation grants, online sources, and so on, offering powerful
    insight into what works and what doesn’t in today’s landscape.
  • Positioning vis a vis emerging trends in
    management and governance, ranging from executive involvement in fundraising to
    board engagement to CRM adoption and market share.
  • Fundraising efficiency: how much groups raise
    relative to key units of input, such as staff time, number of development
    staff, and fundraising expenditures.

Used well, these findings are powerful. They can be used to
show skeptical board members or donors how investment in fundraising personnel,
direct-mail prospecting, or an active planned-giving program—to give just three
examples— might pay off. More acutely, they can be used to help you identify
areas in which you should invest, areas of growth you should pursue, and what
you should be shooting for.

At American Philanthropic, our consulting practice combines
empirical data with practical wisdom, giving our clients insights in a plainspoken,
no-nonsense way that drives action—and results. If your organization could
benefit from that approach, we invite you to participate in this year’s
Benefits include:

  • $50 Amazon gift card.
  • Free 30-minute fundraising consultation.
  • Chance to win a seat at one of our fundraising trainings – a $3,000 value.
  • Free digital and printed copy of the report.

If your nonprofit would like to participate and receive
these benefits, all you have to do is register for free by emailing us at

In addition to these benefits, the most valuable thing you
can gain is access to the data itself.

The abundance of data in today’s world is a great equalizer.
It allows organizations to do more with less and deploy resources where they
will have the greatest impact, empowering plucky upstarts to outcompete deeply
entrenched incumbents. Indeed, American Philanthropic’s clients invest significant
sums to gain access to this kind of information so they can improve their
performance.  But thanks to the survey,
access to this powerful information is available to all comers.

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