Use these expert tips to drive more conversions on your nonprofit’s website.

3 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit Website’s Conversion Rate

Picture this: a new site visitor lands on your nonprofit’s homepage. They scan through your homepage and, after reading about your mission and values, feel inspired to give. But after they click your Donate button, they’re brought to a lengthy donation form that looks cluttered and complicated to fill out. As a result, they decide against donating and click away from your organization’s site.

If this sounds like something that could happen on your website, it’s time to update your web design strategy to drive more conversions. Your website’s conversion rate refers to the number of users who take certain actions, like donating to your cause, signing up to volunteer, or registering for your next event. To improve your conversion rate, you’ll need an engaging and user-friendly design that points people to their next steps, inspires them to complete them, and makes it simple to do so.

Use these top tips to improve your conversion rate:

By tracking your conversion rate, you can create a data-driven strategy and make informed decisions when it comes to improving your website. Let’s begin.

Review your current performance

Using data and analytics generated by your nonprofit website builder, evaluate how your website is currently performing so you can break down your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you’ll want to look at:

  • Current conversion rate: Your conversion rate is measured by the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors, multiplied by one hundred. A high conversion rate indicates that your website content resonates with supporters and successfully moves them along their user journey to completing an action. A low conversion rate indicates that there is an issue with your website’s copy, design, or functionality that is stopping users from taking action. Measure the conversion rate for each desired action, like signing up for your newsletter or completing your donation form, to assess where your website is most in need of improvements.
  • Sources of traffic: Take a look at how people are reaching the forms and pages where they can complete conversions. For example, supporters might navigate to your donation form by clicking the Donate button on your homepage, following an inbound link on a blog article, or clicking a link in your social media bio. Consider the rate at which these different sources drive conversions. For instance, if your blog articles have a low conversion rate, you may need to better contextualize your calls to action and adjust your copy so it meets users’ interests. Even traffic sources that are doing well can be further optimized to drive even more conversions.
  • Fundraising metrics: One of the most important conversions on your website is submitting a donation. To better understand how you can motivate your target audience to donate, take a look at donor analytics like your supporters’ giving behaviors, including how often they give and their interest in your cause. These insights will help you generate content that is tailored to your donors’ preferences.

Metrics tell an important story about how your website is performing, so it’s important to dig into these numbers and find out the core causes behind low or high conversion rates.

Create compelling calls to action

According to Morweb’s roundup of the best nonprofit websites, incorporating thoughtful and direct calls to action throughout your content can motivate users to complete a given action. A call to action (CTA) is a brief word or phrase, often visually represented as a button, that draws your readers in with compelling copy and takes them to the relevant resource once clicked.

If your content lacks persuasive CTAs, or your CTAs aren’t strategically placed in areas that will drive conversions, it’ll be much more difficult to encourage users to take action. To perfect your CTA strategy, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep calls to action brief: Get to the point quickly and clearly so supporters understand what you’re asking of them. For example, “Donate to End Childhood Cancer” or “Volunteer to Save Injured Wildlife” are effective CTAs that are concise yet persuasive.
  • Make buttons stand out: To bring attention to your CTA buttons, consider using bold lettering or incorporating a brand color that is different from nearby on-page elements. You might also add a shadow or border to make your call-to-action buttons stand out.
  • Link to intuitive landing pages: Your CTA buttons should take users immediately to the relevant resource or form once clicked. However, if these pages aren’t in good shape, you’ll struggle to drive conversions when users arrive. Update these pages so they have inspiring copy and contribute to a positive user experience.
  • Prominently position CTAs: Feature your CTA buttons in obvious places on your website to catch your users’ eye. For example, you might position your Donate button in the top left or right corner of your navigation bar on your homepage to draw supporters to click.

It’s also important to ensure that your copy contextualizes your CTAs well. For example, let’s say one of your volunteers authors a blog article on your website about their experiences. Before your CTA, you could write “Interested in playing a rewarding role in our nonprofit like [Volunteer’s Name]? Sign up for our volunteer newsletter today to learn more about opportunities to get involved.” This way, supporters understand the value of clicking your CTA button, which will take them to an email sign-up form.

Streamline your donation page

Your website can be a powerful asset for your fundraising strategy. To drive donations and improve conversion rates on your donation page, update your web design and create a seamless user experience.

Use these tips to improve your donation page and step up your fundraising efforts:

  • Limit your number of prompts: If your donation page is lengthy and takes more than five minutes to complete, prospective supporters will likely click away before even beginning to enter their information. Only ask your supporters for the most essential information, like their contact information, donation amount, and billing details. You can always ask donors for more information later as part of your donor stewardship plan.
  • Use ample spacing: Avoid clutter on your donation page by reasonably spacing apart each prompt and using ample white space. This can help to create a minimalistic feel, making your donation page more approachable.
  • Suggest donation amounts: Take the guesswork out of how much supporters should give by providing suggested donation amounts with checkboxes. For example, you might include options to give $10, $25, $50, or $100. This not only streamlines the donation process, but can also encourage donors to give more than they originally intended to. However, you should still provide a write-in box to provide flexibility.
  • Add a recurring giving option: Bloomerang’s guide to donation page best practices recommends including a checkbox that says “Make my gift monthly” so supporters can easily sign up for recurring giving. This way, frequent donors won’t have to resubmit their name and payment information every time they want to donate.

To revamp your donation page with ease, leverage a website builder with built-in website templates. Your website builder will take care of making your donation form accessible, mobile-optimized, and user-friendly; you just have to add your unique content to tie the donation process to your nonprofit’s cause.

Wrapping Up

Collecting conversion rate data can help you shape your website into an effective tool for meeting your goals. Keep in mind that a low conversion rate could be attributed to a variety of factors, so it’s important to dive deep into your web design and find out where you can easily make improvements. If low conversion rates are attributed to issues with the technical design of your website, do your research to invest in a website builder that can correct these issues.

Learn more about the future of Salesforce NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud and what the recent changes mean for your organization in this guide.

The Future of Salesforce: Nonprofit Cloud and NPSP

If your nonprofit currently uses Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), you might feel uncertain about the future of this tool. In the spring of 2023, Salesforce announced it would switch focus to supporting Nonprofit Cloud, a nonprofit-focused Industry Cloud solution, as their primary platform for nonprofits.

This announcement is exciting news, as Nonprofit Cloud is a core product that offers nonprofits access to exciting features, from AI data analytics to easy-to-use online experience builders. Additionally, Nonprofit Cloud and its data model will receive investments and innovation from Salesforce over the coming years. 

Currently, Salesforce has no plans to stop supporting NPSP, but it could still be in your nonprofit’s best interest to shift over to Nonprofit Cloud. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of this change and what it means for nonprofits using NPSP:

  • What is the difference between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud?
  • Why release Nonprofit Cloud?
  • What do these changes mean for your nonprofit?

Understanding the differences between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud enables nonprofits to make an informed decision about which tool they should use. To get started, we’ll break down these differences.

What is the difference between NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud?

Salesforce NPSP and Nonprofit Cloud are solutions designed by Salesforce for nonprofits that provide nonprofits with various management tools for charitable organizations. Both rely on Salesforce’s core CRM platform to function, but each solution’s level of interoperability, features, and cost differ. 

Here are the key differences in more detail:


NPSP is a set of managed packages developed by Salesforce. This package’s main objective is to provide nonprofits with the tools to manage essential operational processes like case and project management, fundraising, and donor management

Here are some NPSP basics:

  • Interoperability: NPSP is an app built atop Salesforce Enterprise Edition. Through NPSP, your nonprofit can use other Salesforce-native apps and integrate third-party solutions as needed.
  • Features: NPSP provides nonprofits with a set of managed packages such as Recurring Donations, Relationships, Affiliations, Contacts & Organizations, and Households. NPSP features are designed to help your nonprofit manage contacts and households, donation payments, grants, relationships between contacts, and more.
  • Cost: Nonprofit organizations receive their first ten subscriptions to NPSP for free. 

NPSP offers an industry-standard data model that organizations can use to manage anything from donor relationships to recurring donations to fundraising events. Keep in mind that for larger organizations, various projects or specific needs may require investing in other Salesforce apps or third-party tools.

Nonprofit Cloud

Nonprofit Cloud is now part of the Industries vertical and is a core product rooted in cloud-based Salesforce solutions like Service Cloud and Sales Cloud. Core products are foundational to the Salesforce platform, while managed packages tend to be extensions of these core products that are adapted for specific industries.

Other details about Nonprofit Cloud include:

  • Interoperability: With Nonprofit Cloud, your nonprofit can access the Industry Cloud Common Components (tools available for use in multiple Industry Clouds), other Salesforce products, apps listed in the AppExchange, and more. Additionally, you can build custom integrations with the help of a Salesforce partner.
  • Features: The Nonprofit Cloud data model includes solutions that aid constituent management, program management, case management, and more. Salesforce is also building other tools and features to assist in grantmaking.
  • Cost: To use Nonprofit Cloud, organizations need to pay licensing fees. These fees range from $60 to $100 per month as of 2023.

Overall, Nonprofit Cloud is a more robust, flexible tool than NPSP. Essentially, nonprofits using Nonprofit Cloud will be able to more easily scale their software and customize it as their needs change.

Why release Nonprofit Cloud?

Because thousands of nonprofits use and find success through NPSP, many wonder why Salesforce released Nonprofit Cloud. Here are a few reasons Salesforce may have come to this decision:

  • It makes nonprofit work easier. Nonprofit Cloud makes it easier to keep your data tidy and complete the tasks you need to further your mission. Since this solution is an Industry Cloud product and uses the Industry Data Model, it will continue to be improved by Salesforce.
  • It’s easier to connect with donors. Features like the Actionable Relationship Center (ARC) and OmniStudio allow you to accurately track critical moments in donor relationships and craft positive online experiences.
  • It is suited to large and/or growing organizations. As a core product that easily integrates with other Industry Cloud solutions, Nonprofit Cloud has a more stable infrastructure suited to large organizations with complex needs.

These large-scale improvements benefit different organizations depending on how they leverage the tool. Remember that working with a consultant can help you implement and adapt to the changes associated with switching to Nonprofit Cloud.

What do these changes mean for your nonprofit?

It can be difficult to conceptualize what switching to Nonprofit Cloud means within the context of your organization. Here are some of the benefits you can expect and examples of how those changes could impact your nonprofit:

  • Improved scalability. Nonprofit Cloud can accommodate your organization’s growth in multiple areas. Leverage improved connections with other Salesforce Clouds to customize your software. For example, you might use Marketing Cloud to launch an in-depth donor communication strategy or leverage an industry-specific cloud with compliance reporting tools for your field.

  • Access to new features. Through Nonprofit Cloud, you’ll have access to more than 40 Common Components, such as OmniStudio (for NPSP users, this is similar to Flow or Apex). According to Fíonta’s guide to Nonprofit Cloud, OmniStudio is a digital engagement suite with drag-and-drop capabilities that make creating prebuilt guided experiences quick and straightforward. You might use this feature to create a seamless, user-friendly volunteer onboarding experience or a donor portal where supporters can track their past involvement.

  • Improved fundraising and community building. While yet to be offered, Salesforce is set to roll out robust fundraising tools for Nonprofit Cloud. These features will help you align with the best practices in NXUnite’s guide to donor relations like researching prospects, communicating during important events, and inviting donors to opportunities and events that align with their interests. For instance, life events and milestone tracking features allow you to record these crucial occurrences to visualize the donor’s journey with your nonprofit. 

Remember that one of the most essential benefits of Nonprofit Cloud is its ability to adapt alongside your organization. If you find your organization outgrowing NPSP, attempting to navigate complicated integrations, or strongly considering a shift to Nonprofit Cloud, reach out to a Salesforce partner to review your options and next steps.

The decision to continue using NPSP or switch to Nonprofit Cloud lies with your organization, and it depends on your nonprofit’s unique needs, existing resources, and goals. Your tool should have the technology needed to manage operations in a scalable, sustainable way.

This guide will cover how you can use data to track your recreation program’s effectiveness.

Using Data to Track Your Recreation Program’s Effectiveness

For programs that rely on municipal or grant funding, like parks and recreation departments and school districts, it’s essential to track data and create reports that accurately prove your impact. To advocate for your department or district and secure the necessary funds and resources, you’ll need to consistently track data and perform analyses to demonstrate the positive effects of your programs on your community.

But, tracking this data can be a pain point. Outdated methods can cause attendance tracking slowdowns and inaccurate records for parks and recreation departments. Similarly, schools using disorganized methods like spreadsheet reporting can find it challenging to stay on top of tracking information like participation in clubs, sports, and other extracurricular programs.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the most important data you need to collect and how you can use software to demonstrate your program’s positive effect on your students or community. Let’s get started!

Why track your program’s effectiveness?

As a professional in a school district or recreation department, you know the value of your institution and the programs you offer well. However, it’s important to relay these positive impacts to those who don’t see them each day by using concrete numbers. Just as you would communicate the success of a fundraising event by reporting the amount of money raised, you need to use quantifiable data to prove your efficacy.

As a public program, monitoring and reporting performance metrics is vital to understanding your program’s operational health. Using these metrics, your district or department can identify areas that need improvement and seek additional support for programs or initiatives that are performing well. With data, you can make informed decisions that help you increase funding to boost your department’s budget. This allows you to improve facilities and programming, start new initiatives, and enhance participant outcomes.

With this concrete information, you can feel more confident when submitting requests for support from funders. This can directly impact visitor and student experiences, helping facilitate sustainable growth for your organization.

Which data points are important to track?

Because you’ll need to collect data over months or years to demonstrate growth and prove strong performance, it’s key to know which metrics to record. For example, if your school is hoping to secure additional support for its after-school program, you’ll need to carefully track and analyze enrollment and attendance in the program.

Here are some of the essential metrics to track with your school or parks and recreation software solution:

  • Registration and attendance. Record how many visitors register for and attend your department’s events to measure event success. Schools can also track attendance to estimate the number of students on campus at any given time, ensuring that they provide the right number of staff members for a safe student experience.
  • Donations. Public programs often hold fundraisers to support specific initiatives or causes. According to CommunityPass, the right school software will empower you to accurately report the donations you receive and provide tax write-off information to donors. And, when it’s time for your school or recreation department to break down its performance metrics, you can make a case for additional funding by showing off how you used the donations to make improvements.
  • Memberships. For recreation departments, it’s common to offer membership packages as well as seasonal or day passes to visitors. Offer memberships online and facilitate recurring charges, autorenewal, and expiration reminders for membership packages through a robust software solution. Using this data, you can see your total number of memberships sold, how many visitors choose to renew, and any impactful changes over time.
  • Facility rentals. Many parks and schools have facilities your visitors may want to rent out for events, parties, and athletic use. Track this data to identify how often you rent facilities, when most visitors rent, why visitors need the facilities, and how much revenue these rentals supply. Using these reports, you could illustrate how many people use your park’s facilities and advocate for additional funding to improve them.

In addition to these metrics, make sure to carefully track your school or department’s finances. Make sure to create a detailed budget, record any costs you incur, and carefully note all sources of revenue. You should also keep records of how you allocated funds from specific funders to clearly show the impact of their support later on.

How can your program simplify the process?

To collect and report this crucial data, it’s key to invest in school or recreation management software that will streamline data into one easy-to-use platform. When researching solutions, check for features that facilitate data collection and analysis, including the following:

  • Pre-built reports. Software solutions make data analysis simple by providing pre-made reports. Using these reports, you can select the best template for your program, load data in, and start analyzing. These reports span a variety of categories, from website interaction data to attendance to revenue.
  • Custom report designer. If your school district or recreation department needs a report that is tailored to its specific needs, some software solutions offer report designers, where you can build reports customized to your needs. This can be helpful if you want to compile data from various sources and timelines into a single report.
  • Formatting options. Choose a software solution that offers flexible formatting for reports so you can present them to funders, share them over email, and choose files that fit into your office suite software. You can choose between formats like on-screen renders, Excel sheets, and PDF files.
  • Compliance reporting. Compliance reports demonstrate that your department or district is following the set of rules and standards set by the government. Whether the report is for a specific compliance initiative or just an overview, the right software solution can save you time and effort when creating the report.

In addition, be sure to invest in a software solution that keeps your school or recreation department’s data clean. According to AccuData, data hygiene refers to keeping your data error-free, which is important for all organizations. “Dirty” data contains errors, whether it’s outdated, incomplete, duplicated, or incorrect. As you decide on which software solution to use to track your program’s effectiveness, ensure that you pick a tool that makes maintaining data hygiene easy.

Tracking the impact your programs have helps you prove your program’s worth and champion more support. A comprehensive report with data-backed performance tracking can make the difference between receiving the same amount of funding and getting a meaningful increase. Recreational programs and school districts can greatly benefit from investing in a solution that empowers them to collect data that helps them make better decisions.

Image shows text reading Finding Major Donors with Data: 3 Markers to Look For next to an image of a man looking at a laptop.

Finding Major Donors with Data: 3 Markers to Look For

Major donors are crucial for your organization’s success—according to 360MatchPro, donations over $1,000 account for 85% of the average nonprofit’s revenue. However, finding supporters who are willing and able to make major monetary contributions can be a challenge for any nonprofit.

To find the best prospects and use your team’s time effectively, take a data-informed approach by conducting prospect research. This process involves taking an in-depth look at your donor data to find those most likely to make a major gift. Specifically, prospect research searches for individuals who have each of these three types of markers:

  1. Capacity (Wealth)
  2. Affinity (Warmth)
  3. Propensity (Habit)

As you dive into prospect research, focus on potential major donors that your organization already has some kind of connection with. Whether they’ve donated smaller amounts, attended events, or they’re friends with one of your board members, starting from a place of connection will save you time and increase your chances of success. Now, let’s explore each of these key markers in more detail.

1. Capacity (Wealth)

Start by looking for capacity, or wealth, markers. Capacity markers are data points that indicate a prospect may have the financial means to give a major gift. 

Formerly, nonprofits would only use financial capacity to determine if donors were good prospects for major giving. Thorough prospect research now takes more than wealth into consideration, including the affinity and propensity markers which we’ll discuss below. However, it’s still important that all of your prospects have some capacity markers so you know you’re appealing to those who have the means to give the sizable gift your organization needs.

Before you begin looking for wealth makers, take time to establish your nonprofit’s major gift threshold. Major gifts are different for every nonprofit, depending on factors like average donation size and fundraising goals. To find out what size gift your nonprofit should consider a major donation, identify the range of the largest individual gifts you received in the past year. If the range is $7,000 – $10,000, for example, you could set your major gift threshold at $8,500.

Once you’ve established your threshold, look for the following indicators that prospects could have a high enough capacity to give a gift of that size:

  • Real estate ownership
  • Business ownership
  • Stock holdings
  • High-income careers

While you may have supporters’ career information in your donor database, you’ll likely have to use additional resources like wealth screening tools to find more accurate data on individuals’ financial capacity. 

2. Affinity (Warmth)

Along with financial capacity, prospects also need to have sufficient warmth for your cause to be willing to give a major gift. Affinity markers indicate that a prospect has a personal investment in your cause, that your work aligns with their values, and that they may be interested in making a major contribution to further your mission. 

Donorly’s prospect research guide explains that affinity markers include:

  • Donation and engagement history with your nonprofit. If a prospect has already donated to your cause, volunteered, or attended your nonprofit’s events, it’s safe to assume that they have a personal interest in your mission.
  • Involvement with similar organizations. Any engagement with or donations to nonprofits with similar missions demonstrates cause alignment, even if they haven’t donated to your organization before. 
  • Political affiliations that align with your nonprofit. Donors who are active in politics are more likely to take an interest in your charitable work, especially if they support political groups whose beliefs align with yours.
  • Personal or professional connections to other supporters. Any connection to your nonprofit can indicate an interest in your mission, including having strong relationships with existing major donors or board members.

Your nonprofit’s donor database will be a valuable resource for finding these indicators. Look through the data you’ve collected about your supporters to uncover their previous donations, involvement history, and any relationships you’ve documented. Then, explore other nonprofits’ and political campaigns’ donor lists to find additional affinity markers. 

3. Propensity (Habit)

Even if your prospect has the means to give a major gift and a personal interest in your cause, they may not be in the habit of donating to nonprofits. To make sure they are, look for data that demonstrates that your prospect has a history of charitable activity, known as propensity markers. 

Data that indicates a habit of charitable giving includes:

  • Past donations to your nonprofit
  • Frequent donations to other organizations
  • Board service
  • Consistent fundraising event attendance 

To gather this information, you can use the same resources you used to find affinity markers. Start with your own donor database, then look at other nonprofits’ websites and annual reports to find their donor lists and board members. 43% of wealthy donors give to at least five different nonprofits, so it’s likely that you’ll find a good prospect’s name on several different donor lists.

How to Get Started with Prospect Research

Although prospect research can feel overwhelming for beginners, there are plenty of resources you can use to make the process easier! 

Start with the information already in your database, then turn to Google to do more initial research on individual prospects. Beyond a standard Google search, you can use these free resources to find more data on prospective major donors:

  • Government filings: There are a variety of public government filings that can give you information on prospects’ donations to other nonprofits, political contributions, and nonprofit board service. Search for FEC individual contributions, other nonprofits’ Form 990s, and SEC filings for business information. 
  • Property records: Use real estate search tools like Zillow to find a property’s purchase history and estimated current value. This information helps you determine a prospect’s financial capacity to give.  
  • LinkedIn: Go to LinkedIn and other social media sites to find prospects’ employment information and any listed volunteer activities. If a prospect is active on LinkedIn, they may also post about causes and political groups they’re interested in. 

These free resources are great places to start, but for best results, consider working with a nonprofit consultant. They’ll have more robust prospect research tools at their disposal and the expertise to use them. This will save your team time and give you access to more accurate information about your prospects, faster.  

If you want to learn more before diving in, read up on prospect research best practices. Or, learn the latest strategies for prospect research and major donor fundraising by attending free educational webinars, panels, and conferences for nonprofits.

Once you’ve identified several prospects with all of these markers, you can begin the major donor cultivation process to start developing relationships. Be sure to craft a thorough cultivation strategy and give yourself enough time to strengthen these relationships before making any asks. And once you’ve received your donations, don’t forget to prioritize donor recognition

This guide explores how nonprofits can create corporate partnerships to help boost their fundraising success.

Creating Corporate Partnerships to Boost Fundraising Success

Your nonprofit is no stranger to the stress that comes with putting together a strong fundraising event. On top of brainstorming the perfect idea, assembling your fundraising team, and setting actionable goals, you also have to consider your overall budget and how much you can spend on your event.

Spend too much, and you risk missing out on a profit. Spend too little, and your event might not reach its full potential. What if there was a way to receive free fundraising dollars and support to bring your events to life?

Fortunately, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs continue to grow in popularity, giving your nonprofit a prime opportunity to partner with a business and benefit from their philanthropic initiatives. A corporate partnership can earn your nonprofit much-needed resources to lead engaging fundraisers and build lasting relationships with donors in the process; in turn, your corporate partner will receive a boost in their reputation as a community-minded business.

To create a successful corporate partnership for your next fundraising event, leverage these top tips:

  • Find the right corporate partner
  • Create a compelling corporate sponsorship proposal
  • Highlight key fundraising metrics
  • Express appreciation

Businesses across the country are eager to support important causes, from funding charity galas to providing in-kind donations for food drives. You just need to demonstrate that your nonprofit is worthy of their support. Let’s get started!

Find the right corporate partner

Not every business will be a perfect fit for your nonprofit, so it’s important to do your research and find a company who will help you see your goals through. Consider the following questions in your search for the ideal corporate partner:

  • What companies in our community have similar values or purposes and would complement our mission well?
  • What companies have a similar audience base and would be a natural extension of our target audience? What companies have a mission-minded audience who would care about our cause?
  • What companies already have a philanthropy program and would be interested in expanding their efforts to a nonprofit like ours? What kind of support did these companies provide and what impact have they had on their communities?

Keep in mind that the most successful corporate partnerships should benefit both parties, so it’s not only important to consider what your corporate partner can do for your nonprofit, but also what your nonprofit can do for your partner.

For example, if a prospective corporate partner is selling a product or service that would be of interest to your target audience, you can help promote it on your marketing materials in exchange for corporate sponsorships, volunteer grants, in-kind donations, or another form of critical corporate support.

Note that this kind of arrangement, often called a commercial co-venture, needs to be backed up with regulatory research and compliance as well as be registered in advance and audited. Do your research to learn more about this partnership possibility and determine if it makes sense for your nonprofit and its audience.

To kickstart your research into prospective corporate partners, ask your board members and well-connected supporters (like your major donors) for references. They may work for companies that have philanthropy programs in place and would be interested in partnering with an important cause like yours. Plus, they can help facilitate introductions with the company’s staff so you can get to know the business and their values better.

Create a compelling corporate partnership proposal

Once you’ve brainstormed a list of prospective partners, it’s time to formally reach out to them with a partnership proposal. This is your opportunity to pitch your nonprofit and show why it’s worth a company’s time and resources to back your nonprofit and its fundraising campaign or event.

In your proposal, make sure to:

  • Introduce your organization and its mission: Your prospective partner might not be familiar with your mission, so sum up who your nonprofit is, the history of your founding, and your vision for the future. Use statistics to convey the impact your nonprofit has had on its community so far to legitimize your cause.
  • Explain the type of support you’re seeking: Explain the type of fundraising event or campaign you’ll be hosting, your goals for this event, and what support you’re hoping to receive from a corporate partner. For example, the OneCause guide to online fundraising suggests asking businesses to lead corporate fundraising challenges and involve their employees in peer-to-peer fundraising. Or, you might ask your prospective partner for a certain amount of revenue upfront to cover the cost of reserving an event venue. Regardless of the type of support you’re seeking, be specific about your ask so your corporate partner knows exactly what they’d need to provide and can determine if it’s within their capabilities.
  • Explain how this support will advance your mission: Connect the type of support you’re requesting to the impact this will have on your community. For example, let’s say your nonprofit is hosting a silent auction and needs financial support to procure items that will appeal to your audience. You can explain how the right items and packages will help your nonprofit drive a higher return on investment which will all go back toward your programs and initiatives to power good. Where possible, use statistics to help illustrate your projected impact.
  • Demonstrate how this will benefit your corporate partner: After reading through your proposal, your prospective partner might be wondering “This all sounds good, but what’s in it for me?” Explain what kind of support your nonprofit can offer the company, such as including them in your marketing plan before, during, and after your event. If your nonprofit and the company have the same target audience, you can share your audience demographics and highlight how this is a prime opportunity for your company to expand its reach and earn new customers.

Along with writing a formal proposal letter, set up a meeting with a point of contact from the company to discuss this partnership in greater detail. Here, you can come to a mutually beneficial agreement and work out the specifics of your partnership.

Highlight key fundraising metrics

Once you’ve secured a corporate partner’s support, it’s important to keep them in the loop and let them know how their efforts are making a difference. Create a standard communication cadence, such as updating your corporate partner when you’ve hit the halfway point to your fundraising goal or letting them know how many attendees have registered for your event.

After your event concludes, let your corporate partner know how your fundraiser performed by sharing key data metrics, such as:

  • Total donations raised (including whether or not you met your goal)
  • Return on investment
  • Total number of donors
  • Average gift size

This will help to illustrate the impact of their support and show the tangible connection between their involvement and the difference it makes in your community. If you included your corporate partner in your marketing materials, it can also be valuable to share marketing metrics around how these materials performed.

For example, if you included a section about your corporate partner on your event landing page with a call-to-action button that takes supporters to their online store, you can highlight data points like:

  • Total page views
  • Time spent on page
  • Click-through rate

These data points can demonstrate the marketing value in partnering with your nonprofit, allowing your corporate partner to effectively expand their reach.

Express appreciation

Along with sharing metrics, you’ll also want to take the time to express appreciation to your corporate partner for playing such a pivotal role in your fundraiser’s success. For instance, you might:

  • Write handwritten thank-you letters: A handwritten note adds a personal touch to your thank-yous and can help your corporate partner feel recognized for their efforts. For example, if several of your corporate partner’s employees participated in peer-to-peer fundraising, Fundraising Letters’ guide to volunteer thank-you letters recommends writing personalized notes that reference how much they raised and how this made an impact on your mission.
  • Shout-out your corporate partner during your event: Marketing doesn’t just take place before your fundraiser! Give a shout-out to your corporate partner during your event for everyone to hear; this will automatically increase your partner’s brand visibility and connect their business with your cause, boosting their philanthropic reputation. As a result, they’ll be more likely to secure new customers.
  • Share a video about your corporate partner on social media: Film a short sit-down interview with your corporate partner’s founder and shine a light on how they’ve played an important role in your nonprofit’s success. Make sure to tag their social media account in the caption or share a link to their website to expand their reach.

A strong recognition strategy can help you retain your corporate partner’s support for the future, empowering you to meet and exceed your fundraising goals for future campaigns and events. After your fundraiser concludes and you’ve expressed heartfelt gratitude, give your corporate partner a heads-up about the next fundraiser you’re planning to host and see if they’d be interested in extending their support again.

The right corporate partner can help you take your fundraising strategy to the next level and secure meaningful support to power change. Make sure to evaluate the success of your corporate partnership by tracking fundraising metrics with the help of a comprehensive fundraising solution. This way, you can ensure you’re deriving as much value as possible from this partnership or make adjustments as needed to optimize your agreement.

This is an image of a person analyzing data.

What to Look for in a Data Analytics Company: Top Must-Haves

When it comes to effective decision-making, accurate data is the most powerful tool at your disposal. According to a PwC survey, over 1,000 senior executives found highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report improvements in decision-making compared to those who rely on minimal data.

Regardless of your industry, data should back every decision, so how organizations collect, manage, and analyze data will directly influence their outcomes. In the case of nonprofits, GivingDNA’s nonprofit analytics guide states that “data analytics helps nonprofits identify broad patterns among donors, track changes, and spot opportunities for growth.” 

However, many organizations struggle to tap into the power of these rich datasets and end up making uninformed, costly decisions as a result. To avoid this pitfall, you can partner with an analytics provider and uncover key insights that revolutionize your strategy. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the top non-negotiables to look for when researching an analytics company, so you can choose one that complements your goals. Let’s get started!

Expertise and experience

When looking for an analytics provider, prioritize one with a proven track record of experience. Specifically, they should have extensive knowledge of the nuances related to your industry. For example, healthcare analytics providers need to be well-versed in EHRs, claims management, and population health management data.

For nonprofits, this means finding a provider that exhibits knowledge of CRM platforms, fundraising analytics, corporate giving, and/or prospect research. 

In general, there are a few key indicators you can rely on to assess a company’s expertise. These include:

  • Impartial third-party reviews: Research third-party sites for professional perspectives on similar providers. Sites like and G2 are informative resources that provide a quick summary highlighting recommendations, awards, and pricing. Software users often leave reviews that can give you a more in-depth look at pros and cons for each provider. 
  • Use cases: Dive into specific use cases or testimonials mentioned on a provider’s website. Look for organizations that mirror your cause, size, or vision. How did the provider meet or exceed their needs? If you have additional questions, reach out to current customers and ask for their opinion — are they satisfied with the provider? Would they recommend a different option?
  • Software demos: Once you’ve narrowed down your list, consider requesting a software demo to see a provider’s offerings in action. These can be especially useful to visualize complex functionalities and decide if a solution will be user-friendly for your nonprofit. 

Though not as essential, thought leadership can be another telling indicator of a provider’s expertise. If they keep their blog roll updated, provide a video series, or host a podcast, these are signs that they are attuned to your industry’s shifting environment. Therefore, they might be more reliable when it comes to keeping your database updated with the newest technologies. 

Strong data protections

Nonprofits handle sensitive data such as donor details, beneficiary information, and financial records. The mishandling of this information can lead to significant legal consequences and a breach of trust. 

Safeguarding against these outcomes begins with selecting a provider with strong protections. Ask these questions to ensure your provider practices these precautions:

  • Are they compliant with data privacy regulations? Data privacy regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and other relevant legislation help protect vulnerable data. Failing to comply with these laws can lead to irreparable repercussions, like a loss of audience trust. 
  • What data security measures do they use? No organization is immune to cyberattacks. Encryption, user authentication, and intrusion detection systems protect against hackers and other cybersecurity threats. 
  • Have they had any significant breaches? A provider can boast strong data security, but their track record will indicate whether their technology is vulnerable or not. 

It’s better to determine a provider’s security measures beforehand than risk partnering with a company that has weak protections. Maintain and cultivate your community’s trust by choosing a company with secure data handling capabilities. 

Relevant tools and technologies

Effective data analysis requires relevant and intuitive analytics tools. Look for a provider that can sufficiently organize and compare large data sets with user-friendly applications. Then, compare their capabilities to your organization’s needs. For instance, an organization looking to refine its matching gift functionality might look for corporate giving software with advanced autosubmission to streamline its internal processes. 

As a starting point, identify analytics providers with the following capabilities:

  • Customization. Assess their ability to cater to your organization’s individual growth needs. Avoid choosing a provider with a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, look for a provider that allows flexibility in marketing communication, team coordination, and fundraising analysis.  
  • Integration. Analytics tools need to be able to integrate with multiple additional solutions, including databases, spreadsheets, cloud services, and external sources. Look for a provider that can reduce manual data handling for faster analysis. Additionally, identify providers that offer data enrichment capabilities such as demographic appends to support your outreach efforts. 
  • Reporting. Reporting integrations can help access key insights. Consider providers that have extensive reporting capabilities such as interactive dashboards or speedy ad hoc reporting. For example, Arcadia’s healthcare dashboards illustrate how data can be visualized to empower decision-makers. 
  • Collaboration. Make sure to choose a company that promotes seamless collaboration between teams with a user-friendly interface. This includes data sharing and export, access controls, and real-time notifications to foster a culture of data-driven decision-making. 

Consider fleshing out each of these capabilities in more detail to align with what your organization wants to achieve. That way, you’ll find a provider who can offer the best ROI. With this in mind, you should still prioritize finding a provider that will support your growth long term. This means their infrastructure should be able to handle increasing data volumes and quickly resolve any future bottlenecks you may encounter. 

Support and maintenance

Especially if your organization is new to analytics tools, choose a provider that offers helpful support you can rely on to get you up and running and answer any questions along the way. See if they offer any training videos, help hubs, or other online resources you can reference.

In some cases, there are online communities of users who can walk you through implementation speed bumps with helpful tips. Other times, providers will offer eTraining options and libraries to fill in any knowledge gaps or explain new features. These online resources can help you get the most out of your data analytics and make changes that will set you up for future success.

Data analytics providers can help your team make strategic decisions that benefit your operational health. Choose a provider that not only has a great reputation but also meets your organization’s data management needs. This means prioritizing features that further meaningful collaboration and profitable analysis. 


In this guide, learn how data about your supporters and past campaign performance can help you raise more for your school.

Help Your School Raise More Using Fundraising Data

Need money to support your school and its programs? Fortunately, it’s a great time to fundraise as an educational institution. Research shows that in 2022 K-12 schools saw a 5.7% increase in overall fundraising and a nearly 13% boost in online giving alone. But while there are willing, generous supporters out there, it’s up to you to rally their support. 

It can be hard to motivate students’ parents, relatives, and other community members to give to your fundraiser. And even if you choose the perfect fundraising idea, have great supporter turnout, and meet your goals for this year, how can you be sure that you’ll achieve the same or better results next time?

Collecting and analyzing your fundraising data is the key to understanding and replicating your school’s fundraising successes. In this guide, we’ll cover three steps for using fundraising data to improve future fundraisers:

  1. Learn about your donors.
  2. Analyze your marketing efforts.
  3. Evaluate campaign results.

To get started, let’s explore how you can get to know donors and create a customized fundraising appeal that inspires them to support your school.

Step 1: Learn about your donors.

GivingDNA’s guide to data analytics explains that “donors come from varied backgrounds, have different life experiences, and have unique reasons for giving to your organization.” This means that to understand which strategies work best for them, you’ll need to look at past and current donor data.

Here are some of the basic types of donor data and what they can tell you about your supporters:

  • Demographics. This data tells you about donors’ baseline characteristics. It includes socioeconomic traits like age, gender, race, income, education, marital status, and more. For example, if you know that in the past your donors have been parents of students, are between the ages of 35 and 55, and have an average income of $50,000 or more, you can tailor your efforts to the typical preferences of those demographics.

  • Psychographics. This data tells you more about your donors’ lifestyles. It should reveal information like their morals, values, political leanings, hobbies, and interests. Let’s say you learn that a group of parents plays tennis together each weekend. This makes them a great target audience for your initiative to raise money for renovations on your tennis court.

  • Involvement history. This reveals a donor’s past involvement with your school, such as donations made, events attended, or hours volunteered. Pay attention to average gift size and when donors made their last contribution to identify major donors as well as those at risk of lapsing. Once you know who they are, you can send tailored messages that suit their level of involvement and dedication.

  • Communication preferences. Everyone has preferred communication platforms, whether that’s receiving a personal phone call from your school or engaging with your social media posts. Reaching your audience where they already are shows that you understand and value those preferences. Plus, donors will be more likely to see the messages you send them.

  • Wealth indicators. These markers signal your donors’ giving capacity, or the amount they are able to donate. Keep in mind that this is different from giving affinity, which indicates their willingness to give to you. When you have an idea of a donor’s wealth through information about their household income, past donations, employer, or stock and real estate holdings, you’ll have a better idea of what donation amount to ask for from them.

Make sure you are correctly managing your donor data to ensure it stays organized and up-to-date. Keep data fresh by collecting information about supporters via donation forms and surveys, making sure to prioritize data security. Additionally, you can work with a data appending service to fill in any information gaps. 

Step 2: Analyze your marketing efforts.

Once you know who your donors are and what makes them want to give to your school, you need to translate those findings into actionable next steps. In other words, you’ll tailor your marketing efforts to the preferences and motivations of your target audience.

Here’s how data can shape marketing efforts for each communication channel:

  • Digital marketing. Your digital marketing efforts can include your website, social media posts, email marketing, and more. This channel is one of the most flexible and adaptable, making it extremely easy to create text, images, videos, and other content that pinpoints donors’ motivations. For example, you might design two marketing emails with slightly different strategies and perform an A/B test to see which strategy is most effective. Then, you can edit and adjust your email marketing tactics for better results.

  • Direct mail. Because direct mail can be costly, it should only be sent to supporters who strongly prefer this form of communication and are likely to open and engage with the message. Make sure to use language, imagery, and stories tailored to those donors’ giving behaviors. If most recipients are students’ grandparents, for instance, you might tell a story that makes them feel nostalgic and inspired to provide fun experiences for the next generation. To track your direct mail success rate, add a unique, scannable QR code linking to your donation form and attribute donors who scan in to direct mail outreach.

  • Out-of-home or outdoor. This channel includes any print signage or flyers you hang at school or in the community, ideally with language that matches your donors’ giving motivations. While it can be difficult to track how effective these efforts are, you can emulate the direct mail strategy and create unique QR codes linking to your website or donation page. To get even more specific, you might create a different code for each location to see which area gets the most engagement.

Make sure to share these results with your staff, teachers, or PTO to ensure everyone is on the same page when sharing about your campaign online. This way, all communications will feel cohesive and no efforts will go wasted due to ineffective marketing strategies.

Step 3: Evaluate campaign results.

It can be tempting to stop working on a campaign as soon as your fundraiser ends. However, it’s critical that you take the time to carefully analyze your results, learn about new donors, and understand how you can make future improvements.

Using your fundraising software, you can study data from each step of your fundraiser to see what worked well, identify opportunities for growth, and determine profitability. 99Pledges’ guide to kids’ fundraising ideas lays out the steps to a pledge fundraiser—let’s see how you can extract valuable data from each step in the process:

  1. Create a pledge fundraising campaign. By creating both a school- or campaign-wide fundraising page and individual pages for your participants, you’ll understand how many participants are contributing to your fundraising efforts.
  2. Ask participants to share their fundraising page. Track how participants share these pages and who engages with them. This way, you’ll get a feel for which communication channels the audience uses.
  3. Participants collect pledges from friends and family. Keep track of who donates to any of your donation pages. Gather as much data about each donor as you can from the donation form, making sure to cross-reference your database for repeat donors.
  4. Track campaign progress. As you fundraise, keep track of how many donors you have, your average gift size, and the total amount raised. Then at the end of the fundraiser, you can pick out trends in the data (e.g., a spike in donations after trying a new social media marketing tactic).
  5. Receive pledged donations. Once you receive all donations, you can determine the average donation amount, total revenue, and your ROI for the campaign. This is also when you’ll know whether you hit your goal and, ideally, be able to target what strategies got you there.

Regardless of what your results are, remember that it’s essential to steward your donors. Use your fundraising software or another communication tool to send them customized thank-you messages that acknowledge their contributions and convey your genuine gratitude. This will go a long way in cultivating a dedicated supporter base.

Data is only valuable if it is accurate, up-to-date, and organized. So, it’s essential to prioritize data hygiene by frequently auditing your files for outdated information, typos and other errors, duplicate entries, and data that is not entered in your standardized format. By committing to frequently cleaning your data, you’ll ensure that data insights are fresh and accurate to your donors’ current needs.

This guide explores three ways your nonprofit can use its CRM data to drive the decisions that will boost its impact.

3 Ways Your CRM Data Can Drive Nonprofit Decisions

For a nonprofit to truly impact the communities it serves, thoughtful decision-making must guide its fundraising efforts, programs, and other activities. 

But to make these decisions, you must be equipped with more than just the authority of your leadership position.

A collection of data about your nonprofit’s work can give you the context you need to make crucial decisions, and your constituent relationship management (CRM) software is a treasure trove of this helpful information. Let’s take a closer look at three ways your CRM data can drive decision-making for your organization.

Encourage Further Involvement

Your nonprofit’s donors will make it to different points of the donor journey. The ones that stick around for the long haul are loyal supporters with whom you should develop strong relationships. Newly acquired or less involved donors simply have an ever-increasing potential to achieve a level of loyalty, and your CRM data can point both out.

Use your CRM data to understand donors’ giving frequencies and track important metrics, such as:

  • Donor retention rate: What percentage of your supporters continue to give to your organization? Learning your donor retention rate can help you identify how many donors continue their involvement, which ones keep giving, and help you start thinking about how to increase that number. According to Double the Donation, you can also use the data from your CRM to develop a donor retention program that will help you encourage donors to continue giving in specific ways.
  • Gift amount history: Is there a pattern or trend in giving? Can you see different data when you segment your audiences? If you discover that your fundraising trends increase seasonally, or with a certain demographic, you have insights on where to focus your efforts. When there’s a significant change from the historical data, you can address it—either by doubling down on what’s working or exploring what could be going wrong.
  • Donor lifetime value: Donor lifetime value (LTV) is a critical metric for nonprofits. It not only shows you donor behavior in the past, but it can help you predict fundraising revenues in the future. LTV is also an important tool when your nonprofit is looking for major gift donors.

Equipped with this donor data, you’ll be able to better understand patterns of involvement. That way, your nonprofit can plan involvement opportunities that appeal to its supporters and encourage them to stay involved.

Communicate Based on Donor Segments

The data about your donors collected in your CRM can help you learn more about them and how to better communicate with them. Not only will you observe communication preferences, such as the channels your donors most actively engage with, but you’ll also learn what content appeals to them and how to craft your donation ask to most resonate with them. 

Also, when your CRM manages donor communications for you, you can even more easily put this data to work. CharityEngine’s guide to nonprofit CRMs recommends searching for a CRM that streamlines donor communications through features such as:

  • Email campaigns: The right CRM helps you create customized emails that represent your organization’s brand and populate supporters’ names in the salutation by using information from their donor profiles. For example, you can create a thank-you email using the donor’s name, email address, and information about the size of their gift and the program they supported.
  • Direct mail marketing: Direct mail isn’t dead! Many nonprofits get most of their fundraising dollars from direct mail. When you have a CRM that offers all the tools fundraisers need, you can easily plug direct mail into a highly effective omnichannel campaign.
  • Automated messages: Set up automated thank-yous to send recipients a quick confirmation immediately after a fundraiser. You might prepare different messages for each audience segment, such as a summary of the donation amount for donors and a recap of volunteer hours served for volunteers.

Be sure to keep additional communication data hygienic to avoid sending messages to the wrong contact information or targeting the wrong supporters. Conduct a data append to ensure all your information is correct, then maintain it by standardizing your data input processes and cleaning the database regularly.

Plan Future Fundraising Events

When you analyze your fundraising data, you’ll be able to better understand which efforts were successful, which ones weren’t, and how you can improve them to boost donations in the future. Track the following data through your CRM: 

  • Event attendance: This information can help you determine the most effective and appealing event types and activities to engage your supporters.
  • Donor satisfaction: After your event, ask attendees what they thought. Was there an opportunity for them to engage, and at what rate did they engage? Figure out what worked so you can repeat it!
  • Event revenue: It’s important to measure event revenue, but then dig deeper. What raised more money, the ticket sales or the auction? Drill down into where your nonprofit makes the most fundraising money.

Your data isn’t the only tool that will help you plan future fundraising events. The CRM itself can support your fundraising initiatives through features such as secure payment processing for nonprofits. After using data to plan your event, execute it well by leveraging your CRM’s other tools to make donating and getting involved easy for supporters.

Your nonprofit’s data is an important resource for decision-making. To add on to the data your CRM automatically collects, conduct your own research to learn even more about your donors and how you can improve your fundraising efforts. For example, you might send out a donor survey to ask for their opinions on a specific project and your approach to serving the community. The more data you have, the more accurate the conclusions you derive from it will be.


Improving your website with web analytics starts with tracking these five metrics.

Improve Your Website with Web Analytics: 5 Important Metrics

Your nonprofit collects data all the time, from supporters’ communication preferences to their giving habits, demographics, and more. You probably use this information to enhance your fundraising and marketing campaigns to better appeal to supporters’ interests. Did you know you can also use data to help improve your website?

Website data gathered from sources like Google Analytics, along with donor data from your nonprofit’s CRM, can be used to develop a website that speaks to your audience and drives engagement. We’ll review these five specific metrics that can help you design a better website: 

  1. Donation page metrics
  2. Demographic data 
  3. Split testing results
  4. User behavior metrics
  5. Traffic sources

You can gather and assess this information on your own, or turn to a nonprofit web design professional to help translate your data into actionable insights. Either way, using your data to make informed web design decisions will pay off in the long run when you can generate more online support. 

1. Donation page metrics

Your nonprofit’s online donation page is the tool that turns casual website visitors into supporters. Understanding where your donation page is succeeding and where it’s missing the mark can help you make informed design decisions that boost your online fundraising results. 

Here are a few of the most essential donation page metrics to keep an eye on: 

  • Click-through rate: This is the percentage of website visitors who click on the link to your online donation page. You can boost your click-through rate by developing more enticing calls to action (CTAs) or by featuring your giving page more prominently on your website’s homepage or main menu. 
  • Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who visit your online giving form and actually donate. To improve your conversion rate, Kanopi recommends emulating the top nonprofit websites by making the giving process as straightforward as possible. Keep the design simple and uncluttered, use a clear and consistent tone, and make the page mobile-friendly. 
  • Average online gift size: Compare this metric to your average gift size for other channels like direct mail. If your average online gift size is lower than expected, you can try to increase it by offering higher suggested donation amounts or giving donors the choice to cover additional processing fees. 

By using data to inform your donation page design strategy, you can increase online conversions and turn your website into a more effective fundraising channel. 

2. Demographic data

Knowing more about your supporters’ backgrounds can help you design a website that resonates with them. When it comes to managing and tracking donor data, your CRM is your most powerful tool. Use your CRM to track demographics that are meaningful and applicable to your organization. Those could include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment information
  • Education level

Consider this data when redesigning your website to better appeal to as many audience members as possible. For example, if you discover many donors work for companies that offer matching gift programs, you can better highlight matching gift opportunities across your website and online donation page. 

If your CRM is missing critical demographic information, you can conduct a demographic append to add extra details. A demographic append pulls information from third-party databases to help you fill gaps in your supporter information. 

3. Split testing results

Let’s say you’re looking to redesign your nonprofit website’s menu but you aren’t sure what type of navigation will work best for your audience. You may currently have a vertical sidebar menu but want to find out if horizontal navigation will work better. 

To determine the best path forward, you can carry out a split test (also known as an A/B test). You’ll create a new web page with a new URL that is identical to the original page but features a horizontal menu instead. Then, you’ll show both versions to similar audiences to gather feedback about which version performs better. 

Here is an example of what that A/B test might look like, with click-through rates shown for both menu options:

This image is an example of a split test, with a vertical navigation bar showing a 30% click-through rate and a horizontal navigation bar showing a 75% click-through rate.

In addition to your menu design, you can also conduct split testing for: 

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Calls to action (CTAs) 
  • Headers
  • Colors
  • Typography

You can assess practically any web design element with split testing to determine which options are more appealing to your audience. Through this evaluation, you can make informed decisions rather than acting on hunches. 

4. User behavior metrics

Different aspects of your website will naturally be more engaging than others, whether it’s your image slideshow, homepage video, or audience polls. You can determine exactly which page elements are most engaging by running a user behavior analysis. 

Using a website heatmap tool, you can understand how visitors engage with your website to determine opportunities for improvement and proactively identify user experience issues. 

Look into popular options like HotJar or explore the options available through your CMS. Drupal and WordPress both offer modules and plugins to conduct heatmap analysis in real-time.

Combine insights from a heatmap tool with Google Analytics to reveal the following metrics: 

  • Time on page. Determine how long visitors spend on each page before clicking away. 
  • Mouse tracking. See which buttons visitors click, how far they scroll down each page, and what areas of each page they ignore or engage with most. 
  • Direct user feedback via surveys. Incorporate website polls using feedback widgets to gather direct audience input. 

These user behavior metrics can help you collect data for your split tests, making it easier to determine the best path forward for your design choices. 

5. Traffic sources

Your website’s data can also reveal the success of your multichannel marketing efforts. By assessing your most popular traffic sources using Google Analytics, you can see which marketing channels drive the most cross-platform engagement.

Google Analytics groups traffic sources into the following categories:

  • Direct: typing your website’s URL into a browser
  • Referral: clicking a link to your website from another website
  • Social media: clicking a link to your website from a social media post
  • Email: clicking a link to your website from an email
  • Organic search: clicking a link to your website from a search engine
  • Paid search: clicking a link to your website from a paid search ad

Using this information, you can maximize your efforts on your most popular channels and build up outreach on other important channels that are underperforming.

For example, you might determine that your organic search traffic is thriving due to your robust SEO strategy, but your paid search ads could be more visible. In this case, you might consider applying for a Google Ad Grant. This program offers qualifying nonprofits $10,000 per month to spend on Google Ads, which are the paid search ads that appear at the top of search results pages.

Getting Attention’s guide to Google Ad Grant optimization recommends taking specific steps to make your paid search ad strategy more effective. These include using specific, long-tail keywords, targeting local audiences, and creating user-friendly, informational landing pages on your website.

Develop a process for continually reviewing these metrics with your nonprofit’s team. Practice good data hygiene by keeping your donor database and reporting processes organized and consistent. This will allow you to adapt to new audience preferences or trends to continue improving your website and appealing to supporters’ interests. 


Data from your association event can improve future event planning.

6 Post-Event Data Metrics Every Association Should Leverage

Your association planned for months, coordinated with members and vendors, and the event was a hit! Even if an event goes according to plan, there are likely still areas of improvement. From enhancing attendance to increasing member satisfaction with the event to determining if you should use hybrid or virtual events, there are a plethora of data points to evaluate when it comes to planning your next event.

In this article we’ll discuss six post-event metrics your association can use to analyze event performance, make recommendations for the future, and maintain proper data hygiene.

1. Attendance Records

One of the best indications that an event started off strong is that all your registration spots were filled. A successful event begins far before the event day, when your association opens registration and begins promoting it. You’ll want to assess how quickly registration filled up and the time periods when the most registration forms were completed. This can give you some indication as to which marketing campaign strategies were most successful, as well as the time period when most people are willing to commit to an event. When thinking about general attendance records, be sure to compare your most recent data to previous events and years to evaluate if there are any overlapping patterns present.

You’ll also want to compare the number of registrants with the number of attendees, as this can help you plan for similar gaps in your future events and leave room for more attendees to register. Similarly, you’ll want to see if there was a drop off in attendance during multi-day events, or even session to session. This can help you determine if there are specific topics or speakers that attendees are more or less eager to engage with.

2. Membership attendance

Depending on the size and purpose of the event, it may have attracted industry peers outside of your association membership’s pool as well as current members. According to Fonteva’s member engagement guide, events can be key in getting members involved with your association, which is essential to improving retention rates.

While events are a great way to gain new members, current member attendance and satisfaction should be a key focus in your event analysis. Consider the following questions when assessing member event attendance:

  • What percentage of attendees were members?
  • How many members of your association registered?
  • What percentage of your total membership attended?
  • Was the event attended more by a specific group within your association?
  • Are there any common demographics or interest areas among members who did attend?
  • How many members registered but did not attend?

You can use your membership directory to send out post-event surveys specifically for members after the event. Tracking members’ feedback and implementing changes in response can boost retention rates by helping you cater to their interests, make events more engaging, and create a more positive member experience.

3. Satisfaction Rate

Within the satisfaction survey, vary the questions to give attendees an opportunity to express how they felt about the overall event. By leaving questions open-ended and avoiding leading questions, you’ll get more accurate responses and more useful data. Include short answers, multiple choice, yes/no, and scaled questions within the survey.

Here are some examples of questions to ask attendees about your event:

  • How do you rate your experience at this event on a scale of 1-10?
  • Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
  • Was this event what you expected? Why or why not?
  • Which sessions or speakers stood out to you?
  • Was there anything you felt was missing from this event?

While asking questions can provide valuable feedback for your association, keep the survey relatively short to encourage more responses. This survey is also a helpful way to confirm you have attendee contact information correct in case there are any contact appends needed for your member directory. In addition to sending association members a post-event survey, you can also create separate surveys for registrants who did not attend to determine if there is a common factor in the lack of attendance.

4. Session analytics

Events are a valuable opportunity for association members to engage with fellow professionals in their field, learn from industry leaders, and get involved with your association’s programs. To continue providing these valuable experiences, it’s important to ascertain what parts of events members find most appealing and helpful.

If you’ve hosted a virtual or hybrid event, look at how many individuals tuned in to a keynote speakers’ presentation, when most people began logging off, or how many individuals tuned in each day of the event. Assessing what speakers, topics, or sessions had the most engagement can help you plan the next events’ programs to better engage members.

5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Events provide your members valuable experience, but they should also be providing direct value and revenue for your association as well. Compare the cost of an event with the revenue produced to determine its value. If there is a gap in revenue produced and the cost, a secondary measure to evaluate would be new memberships and current member satisfaction. Because there will likely be new members as a result of events, it’s essential to have a value attributed to those who are joining to help you determine the overall ROI of the event.

6. Lead Generation

After determining the success of the overall event, it can be helpful to pinpoint what marketing tactics made the event successful. Consider what your association’s main funnel for obtaining registrants looks like and how you guided registrants to attend the event.

Here are some questions to ask while assessing the marketing of your event:

  • What marketing channels were you using (such as your association website, email, or social media)?
  • Is there and example of specific marketing language that was successful?
  • Did the timeline of marketing match what you anticipated for registration?
  • How did internal (marketing to existing members within the association) and external (marketing to potential members outside the association) marketing efforts compare?

To host a successful event, your association needs attendees. Get as many individuals as possible in the door by determining what worked best in your past event marketing campaigns.

Remember, the work doesn’t end immediately after an event! It’s crucial to review your association’s event information as quickly as possible. By sending surveys out soon after the event, attendees will have a fresh perspective and helpful feedback. Similarly, reviewing event data will give your association ample time to implement any needed changes to ensure planning for the next event is as productive as possible.

Author: Erin Lemons

Erin Lemons joins Togetherwork Association Solutions with over 15 years serving as a marketing director, event producer, and project manager creating robust marketing campaigns and initiatives that focus on the growing and ever-changing technology needs of the association industry. She leads the marketing teams and strategy at Fonteva and Protech.