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Nonprofit Marketing Metrics to Track

Nonprofits aren’t run exactly like a for-profit business, so they shouldn’t be measured like one. while there is overlap in relevant metrics for the 2 types of businesses, there are specific nonprofit metrics that help you better understand the results of your marketing efforts, and your organization in general.

Here are some of the nonprofit marketing metrics we use to gauge the success of our team’s efforts:

One-time vs. Returning donors 

 We all know how returning donors are more valuable long-term than one-time donors. So how do we find more of the elusive returning-donor? Segmenting one-time and returning donors in your data helps you understand any demographical or donation pattern differences between the two types of donors. Using this data can help you to improve your return donor strategy. 

For example: Let’s say you segment your donor data, and you learn that a majority of your returning donors are females, aged 45-60, and tend to engage with blogs or content surrounding a specific topic. That gives you some significant insight into future campaigns to boost returning donors.


Social and website conversion rate 

Website conversion rate: the number of people that donated online divided by the total number of visitors to your site. 

Social conversion rate: the number of individuals that donated on your social platforms divided by the total number of people that engaged with your social media platform 

Understand where a majority of your donors are coming from (organic, referral, social, direct) and create a ranking for most important channels for converting prospects into donors. This information can help you deduce what platforms are worth your time leveraging.

For example: Let’s say you spend copious amounts of time staying active on LinkedIn. If you look at your data and see that no donations have ever come through this platform, you can either decide to drastically change your social strategy or spend that energy on more productive platforms. Either way, this info lets us know a change needs to be made!

Goal Conversion Value: 

It is simple to see ROI for campaigns that are geared towards purchases, because we already have that purchase data. But what about contact form submissions or other more qualitative actions? Calculating the average conversion value helps better estimate the Return on Investment (ROI) for our marketing efforts for these measurable actions. The cool part of calculating conversion value is you can find a (guestimated) ROI on marketing efforts where the CTA is not directly connected to a monetary value. Conversion Value entails assigning an amount of value to a ‘goal’ taken on the website. This goal could be submitting a donation, applying to volunteer, or any other action you want potential supporters to take online.  

This metric isn’t automatically found in Google analytics, and requires a little bit of work before setting up an accurate representation of Goal Conversion Value. This work involves establishing what your company believes the monetary value of each goal would be. For example, the goal value for a donation submission would be the average amount of money people donate. For other actions like volunteer submissions or petition signings, that goal value is probably more holistic.

Hot Tip: Identifying the separate conversion values for one-time and recurring donations helps you gain a more accurate representation of average goal values.

Donations Per Month: 

We can probably take an educated guess at what months of the year are the most valuable in terms of donation amounts. But, understanding exactly when donations start ramping up for the holidays can help inform the timeline for your Giving Tuesday and holiday efforts. Understanding when larger sponsors usually reach out with support or what holidays you see the most success with identifies the sections out of the year you should conduct a focused outreach to donors and what holidays are worth putting extra ad budget towards. 

Hot Tip: It can also help you uncover other annual spikes in donations, such as the time of year companies tend to undergo corporate donations. This info can help you schedule any corporation-based campaigns.

Donor Acquisition Cost 

Understand which of your campaign strategies converts the most donors for the lowest price. With a limited nonprofit budget, this is a great way to know what types of campaigns or content is worth putting money into. On the flip side, it also shows you where you can trim corners without losing a large number of prospects.

To find donor acquisition cost, take the total cost of the campaign and divide it by the number of conversions attributed to the campaign. This is different from return on investment – this metric tells you the cost per person instead of the amount of money made.

This differentiation makes this metric helpful for nonprofits especially because there are more goals in the mix than a purchase. This is useful for donor cost as well as subscriber cost, volunteer application cost, or any other valuable conversions you track for your nonprofit. 

Goal Conversions from Specific Content 

Many metrics already address this aspect of your data, but there are ways to dive even deeper into this information on a page-specific level. Using Google Analytic’s user explorer, you can understand if goal conversions were connected to specific types of content, web pages, or general topics. There are other sections of GA that address acquisition, but User Explorer tracks the entire prospect donation process over multiple website entrances. It even accounts for journeys that last several weeks from start to finish! 

For example: if you publish a piece of content on donating for breast cancer awareness month and have a goal set for donations, you can use user explorer to segment all individuals that read this blog and see which conversions were directly (or indirectly) connected to the content.  

Ready to interpret your nonprofit marketing metrics? Reach out to our team!

Nonprofit Digital Marketing Guide

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