data numbers

How to use fundraising ROI data

It is really important to know how to use fundraising ROI data.  It can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you engage with it.

The figures in our 2019 Fundraising Benchmarking study and in our soon to be released 2020 version whilst interesting, cannot be used in isolation to make a case for investing / not investing in any one type of fundraising.


This is especially true in a rapidly changing sector where we are suddenly so restricted and yet also so creative.


Behind the data are individual stories of organisations with differing resources, length of fundraising experience, brand recognition, culture and connections.

If you are using the information from our reports to help you consider the fundraising future of your organisation, please ask the following questions:


  • Have you been fundraising for a while?
  • Do you have a range of existing income streams?
  • Do you have a fundraising team or someone who already does your fundraising who is experienced and successful?
  • Do you have a strong brand? Is it clear to the outside world who you are and the good that you do?
  • Do you have a good website, easily navigable and pleasant to use?
  • Are you present online in the places where your audiences are? Are you talking to them and building a community?
  • Is your leadership strong? Do you have an effective board and do they adhere to good governance practice?
  • Is it clear why someone would support you? Can a potential supporter understand the difference their gift is going to make?
  • Are you willing to invest in fundraising over the long term and do you understand that it can take many years to build s sustainable stream of income?


The more of these for which the answer is ‘yes’ then the closer you’ll get towards an improving ROI.

I appreciate that for charities beginning their fundraising journey, this list can look a little exhaustive and intimidating.


You do not have to be doing all of these things perfectly in order to achieve great things with your fundraising


There are in fact plenty of big brands who don’t have all of this stuff nailed.  Just start by focusing on one or two areas for improvement and do them really well.

If you’re answering ‘no’ to most of these questions, then bear in mind the following:


  • you shouldn’t expect an ‘average’ ROI in the first few years (unless you’re extremely well connected!), especially with the challenges which 2020 has brought us
  • you are likely to require sustained investment in fundraising for a period of months (at least) before seeing a return (but it will be worth it!)


Confident now that you know how to use fundraising ROI data? 

Ready to begin your fundraising journey? 

Desperate to make improvements to existing activities?


We can help you!  Email and we’ll set up a chat.

Posted in Fundraising.