Thursday, May 1

Benchmarking With A Warped Stick

For the fourth month in a row, The NonProfit Times once again published a column by yours truly. This month the topic is an analysis of recent fundraising benchmark studies. Here's an excerpt:

"Anytime your fundraising program experiences large increases or decreases, it’s helpful to understand if the change is being driven by broader external factors or by specific issues to your audience and mission. Benchmarking studies can help identify trends in key indicators and give fundraisers the context we need in order to understand our own performance better and plan for the future.

Unfortunately, not all benchmarking studies are created equal. Some studies are nothing more than lazy half-assed analysis from vendors hawking thinly veiled sales pitches. Other well-meaning benchmarks often use questionable methodology. A flawed approach can produce misleading conclusions.

It’s therefore critical for fundraisers to share their feedback and reactions to what the benchmark studies are showing. This article compares the methodology of three of the most cited (and debated) benchmarking studies making their way around the blogosphere today."

Go here to read the full article.

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