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Global NFP Benchmarking Survey Results

20 January 2015 at 11:05 am
Lina Caneva
Not for Profit and association executives in Australia and elsewhere are concerned about keeping up with mobile demands and reporting and measurement challenges, a new global benchmarking survey has found.

Lina Caneva | 20 January 2015 at 11:05 am


Global NFP Benchmarking Survey Results
20 January 2015 at 11:05 am

Not for Profit and association executives in Australia and elsewhere are concerned about keeping up with mobile demands and reporting and measurement challenges, a new global benchmarking survey has found.

International software provider, Advanced Solutions International (ASI), has released the results of its first annual Global Benchmark Reports on Membership Performance and Fundraising Performance.  

Among the findings, the studies show both association and Not for Profit executives in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe and the US are concerned about keeping up with mobile demands and reporting/measurement challenges.

Based on the survey results of 534 membership executives and 326 fundraisers, the two reports explore key challenges, goals and priorities.  

Increasing donations, acquiring new donors, and expanding donor engagement were their primary goals, the study found.

Their highest priorities related to accessing better donor intelligence and leveraging online/mobile fundraising opportunities.  

As well, the study found that 30 per cent of executives surveyed don’t know their overall retention rate.

Another 45 per cent had declining or stagnant retention rates, yet improving donor retention was not an important priority.

The study found that 40 per cent acknowledged they offered no mobile options while another 29 per cent reported that they generate up to half of all their donations online.

Executives also revealed that they were most challenged by an inability to properly measure member engagement and inadequate reporting tools.  

Their top goals related to increasing member engagement, retention, and new member acquisition, while improving member intelligence/reporting capabilities and enhancing online/mobile self-service were their most pressing priorities, the study found.

Fundraising organisations appeared to be far more concerned with acquiring new donors than with retaining their existing base.

“It’s vital to actively engage donors to maximise their lifetime value, but it appears that Not for Profits don’t have the tools to do this and/or to measure the results,” the study said.

Survey participants identified several challenges they’re currently facing and their top two were nearly tied. A lack of mobile and online fundraising capabilities was a concern, as was their inability to adequately measure the engagement levels of their donors.

These concerns were followed by a lack of integration between their donor management system (DMS) and their website.

“Not surprisingly, fundraising executives are focused on increasing donations, acquiring new contributors, and expanding the engagement levels of their existing base,” according to the study.

“While increasing donor retention is also a consideration, it’s not at the top of the list and that could be a problem.”

The study found that fundraising executives have two primary priorities at this time: 1) accessing/analysing better intelligence on their donors and 2) taking advantage

of the growing online and mobile fundraising opportunities available to them.

However, it said there was a disconnect between their stated goals and highest priorities.

According to the study, to increase donations and engagement as well as improve donor intelligence and online capabilities, executives must first look at their donor management system (and its ability to integrate with their website) to ensure they have the infrastructure to support their efforts.

“Overall, membership organisations appear to understand the importance of engagement and its impact on retention. Roughly half of all respondents have a 76 per cent or greater retention rate. More than one-third have seen increases in engagement and 78 per cent report they have a strategic initiative to expand engagement.

“Yet there is some troubling news. Despite the number of tools available, 21 per cent reported they do not know their overall member retention rate.”

Nearly one-third could not currently measure their member engagement rates. For those who could answer the questions, engagement rates remained unchanged or decreased for 32 per cent of respondents.

“Their biggest concern relates to a lack of visibility into membership engagement levels. This was followed closely by (and is interrelated with) inadequate tools to generate the reporting and analysis they need to make sound business decisions. And, given the slow economic recovery experienced in many parts of the world, total costs of their management systems were also a pressing issue for executives,” according to the report.

“Given this, and the fact that the highest-rated priority is to ‘improve member intelligence and reporting capabilities,’ it appears that association executives are forced to make important business decisions without the benefit of critical, real-time data to guide them.”

In mid to late 2014, ASI conducted a survey of association/membership organisations as well as Not for Profits to uncover the latest trends in operational performance.

Surveys were distributed via email to senior-level executives at organisations of all sizes and sectors and consisted of 20 questions spanning five primary interest areas:  demographics, performance, technology, website/mobile, and goals. 

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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