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Over the last month, we have examined the first five of our Seven Success Factors, the evaluation framework we use to help our clients optimize their peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. These essential pieces of a peer-to-peer fundraising program include strategy, audience, ask, experience and service. The first five have long been integral components of peer-to-peer fundraising development.
However our next success factor is somewhat new to the industry. When harnessed properly, it has the greatest potential of the seven to exponentially grow a program. You may have already guessed what it is: the sixth success factor is data.
More often than not, clients tell us that they love data. Geeky has become cool, and most peer-to-peer programs have at least one person who is “crunching the numbers.” Many programs, however, are trying to track too many metrics, mistaking quantity of information for a true understanding of the program. Regularly tracking too many metrics will not help you make strategic decisions and grow your program. A key part of analytics is learning which metrics are driving results and then leaving the rest behind.
When we talk to clients about what is most critical to measure, we generally rely on the “one hand rule.” The idea is that you should only live and die by as many metrics as you can count on one hand. There might be dozens that are interesting and informative – but only a handful are most critical to any program.
Choosing which metrics to track
So how do you decide what metrics make your top five? Ask yourself the following questions:
Take these three questions and apply them to the metrics you are currently tracking. If you can say yes to all three, then the metric is probably worth keeping. Remember that less is more in a world of data, and that more information is only helpful if there is a strategy around it.
Our top three
So, what metrics do you consider to be part of your top five? While programs can vary wildly, here are three we always reach for:
Number of constituents, median donors per constituents, and median amount per donation are three metrics we look at no matter what. But we get five, right? What do we usually do with the other two?
The answer is that most frustrating of all answers: It depends. It depends on the needs of the nonprofit, the unique circumstances of their mission and revenue needs, and the construct of the program.
At Plenty, we’re pleased that geeky has become cool – but whether it is cool or not, we’ll be using data to improve peer-to-peer fundraising. There’s a lot to be learned, so run a report, open a spreadsheet, and dive in.
Download the complete Seven Success Factors E-Book today to learn more about evaluating and improving your peer-to-peer program!