10 Tips for Gauging Donor Activity

10 Tips for Gauging Donor Activity

Focusing on the stewardship of your donors is a fundraising best practice. By properly stewarding your followers and donors, you provide more opportunities for investment and create a positive experience for your givers. 

Follow our steps today for assessing the activity of your givers.


1. Review your giving and donor actual vs. budget REGULARLY.

How often do you spend time diligently reviewing giving actuals vs. what was budgeted? Engage in this activity regularly and you’ll know whether or not you’re ahead of or behind the game. 

2. Review your goals quarterly and ensure they are SMART. 

The specific, measurable, attainable, what’s the R Relevant and Timely! Right? You should diligently and consistently apply these to your fundraising goals. 

3. Don’t be afraid to revisit and revise your goals. 

If your organization undergoes changes, which they may throughout the course of the year, revising your goals should be a part of your regular review process. It’s important not to change your goals too often, however if your goals no longer seem relevant or realistic, it may be time to revise. 

4. Review your expenses regularly.

Again, the key here is REGULARLY. You should be looking at how you are doing in terms of realistic assumptions about your budget spending. So many times at the end of the year organizations, both on the marketplace and ministry side, are rushing to spend when there are line items where there’s overflow.

Download the ebook we created for you with these 10 Tips for Gauging Donor Activity.  

5. Maintain and review your engagement levels during peak seasons and non-peak seasons. 

Anytime is a great time to make sure that you are engaging donors. Typically you may engage during giving season but engaging during a non-peak season will help maintain consistency with donors.

6. Connect with high capacity donors differently.

This may seem like a non-starter, but in reality you should be analyzing and connecting with high capacity donors differently. Are you sharing their impact with them? If not, share it with them to increase and maintain engagement levels. 

7. Assess your ROI and impact and share with your community.

What is the donor’s return on investment? Donors of all levels care about their impact. You should regularly give your community a realistic assessment of where the money is going and why its made an impact; or what type of impact would be made with additional donations. This can encourage donors without the ask. 

8. Assess your messaging and gauge your donors. 

As you start to focus on your communication with donors, whether it be to ask for donations, or to share their impact you should assess your messaging and pay attention to your engagement levels. From here tweak your messaging to maximize your impact.

Learn more about nonprofit giving trends and discover the demographics that are talking about generosity in your community on the Generosity Labs blog.

9. Quarterly, assess your first time donors vs. repeat donors.

Understanding the regularity of donations by categorizing your donors can allow for targeting communication. Your messaging can now be tailored for first time givers vs. repeat donors. Stay strategic and you’ll be able to make better communication decisions.

10. Compare and understand your repeat donor retention rate.

To expand further on #9, you’ve got to understand the retention rate of your donors. From here, you can better understand what motivates donors, donation and donor trends and crate additional streams of communication.

When you follow these steps to gauge the activity of your donor base, you can better communicate with and nurture your givers, finding new ways to motivate them to further invest in your worthy cause. 

Get our free ebook with these 10 Tips for Gauging Donor Activity.


Keep up with the latest on giving and generosity on the Generosity Labs podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or YouTube.