by Michelle Janssen, CFRE
Recently I heralded the lifetime commitment of several of our donors in support of the mission of Berea College via a Facebook post. My post led to an invitation to blog about the daily (or weekly) gift report and its many useful applications to our work.
I thought I’d give a nod to longtime ALDE member and Lutheran leader Rich Bimler, who loves using alphabetic mnemonic devices, to underscore the importance of giving reports. So, with all apologies to Rich, here goes…
R – Regular
If you aren’t currently using a daily or weekly gift report pushed electronically to internal stakeholders, consider adding this to your practice. I’d be happy to send you a sample of ours if you’d like a primer to get started. Contact me here.
E – Effective
Think about what is important to capture in a daily report, tailored to your organization, and create it accordingly.
P – Prospects
For those of you with a research function, daily gift reports showing size of gift while denoting a first time donor OR an increase in the size of gift over the last contribution provide a rich prospecting field from which to launch further investigation and analysis.
While it is tough to draw strategic conclusions about the health of your program using a daily report, such reports can be useful, particularly when employed regularly over time, to spot rhythms in your program.
R – Recent (or frequent)
Organizations offering donors multiple giving channels encourage donors to give frequently throughout the year. Daily reports capturing the date of last gift or a column denoting a multiple annual giver are instructive to colleagues.
T – (Life)Time
Our daily report shows the number of years a giving record has supported Berea College. In one of last week’s reports three separate individuals/couples rang in at 50, 67 and 70 years of giving to the college. Such a commitment is humbling and inspiring. Consider using your report to celebrate a significant milestone in a giving relationship with your organization or institution.
Know your audience. Does your CEO or President need to see a daily gift report or a separate daily or weekly report showing only gifts of a certain level, or gifts (at any level) from board members? Think about how an expanded circulation list, after a primer on what each data point means, could enhance the culture of philanthropy across key bands in your organization.
In our business, metrics matter. Daily reports are just one way to track and capture results — start using them!
Michelle Janssen, CFRE, is Vice President for Alumni and College Relations at Berea College in Berea, Ky. She was ALDE President from 2003-2005, received the ALDE Virgil Anderson Award in 2011 and was recognized with the ALDE President’s Award for Volunteer Service in 2000.