Advancement Services Metrics: 10 Key Numbers

Advancement Services Metrics: 10 Key Numbers

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For managers of fundraising and for those who work processing gifts and keeping the database up to date, it is not always easy to get information about good practice in these fields.

The following ten measurements can guide you in establishing appropriate resources and expectation of performance in these areas. These suggestions assume a fairly high degree of sophistication in the fundraising operation, but organisations that are at earlier stages of fundraising development can benefit from being aware of these standards.


1. Number of gifts processed/dedicated gift entry staff member

100 gift transactions/day. This acknowledges that the gift entry act may also require basic address updates and an occasional phone call for clarification. It also assume little or no photocopying.

2. Turn around time from receipt of gift to mailing of gift receipt

2 business days. This is upon receipt in Advancement Services. University policies should require all gifts be delivered to this office within 24 hours of receipt within a school or department.

3. Number of dedicated data entry specialist needed to maintain a database

1 FTE for every 30-35,000 active development records. This assumes that these individuals have no other primary responsibilities and are also required to conduct proactive research to locate missing data. This also assumes a robust set of daily or weekly data integrity edits to search for possible errors on the database.

4. Acceptable lost alumni rate

5%. This assumes that we have either a valid white-mail, e-mail, or phone number on file – regardless of whether the contact information has been recently verified.

5. Acceptable percent of contact phone numbers

75%. May not have been recently verified.

6. Acceptable percent of contact e-mail addresses

50-75%. May not have been recently verified.

7. Number of dedicated IT support staff based on active alumni of record

1 FTE for every 36,600 alumni records.

8. Number of dedicated Prospect Researchers

1 for every 5-7 front line development officers.  When in campaign mode that changes to 1 for every 3-5. This assumes predominately “reactive” prospect research. To incorporate proactive research along with data mining and predictive modeling requires an additional full-time staff member.

9. Number of dedicated report writers

1 FTE for every 100,000 database records. Assumes a rather sophisticated and user-friendly end-user reporting tool.

10. Number of dedicated database administrators

1 FTE for every 200,000 database records. Assumes the above-defined level of data entry specialists.



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Fundraising Consultants & Researchers at AskRIGHT
AskRIGHT fundraising consultants and researchers help non-profit organisations raise more money by providing optimal fundraising strategies, identification of donors and fundraising training.
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