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When it comes to data, stop thinking “I wish I knew that!”

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our world is moving and changing at a faster pace than ever before. In years past, auditing your data on an annual basis to understand KPIs was the acceptable norm – today, doing so will rapidly leave you in a position where opportunities have passed you by.

In talking with clients over the past 18 months, we heard many of the same questions being asked: “I’m getting in all of these new donors through my Covid activities, but I’m just not sure if they are sticking” or “with the economic uncertainty out there, am I losing donors at higher rates than last year?”. These types of questions simply can’t wait to be addressed at the next audit, which could be 6-9 months from now. These charities needed answers quickly so that they could act accordingly.  This really isn’t a new trend; we’ve been seeing it over the last several years where we present our annual audit to a client and hear “If I only knew this last fall, I would have done X”.  These lost opportunities are the types of things that keep fundraisers up at night.

In our experience, we typically see that most fundraisers have access to reports that cover their campaign performance (i.e.: response rates, average gifts, revenue, and expense), overall financial performance (thank you finance!), and operational KPIs (i.e.: monthly cancels). These reports are useful in that they are current and give ready access to numbers. But they are limited in the insights that they provide, typically focusing on tactical metrics, lacking visibility into strategic KPIs which are key when you are trying to understand those broader trends in your program. By using these internal reports alone, you are focused on the trees but lack true visibility of the forest – posing a challenge to effective decision making.

In today’s world, as fundraisers, we always need to stay one step ahead.  The sooner we can identify trends, the earlier we can act. We need to be able to access insights quickly to proactively prioritize investments, focus your efforts, or redirect resources. Having access to up-to-date analytics and reports at the strategic level will allow you to make smarter decisions in the moment based on hard facts, not your gut, which is critical to the success of your program. If you haven’t checked out the recent blog by my colleague, Ericka, she goes in more depth about this exact topic.

Blakely’s Rapid Report is a tool that will allow you to stay on top of the key metrics that drive success in your program.  In one,  easily accessible report, you can keep tabs on metrics such as new donor retention, monthly attrition, growth in your mid-level program, and much more.  Unlike other products, the information is in easy-to-understand visuals that you can drop into a report for your management team or can share with the board. Having this information at your fingertips will keep you in touch with your program as never before, giving you insights to help make those key decisions.

If you would like more information on how you can empower your teams through the Rapid Report, or for a demo on how this amazing tool can change fundraising for your organization, please email