At least once a week I receive a call from a client about their fundraising reports. They are never good calls. Here are some examples from the last 6 weeks:
- (in tears) “I am about to quit this job. The fundraising reports that my boss is asking to pull for our capital campaign are not possible.”
- (angry) “Why do I spend a day a month building the same reports? They take forever and I dread when it’s time to build these reports. I spend the entire day in Excel manipulating data.”
- (frustrated) “I don’t think I’m providing the right fundraising reports for my board. They are more informational and don’t inspire them to engage in fundraising.”
- (anxious) “Leadership is asking questions that I can’t answer with our current suite of reports.”
These calls are not fun to receive because every development department deserves action-oriented, beautiful fundraising reports. But it’s more than just producing amazing reports. You need to provide the right reports for the right audience, interpret the data and trends so that the reports are digestive and timely, and they need to be visually appealing so your audiences look forward to receiving them every month. And, your reports should be automated. Those are tall orders for your fundraising reports. They are also achievable!
Audiences for Fundraising Reports
You have three audiences for your reports and each audience should get information tailored for their specific role in your fundraising. These are typically three different suites of reports.
- Board Members
- Development Department.
You need to produce beautiful, timely, action-oriented reports for your key audiences so that:
- Each audience can engage in the highest and best ways
- Each audience understands the landscape and can ask informed questions
- Your leadership can make data-driven decisions and raise more money
- Your colleagues won’t waste time on activities that aren’t fruitful
Our Favorite Report Templates (by Audience)
The Board should receive information that helps them understand your fundraising landscape, engage in fundraising, and assist where needed. Remember, your board are not full-time fundraisers. They need high-level visibility into the organization’s philanthropic landscape and how it is changing. They do not need to know the details of every mailing, appeal and effort.
Your leadership need reports that help them understand the fundraising landscape but also manage and strategize. These are your strategists. They also need visibility into how the organization’s philanthropy is evolving. They don’t need all the details behind the data, but need to know where revenue is coming from, what’s working and what’s not, and be able to manage appropriately.
Your development department need to understand how the landscape is changing, what needs to be course-corrected and produce results. They are detail-oriented and need information about how their specific efforts/programs are faring. This includes where they are to budget so they can make changes BEFORE the end of the fiscal year.
Want to Learn How to Automate Your Monthly Reporting?
Getting these calls every week from clients breaks my heart. For many years, my Databasey team and I would come in and automate all of the reporting, but that can be expensive and the staff wasn’t trained on how to build them themselves. We’ve built an on-demand course called The Fundraising Insights Academy where we teach you how to build and automate each of these templates! This course comes with a Databasey membership.
If you are close to tears, frustrated, anxious or any other emotion (other than happy) when you think about your fundraising reports, this course is for you!
The Fundraising Insights Academy is a 6-module, online course that will help you build KPIs, automate reports, interpret trends, presentation tactics for all audiences, and more
- 10+ report templates for all monthly and annual reporting
- Access to Private Facebook Group and Group Chat with peers (so you can ask questions, share feedback, and communicate with peers who are on the same journey as you)
- Support from the Databasey team (so you are not on this report-building journey on your own)
About Mary Hackett
Mary is a fundraiser & operations strategist who specialized in helping development offices create deep, meaningful experiences for their donors.
Want help from Mary and the Databasey team? Book a complimentary strategy session today to see how we can help you with your fundraising efforts.
Need to recharge your fundraising? Mary’s new “Fundraising Success Formula” masterclass is a game-changer! Watch it now to learn how to create your fundraising blueprint!