Welcome to a world of….

Over the years, I’ve really enjoyed working in the sector, there’s great people and causes but one thing that I’ve always struggled with is the lack of data understanding.

I remember, whilst typing this, of a conversation I had on a train early in my role at VSO with the head of Individual Giving and another fundraiser where I was waxing lyrical about data and its usage and how animated I got and was told to calm down and you’ll go far but also remember thinking to myself I need to bridge the gap between the database and the fundraising team. I thought that this was my job as Database Manager.

15 years later and I’m now at a stage where I’m still trying to bring fundraisers closer to their data. Over the years I’ve understood that fundraisers are people who like colours rather than a wall of numbers – I’ve tried to do both, they like simplicity rather than having to write queries and are mainly comfortable in excel. Some of the new fundraisers though and the ones that I think that will excel (see what I did there!) over the coming years are the ones that are curious about their supporters and want to get closer to their data.


ADRFM is a suite of reports that cover the key reports and metrics that fundraisers have asked me for over the years. Actually Data’s Really Fantastic Metrics (ADRFM) was born.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed is delivering training sessions. When a user gets what you’re trying to show them, as an example, queries in Raiser’s Edge. There’s no better feeling that you’ve just made someone self sufficient. I’ve worked with organisations who have asked me for reports from CRM systems and I’ve also worked with organisations who’ve had no reporting in place or not had any ideas of how well they have been performing other than what’s in the management accounts. The level of detail that is available or should be available in your CRM system should mean that you have answers to questions like: Who are my best supporters, where do they live, what products do they buy, when do they buy them, what will they buy next. None of this is going to come from your management accounts.

Having worked with a number of organisations where there were monthly reports required and doing mailing selections for clients. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what has been common across these organisations, large and small. Simple things like RFV (Recency, Frequency, Value) to single givers and multi givers were always things that seemed to be high up on a fundraisers mind. Then there were things around average gift amounts and the number of communications that a supporter has received. We have over 20 metrics that we can calculate on your data that you can select supporters on or review what they have done some of which might be things that you’d like to test at some point in the future in a mailing or supporter journey.

Having a suite of reports that covers all aspects of fundraising that is simple to use and explore your data I hope brings fundraisers closer to their supporters and helps them understand what they do and when they do it. It’s colourful so hopefully more engaging than a crystal report and gives organisations who haven’t reviewed their reporting needs a starting point. One of the clients used it in that way, they needed reporting but wasn’t sure what they wanted so have started with ADRFM and found that it meets most of their requirements

ADRFM is a system agnostic, subscription product. so we don’t mind if you’re using thankQ, Raiser’s Edge, D365, Salesforce or any other of the number of CRM systems that are in the sector, our system will work with it. We have customers who combine data from multiple systems to use together instead of going through a full data warehouse solution.

As with most things that I’ve worked on, I believe that reporting is a journey, if you’re just starting out on your journey we have a reporting suite that will get you and your organisation started. This is ADRFM lite, it covers reporting and KPIs.

If however, you’re a larger organisation embracing data already and looking to take the next step with your reporting we have the Pro version which has the reporting, KPI’s, metrics and our very own segmentation tool. This allows fundraisers (or anyone?) to create their own segments to do analysis with.

We’ve also done bespoke reports using the same technology and based on our data model using data from Google Analytics and Email Marketing Platforms like Dot Digital.

So if you’d like to find out more about ADRFM or talk about your specific reporting needs and how it might help your organisation get in touch and we can have a virtual coffee and talk about it in more detail, you may need to tell me to “calm down” though ;). Contact Us

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