ADRFM Guest Post Insight Reporting

A Case Study for ADRFM

RNID, the UK’s leading charity supporting people with hearing loss, has seen significant benefits from using the ADRFM Reporting suite for Actually Data Analytics.

Previously, RNID struggled to gain a comprehensive understanding of its data and make informed decisions based on that data. The organization had a variety of different data sources, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, fundraising platforms, and marketing tools, but it lacked a centralised system for collecting and analyzing this data.

This changed when RNID implemented the ADRFM Reporting suite. The suite enabled RNID to bring all of its data into a single platform, allowing the organization to gain a much clearer understanding of its data and use it to inform its decisions.

One key benefit of the ADRFM Reporting suite has been the ability to track the effectiveness of RNID’s marketing campaigns. With the suite, RNID can see which campaigns are generating the most leads and donations, and can use this information to optimize its marketing efforts.

This has helped RNID to significantly increase its fundraising efforts and better serve the needs of its donors and supporters.

In addition to its marketing benefits, the ADRFM Reporting suite has also helped RNID to improve its supporter care. The organization can now more easily track supporter interactions and respond to their needs in a timely and effective manner.

Overall, the ADRFM Reporting suite has been a valuable asset for RNID, helping the organization to better understand its data, optimize its marketing efforts, and improve its customer service.

You can read more about their journey here


Why is reporting important

Charity reporting is essential for a variety of reasons. To begin with, effective charity reporting assists organisations in communicating their impact and demonstrating the worth of their work to stakeholders. Donors, volunteers, beneficiaries, funders, and the general public are all included. Charities can gain trust and support from these stakeholders by providing clear and concise reports that highlight the organization’s accomplishments and the impact of its work.

Charity reporting is also important for transparency and accountability. Charities can demonstrate their commitment to being open and accountable to the public and their donors by providing regular and comprehensive reports. This can aid in the development of trust and confidence in the organisation and its work.

Effective charity reporting can also assist organisations in identifying areas for improvement and making more informed decisions about resource allocation. Charities can identify trends and patterns that may indicate areas for growth or areas that may require additional resources by tracking key metrics and analysing the data in their reports.

Finally, charity reporting is necessary for legal and compliance purposes. Many charities are required to report financial and other data to regulatory agencies or other organisations, and effective reporting can assist in ensuring that these requirements are met.

Overall, charity reporting is an important part of any organization’s work, and it’s worth devoting time and resources to ensure that it’s done correctly.

ADRFM Insight Reporting

What to count and where the pitfalls are

Depending on their specific goals and objectives, charities can benefit from tracking a variety of key metrics. Some common metrics to consider for charities include:

  1. Donor acquisition and retention: Tracking the number of new donors acquired as well as the percentage of donors who continue to give over time can assist a charity in understanding the health of its donor base and identifying areas for growth.
  2. Measuring the cost of acquiring a new donor or the return on investment of various fundraising efforts can assist a charity in understanding the effectiveness of its fundraising efforts and identifying areas for improvement.
  3. Tracking the number of people served or the outcomes achieved by the charity’s programmes can assist in demonstrating the impact of the organization’s work and identifying areas for growth.
  4. Monitoring financial metrics such as revenue, expenses, and profitability can assist a charity in understanding its financial health and identifying areas for improvement.

When tracking metrics for a charity, there are a few potential pitfalls to be aware of. One common stumbling block is focusing too much on short-term metrics, such as the number of donations received in a given month, rather than taking a long-term perspective. It is critical to consider how various metrics may impact the organisation in the long run, rather than just in the short term.

Another stumbling block is relying on metrics that are simple to track but may not be the most meaningful or relevant to the organisation. Tracking the number of website visitors, for example, may be simple, but it may not provide much insight into the effectiveness of the organization’s efforts.

It is critical to carefully consider which metrics are most important and meaningful to the organisation and to track them consistently over time.

Finally, it is essential to comprehend the limitations of any metrics that are tracked. No single metric can provide an accurate picture of an organization’s performance, so it’s critical to consider how different metrics are related and how they are influenced by external factors.


What’s possible with your CRM

Different types of reports that can be useful in your CRM and where to get more information

Here are some examples of standard reports generated by a charity customer relationship management (CRM) system:

  1. Donor reports: These reports provide information about donors, such as the number of donors, the total amount donated, and the average donation amount.
  2. Fundraising campaign reports: These reports provide information about fundraising campaigns, such as the number of donations received, total amount raised, and lead-to-donor conversion rate.
  3. Volunteer reports: These reports provide information about volunteers such as the number of volunteers, hours volunteered, and the percentage of volunteers who return to volunteer.
  4. Reports on programme impact: These reports provide information on the impact of the organization’s programmes, such as the number of people served, the outcomes achieved, and the cost per outcome.
  5. Event reports: These reports provide information about events such as the number of attendees, amount raised, and cost per attendee.
  6. Communications reports: These reports detail the organization’s communications with supporters, including the number of emails sent, open and click-through rates, and response rates to calls to action.
  7. Financial reports: These reports provide information about the financial performance of the organisation, such as revenue, expenses, and profitability.

Again, the specific reports available will be determined by the capabilities of the CRM system you use.

Beginner Reporting

Downloading data to create your reports and analysis?

Here are the steps you can take to get started with Power BI and creating a basic financial report for a charity:

  1. Gather and organise your data: The first step is to collect all of the financial information that will be included in your report. This could include data from your accounting software, such as income and expense data, as well as any other financial data you want to include, such as budget or fundraising data. Check to see if the data is clean and well-organized, with consistent formatting and no missing values.
  2. Connect to your data in Power BI: After you’ve collected and prepared your data, the next step is to connect to it in Power BI. To accomplish this, use Power BI’s “Get Data” feature to connect to your data source. You may need to install a connector or use a different method of connection depending on your data source. You can find out more about the Blackbaud Power BI Connector here
  3. Create a report: After you’ve connected your data, the next step is to create a report. You can accomplish this by utilising Power BI’s various visualisation tools, such as charts, tables, and maps, to create a report that displays your financial data in a clear and meaningful manner.
  4. Customize your report: Once you’ve created a basic report, you can add filters, slicers, and other interactive elements to allow users to dig deeper into the data. You can also use Power BI’s formatting tools to make your report more professional and visually appealing.
  5. Publish and share your report: Once you’re satisfied with your report, you can upload it to the Power BI service and share it with others. You can also embed your report in a website or other application using the Power BI API.

By following these steps, you can get started with Power BI and creating a basic financial report for your charity.

ADRFM Insight Reporting

An Intro to ADRFM

Are you tired of manually analyzing data for your business reports?

Look no further than ADRFM Reporting Suite!

Our powerful software automates the analysis process and visualising your data, allowing you to focus on making informed decisions for your business.

But don’t just take our word for it, check out our video demonstration of ADRFM Reporting Suite in action.

See how easy it is to view your data and gain valuable insights into your business operations. Don’t waste any more time on reporting. Upgrade to ADRFM Reporting Suite today and streamline your reporting process. For more information, please Get in touch.

We’ve also just released a new module for Engaging Networks Reporting. If you’re an Engaging Networks customer, you can find out more here

Beginner Reporting

Not all reports are reports

I’ve discovered that analytics and insight are two responsibilities of the database team that the teams either never get the time to properly concentrate on and thus take ages to deliver and are always misunderstood or what was required by the individuals asking for their analysis..

Depending on where you are in the organisation, for example, your level of responsibility will be determined by the database team’s expectations. It’s also difficult for database people to get enough time to understand the questions those people are attempting to answer. I’m currently working with one organisation where the fundraising teams are clamouring for analysis but the database team is struggling to deliver business-as-usual requests, so Reporting/Analysis/Insights suffers.

Anyway, the point of this post was not to highlight all of the difficulties; rather, it was to show how people requesting reports and people producing reports can work together to get the most out of each other.

Structured data is required by all organisations in various ways and for various purposes. Here’s some terminology to help you understand the various types of Reports:

  1. Lists – Some people require lists of supporters to function on a daily basis. For example, who is attending my event, who could I invite to this event, and to whom should I send my next appeal mailing? This is typically accomplished using a query tool, either within the database or by connecting to the database. Many people believe that this is a report, but it is not.
  2. Reports – Most CRM systems include a number of pre-built “Canned” Reports that cover the fundamentals. Some of these reports will address the issues on the list, while others will address financial or operational challenges that the organisation may face. Normally, a report will include Aggregation “rolled-up” numbers.
  3. Analysis – This is where we wake up database people (and sometimes get them excited) and try to engage them in learning more about our supporters. To begin, analysis can sometimes be done in Excel using a database extract and some magical formulas; more on this in a separate post. You may also have access to more powerful visualisation tools such as Power BI or Tableau. The discovery of information to answer questions such as, “What was my best recruitment method for this event?” When do the majority of my website visitors visit us, when do people of various demographics open our emails, and what works best? Packs A and B. As you can see, rolling up numbers and aggregations are required to clearly measure what is important. It’s not too difficult math as long as you understand the fundamentals; again, I feel another post coming on here.
  4. KRIs and KPIs are organisational indicators. KRIs are Key Reporting Indicators, which are useful to know even if we don’t have targets for them. For example, how many contactable people do we have on our CRM system? KPIs are Key Performance Indicators; the difference is that a performance indicator should always be accompanied by a target. For example, we anticipate bringing in X amount of revenue per team per month. We will sign up X number of people who have agreed to receive email communications from us.
  5. Insight – This is where we gain a deeper understanding of a problem and add narrative to show whether this is good, bad, or indifferent; it should essentially help with the AHA moments of looking at information, for example: only 25% of people donate to us using our website, but many more use the one-time donation process through our events fundraising platform. Our donation process workflow is inefficient and contains too many questions.

When it comes to analysis or insight, where data meets curiosity can be a powerful combination. It is also one of the reasons why fundraisers become frustrated with database teams. The database team has misunderstood or now because fundraisers have some piece of analysis they want to try a different thing and frustratingly on both sides it needs to go back into the database team to be rerun with new parameters which sometimes isn’t a 5 minutes process to just “Tweak”.

So here are my top three suggestions to make things easier for everyone involved:

Consider what you want: is it a report, a list, or something else? That way, you’ll know where you’re starting from and what skills you’ll need to produce it.

Determine and communicate the purpose of the analysis; database personnel will have a better understanding of the business need, and fundraisers will have a better understanding of the database if you know where and what data is stored in your systems.

Finally, don’t let reporting/analysis fall by the wayside. You’ll know what you want out of a system if you know what you want to put into it. If you’re planning a mailing or an event, or if you want to attract new supporters, consider what success looks like: the number of transactions, the value of those transactions, where people came from, and did they promise to give money/time. All of these things can be recorded in various ways, but only when database personnel are aware that it is necessary; adding it after the fact is never easy.

ADRFM Beginner Insight Reporting

12 Days of Christmas

As some fun and to get you into the spirit of Christmas, we’ve decided to publish a page of a Power BI report each day to show you what can be done with data and what types of visualisations might be useful for your organisation.

This is an interactive reporting suite, feel free to have a play and see what little nuggets of insight you can gain. This is demo data so please bear this in mind when looking at the numbers.

Day 1 – We start off with maps – everyone gets excited to see their supporters on a map, but it can be really useful when thinking about new products or events that you may want to hold outside of London.

Day 2 – KPIs – They’re important so you know what’s working and what isn’t. If it isn’t working, you know you can change something. It’s also a really nice way to make this data presentable rather than a flat table of numbers, which I have presented to leadership teams before and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t engaging for them!

Day 3 – RFM – So here’s where we get to the more exciting segmentation models that some charities we’ve worked with have used in the past. Recency, Frequency and Monetary (or sometimes its called Value RFV). It’s a simple model of creating segments based on giving history and if you haven’t started segmenting your supporters this is a great way to get started.

Day 4 – Performance – This is one of the most powerful reports and really simple to visualise your teams activities. One of the things that this shows you is that you can filter other visuals based on a selection that you make. To see this in action click on Public Fundraising in green and watch the table change to only activities that were carried out by the Public Fundraising team. When looking at a visual, there is a menu on the right hand side that allows you to focus on a specific tile and there’s also an export data option for the summaries if you need to do more analysis under the three dots.

Day 5 – Demographics – Here we show how we blend data with open data sets to add value and help you to identify other key identifiers that your supporters may have. You can see a breakdown of Acorn classifications for the supporters. There are 8 high level classifcations that are then broken down to 2 further levels.

And as a bonus for me releasing Day 5 late, I’ve released Day 6 a few hours early.

Day 6 – Regular Giving – As well as keeping an eye on the number of active regular givers you have, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the number of cancellations. To help with forecasting and planning we’ve extracted the average annual value of the regular givers.

Day 7 – High Value Fundraising – This report shows people at the different stages of solicitation. It also identifies the different types of restrictions that may apply to those special gifts

Day 8 – Forecasting – As we come to the end of the year, we all have the challenge of working out how we’re going to forecast for the coming year. Here we demonstrate using the past number of years income to forecast what may be expected in the future. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s a starting place.

Day 9 – Gift Aid – As we all know, gift aid is the extra money that you can get for nearly free! You need a declaration and your system will probably work out based on rules of what you can claim and what you can’t. Here you can see who you may want to send a communication to. These people are people who have given a gift that potentially is giftaidable but you can’t or haven’t claimed gift aid on the income. So as Tesco says, Every little helps especially with the current economic climate. Don’t forget to run your own gift aid mailing, maybe as a thank you mailing to all your supporters who have given in the last 12 months and try and entice them where it’s appropriate to give a declaration. Remember you can take a declaration over the phone if you have a supporter care team who are speaking to supporters you just need to confirm the verbal declaration in a letter and then so long as they don’t come back you’d be good to claim from those declarations as well.

Day 10 – Events – So as we move to a new year and start looking at calendars, here’s an overview of what has happened with events in the last financial year. It’s useful to see what platforms your supporters are using. We also look at the user stories for participants and its always interesting to see the keywords that different demographic of supporters use. Have a click around and let us know what you think.

Day 11 – Contactability – Every data persons favourite subject, GDPR and data protection. Here we demonstrate how to show the number of records that you can contact by the various channels used within the sector. We show the split between genders and age bands of opted in supporters broken down by the likely different communication purposes you’re want to use.

Day 12 – Communications – We all know that fundraising is built on relationships and a key to understanding relationships is language. Communications shows the different ways we interact with our supporters and how they speak to us and how we speak to them.

It’s been a blast putting this together, if you’ve not noticed it there’s an i at the top of each page which will give you more information about our reporting tools so come on dive in. We have a special offer that we will release next week if you’d like to get started on your reporting journey.

In terms of navigation, if you click on the “of” from 1 of 2 at the bottom of the report screen, you’ll be able to quickly navigate to the page you want to see.

As always, if you’re interested in finding out how ADRFM and our reporting solutions could help your organisation, feel free to get in touch.

ADRFM Insight Reporting Strategy

Board Report – What should you tell them?

Reporting and Insight should always be led or driven by the strategic direction of the organisation, whether that be an organisational strategy or fundraising strategy. It’s only knowing where you are now that can help you work out where you’re going and how well your doing against those objectives or targets. So I would always make sure that these strategic documents include ways in which you are planning on measuring success.

The next thing that I would say is break up the kpis into when they make sense to the audience that want or need them. There’s no point giving an appeal and segment breakdown to board members as they won’t be into the detail, they’ll just want to know if you asked us for investment did it work and how much did it return? I recently finished a book by Elizabeth Clarke which talked about understanding your audiences for reporting which was really helpful to me. You can find a link to that book here.

So you should have now an idea of where you’re going and a way in which you’d like to measure the success of those initiatives. The next thing is the data. You can only count what you can record so this should help inform what you want to do with coding structures across your CRM system. Whether its the number of new regular givers or the number of campaigners or the number of facebook fundraisers, all of these things should be recorded in your database somewhere.

So now you have data and targets the next thing to do is work out your baseline, where are you right now. this gives you a starting point to compare yourself to. A key thing here is that you are comparing your organisation to your organisation, not anyone else or any other organisation or any other sector benchmarks to start off with.

And if you don’t have targets, that’s ok, compare yourself to the same period last year (for those of you using power bi, that’s a formula you can use – sameperiodlastyear() ). If you don’t have the data then that’s ok too everyone starts somewhere.

Here are some top line kpis that we record as part of our reporting suite:

  1. Total Income
  2. Total Number of Contacts
  3. Total Number of Donors
  4. Total Number of Active Regular Givers
  5. Total Number of supporters that we can email
Here’s an example of our ADRFM reporting suite showing the top line details for a board report.

Using these 5 key indicators should be enough to work out how the organisation is performing, especially when you compare it to a previous period and start to identify trends.

For a board report, that should be enough to get started around income, expenditure would be helpful as well but not many organisations record this in their CRM. I’m a fan of recording some high level numbers for expenditure in your CRM just so that you can begin to work out ROI (Return on Investment) for all the activities that you do. Remeber everything has a cost, so free activities still have costs associated with them, whether it be staff time or freebies that are offered for support.

The other thing with these kpis is they should be relatively easy to pull out of your CRM systems. I appreciate that any kpis that require a snapshot of your data can be a challenge but power bi does make some of that easier with the use of DAX formulas.

Other things that Boards would normally want to know about are forecasted income Whether that be from High Value teams like Major Donors and Trusts or whether that be from things like Regular Giving and Lifetime value.

The key with all of the reporting data, start small and then grow. Once you have a handful of indicators and I would suggest no more than 6 indicators to start off with give it at least 6 months to show trends and then put some narrative around what the numbers say. A thirst for knowledge or curiosity, both of which are really useful may lead you to other things that you might want to look at, like 2nd gift rates, retention, conversion but think very carefully about whether these secondary indicators need to be reported to the board or if it will overwhelm them with numbers – nobody wants a wall of data

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you get started on your reporting journey please get in touch.