5 metrics nonprofits must monitor during performance management

Successful performance management requires nonprofits to create visibility of every action from beginning to end. In a blog post, we broke the process down into five steps.

After creating a plan for performance management and beginning application of ideas, organizations must be sure they have people and systems in place to record progress and look out for mistakes.

Here are five metrics for effective performance management monitoring:

1. Finances
The amount of donations new plans bring in is often a primary concern of nonprofit leaders. Network for Good said it's important to monitor where money comes from, not just the final amount. For example, when an organization performs online fundraising, it needs to see how audiences reached the web form and how they utilized the payment process.

Additionally, you need to have a precise idea of the sources of your donations for reporting and tax purposes.

Make sure you're keeping tabs on:

  • Individual donations
  • Corporate contributions
  • Foundations grants
  • In-kind donations
  • Staff and board member donations

Knowing where your fundraising dollars are coming from will help make things easier when you have to compile your annual report.

This information will help organizations identify exactly how new plans affected fundraising. Nonprofit payment processing technology should integrate with other organization software to make all elements of finances visible.

2. Resources
Complete financial visibility should help leaders and volunteers compare performance management activities to past actions.

To ensure new ideas were worthwhile, it's not just a matter of bringing in more donations. An organization's performance reevaluation should find ways to do more with less, so it's important to measure resource allocation as strategies begin.

This calls for asset inventory visibility and properly evaluating the value of existing resources. For example, The Philanthropy News Digest said businesses must monitor fundraising activities to make sure previously successful donation leads receive the proper amount of attention.

3. Volunteers
Leaner operations should show other benefits besides just improved return on resource investment. Nonprofits manage performance to make sure they get the most out of the people who give their time to a cause. Proper strategies should increase productivity and efficiency.

It is sometimes difficult to attach hard numbers to human performance. But volunteers can log time and chronicle daily actions to compare their activities to results. As long as communication stays open throughout the process, people can voice obvious results like newly found free time or report subtle differences.

4. Marketing
A nonprofit's efforts obviously extend beyond monetary revenue. An organization should strive to spread the word about important causes and fundraisers. Each organization needs to decide when (and how!) it successfully reaches audiences.

Did you know that 13% of emails are opened and read within five minutes, and that emails with social sharing options increase click-through rates by 158%? (source)

You can utilize modern tools that can help software users track these email open and click through rates. 

Many social media pages offer free analytics for users. Messages from supporters should always be welcome. When donors contact you directly, its a great insight into an audience - even if they are voicing complaints.

5. The mission
Finally, there is the obvious goal of a nonprofit, which is to support its particular cause. Performance management has to benefit the community or group the organization was formed to aid.

There may be clear effects, such as raising more money for particular projects. On the other hand, results could be a little more indirect.

If performance management conserves volunteer time, then that should provide more opportunities to think of new social solutions or devise projects. Complete visibility of all metrics must show how they relate to each other.

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