We can’t Fix Giving unless we challenge and change some of the measures we use. So at this session we partnered with Wood for Trees to outline some alternative models for measuring success — and thus getting to some better, more sustainable outcomes.

When strategy is driven by measures we can quickly move from being results-driven, to being blind to the wider opportunity. Factors that aren’t being measured start to disappear behind the scorecard and soon become disregarded. We start to see our fundraising through “the lens of a spreadsheet” and forget that we are working to engage real people.

So it’s time to take a step back and ask — what aren’t we measuring, that could help drive a sustainable growth strategy?

Sustainable income will come from changing behaviour to build our supporter base. Starting with the routes to growth, GOOD’s Andy Hyde described how to build a map of measurement requirements. Sizing opportunities and identifying the barriers and levers to realising potential, the resulting strategies generate new KPIs that reflect the way people choose to engage with us as supporters.

And where are we today? Many are starting to agree that a narrow focus on ROI generates a distorted picture of fundraising performance, and Wood for Trees showed several examples that demonstrate how this can negatively effecting charity income. When we focus on high ROI we sacrifice income growth. And trying to plug that gap by asking for more often has the reverse effect.

Ask for less, get more. Average gift is often linked to ROI but making smaller asks frequently generates more responses and higher engagement. The ROI might be slightly lower, but the income generated is higher. It’s about understanding our audience and getting the balance right.

This all adds up to a model where we may reach wider audiences with light touch engagements — what we call Collisions — to grow our reach. And identify others who we will have deeper, more meaningful measures of impact — people we effectively Collaborate with rather than fundraise from.

But who are these people and how will we reach them? Join the conversation at our next GOOD Bites: Finding and prioritising new audiences