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Participate in the First Fundraising Effectiveness Survey

(Nov. 6, 2006) All AFP members are invited to participate in a ground-breaking survey that will measure growth in giving from 2004 to 2005 and help charities increase giving at a faster pace.

The first annual Fundraising Effectiveness Survey is cosponsored by AFP in collaboration with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University in Indianapolis; the National Committee on Planned Giving in Indianapolis and other nonprofit sector organizations.

The survey examines giving by comparing an organization’s growth in new donors, upgraded donors and recaptured donors (previous donors who lapsed and are now giving again) from one year to the next. In addition, data about lapsed donors and downgraded donors (those who gave less compared to the previous year) also will be examined.

Nonprofits will be able to compare their growth-in-giving performance with the performance of like organizations as determined by total amount raised, average gift size, type of organization, age of development program, geographic location, fundraising budget and number of personnel, as well as combinations of these criteria. In subsequent years, AFP plans to collect more detailed information, including costs (by fundraising method), gift type and other variables. Additional information about the survey is available on the AFP website.

Access to the survey performance data will be free to survey respondents, and all nonprofit organizations are welcome to participate. All of the information that organizations provide will be kept strictly confidential and will be reported in aggregate form only. 

Growth-in-giving data from this survey will be published on the AFP website. The summary of results will be featured in a future issue of Advancing Philanthropy

Strong Member Support for Survey

In January, AFP emailed its members and asked if they would participate in a fundraising effectiveness survey, and more than 1,500 respondents indicated overwhelming support. AFP is using an online survey, and all nonprofit organizations are invited to participate.

To make responding to the survey easier, AFP also has invited all donor software firms to provide assistance to their clients with extracting the needed data from their donor databases. A list of firms that are assisting clients is available in the introduction to the survey. Members are encouraged to contact their donor software provider and inquire if they will be able to assist their clients with the survey. Using a web-based survey and working with the donor software community provide significant savings in data entry costs, and will allow AFP to analyze the data more swiftly.

It is critical for every member of the fundraising profession to complete the questionnaire promptly. The value of accurate and current fundraising performance data to the profession is enormous. The fact that the data will be made available to all members increases the significance of each response.

It is estimated that once the required data are organized, it will take less than 20 minutes to complete this survey.  

The survey is available here. If you have questions or want a copy of the concept paper about the project, please contact FEP@afpnet.org.

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