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New Resources on Donor Retention, Fundraising Performance Through the FEP

Resource Center - Foundation

If you haven’t looked into the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) yet, now’s the time. Not only is donor retention becoming more critical for charities, but the FEP has an improved website and new resources, including the Fundraising Fitness Test to help measure your development program’s effectiveness.

Thanks to a grant from Bloomerang and support from other partner organizations, the new FEP website ( not only has all of the FEP research reports from 2008 easily downloadable, but also measurement tools from the Growth in Giving Initiative.

The goal of the FEP and the emerging Growth in Giving Initiative (GiGi) is to help grow philanthropy’s share of the GDP. FEP and GiGi pursue this goal by providing nonprofits with tools for tracking and evaluating their annual growth in giving. FEP conducts an annual survey, provides useful growth in giving performance measurement tools and publishes gain/(loss) statistics in a yearly report through a partnership between AFP, The Urban Institute and participating donor software firms.

GiGi Fundraising Fitness Test

In collaboration with Philanthropic Services for Institutions/Adventists, the FEP has developed a downloadable Excel-based GiGi Fundraising Fitness Test that allows nonprofits to measure and evaluate their fundraising programs against a set of over 100 performance indicators by five donor giving levels. The fundraising performance reports are generated by inserting gift transaction data into the Fundraising Fitness Test Excel template. The performance reports can be generated for each year as far back as the gift transactions history goes.

Performance indicators include: donor retention rates (new donor retention, repeat donor retention and overall donor retention); donor gains, losses and net; dollar gains, losses and net; growth in giving ($); growth in number of donors; and donor attrition. Gift range categories are $5,000 & up, $1,000 to $4,999, $250 to $999, $100 to 249 and Under $100.

AFP’s Growth-in-Giving (GiG) Reports

The core Growth-in-Giving (GiG) Report provides a concise, yet informative picture of fundraising gains and losses-growth in giving and attrition-in simple, reader-friendly format that the executive staff and board members can understand. The GiG Reports are generated by inserting gift transaction data into the downloadable Excel-based GiG Report template. 

The GiG Report template automatically produces the “Core GiG Report” – the centerpiece of the FEP gain(loss) reporting package — along with 6 other GiG Reports that are also useful. The GiG Reports are cross-referenced to the figures and tables in a helpful article on the website: “A Better Measure of Success.”

Templates and instructions for all of these reports, as well as FEP studies and articles, can be found on the FEP website:

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