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GPS tracking for YOUR fundraising year

GPS tracking for YOUR fundraising year

iphoneBecause I am directionally challenged, I rely heavily on my iPhone’s GPS navigation system. And it’s a fabulous system: what a joy to be able to toggle from the “route” view, where it tells you where to go in the next 40 metres, to the “overview” where it shows you an overview of the route you are taking to your destination. As an added bonus, the app will provide you with one or two alternate routes that will still get you to your destination.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have one of those apps for your fundraising year?

Of course we all track metrics – number of applications completed, number of visits with donors, number of hits to our donation page online – but there is no magic app that compiles all of this and tells us where to go, or what to do to ensure we meet our targets for the year.

The idea of toggling back and forth between the two is very appealing. Here are some ideas that might help you incorporate this kind of approach into your development office.

  • Creating a one-page summary of all fundraising activities that are being undertaken, and reviewing it monthly or bi-weekly with your team;
  • Using an excel spreadsheet to track each month, and the activities undertaken – like a “budget” and an “actual.” You could include number of donor reports sent out, number of points of contact with donors, or social media stats – like a dashboard;
  • Holding a weekly development update call with the development leadership team.

My guess is that most, or all of these things happen in a large development shop (hospitals, universities) but are often harder to implement in a one person small shop. The system needs to be simple enough that it’s not too time consuming to implement.

These kinds of discussions are timely, because January is a planning month. How do you track your fundraising year in your office? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Flickr photo credit: Wesley Fryer