There’s a fascinating report from SMU Data Arts on the Fundraising Performance over the first half of the pandemic. Spoiler: the arts sector saw a sizeable increase in their Return on Fundraising.
For the purposes of the report, Return on Fundraising is determined by dividing Total Contributed Revenue but total Fundraising Expenses. Based on the data they collected, here’s what they discovered:
2017: fundraising efforts raised $6.16 for every dollar spent.
2018: fundraising efforts raised $5.94 for every dollar spent, a 3.57143% decrease.
2019: fundraising efforts raised $6.22 for every dollar spent, a 4.7138% increase.
2020: fundraising efforts raised $7.35 for every dollar spent, an 18.1672% increase.
The remaining article takes a deeper dive into what they believe caused this spike but what I found most interesting is their review of whether a lower amount of fundraising expenditures yielding similar or higher levels of contributions.
I won’t spoil that data surprise, but the results should be enough to spark more than simple curiosity from an organization’s executive leadership team when it comes to budget allocations. I always love research that casts doubt on conventional wisdom and there are still plenty of questions, this report starts a good conversation about the more = more approach to fundraising budgets.
If that weren’t enough, there’s a great section on how government funded pandemic relief programs impact everything so you’re going to want to set aside some time to get through everything with the fine-tooth comb it deserves.