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Fundraising Effectiveness Project Methodology Update

29 Dec 2021 by GivingTuesday

Last year GivingTuesday and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) joined forces to support the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP). The FEP has shared quarterly industry benchmarking reports since 2017, with data spanning back to 2005.

Our partnership is focused on creating the most accurate and representative quarterly benchmark report of giving to nonprofits as possible and to share deeper insights at a faster cadence. 

Recently, the GivingTuesday Data Commons has outlined the way in which we account for late data and variance in the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) reports. The top-line metrics in the FEP reports vary quarter over quarter, even when looking at the same time periods in the past. A large cause of this variance is data that is reported late (also known as data drift), such as Q1 data which trickles in throughout the year. It is important to estimate and account for this variance (also known as “error”) since it can skew our view of the sector’s performance. The following are the estimation of error to the top-line year-over-year metrics in the FEP report to give more representative and stable reporting on the state of the sector. Without doing so, the FEP report would consistently undershoot the true year-over-year growth of dollars, donors, and retention. 

Accurate and consistent reporting of trends in the non-profit sector is a key goal of the FEP report. This report details how we account for late data and variance in the top-line FEP metrics. It is a crucial step in developing an accurate FEP report, and one which we are constantly refining.

For a closer look at how these adjustments provide a more accurate view of total dollars and year-over-year growth, read the full update on this new estimation procedure for the Fundraising Effectiveness Project quarterly reports.

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