Net Dollars Not Donors Part 1

Somewhere over the rainbow in fundraising, two metrics were established as the gold standard: gross revenue generated and the number of donors acquired.

And that’s a shame.

It’s a shame because you can optimize these two metrics into organization ruin.

Let’s take gross revenue. The reason it is used is because it’s simple to measure. But it has a serious drawback: it doesn’t account for what you spent to raise that money.

It’s like a habitual gambler bragging about the $1,000 lottery winnings they had the night before while omitting the fact that have bought a $5 scratch ticket every week for 10 years. So their real ROI is 0.38.


Seriously, if you are using gross revenue as your fundraising goal, you need to stop it and start using net revenue. It’s just bad stewardship to use gross revenue goals.

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