Data reporting and analytics can be confusing … or so simple that they’re not much help.
Your giving platform’s analytics should put your finger on the pulse of giving trends. It shouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with software.
So, if you’re considering new giving software and you’re ready to get maximum visibility into your church’s financial health, start here.
Top 3 questions to ask
1. Will it be hard to access and understand the data?
The easiest way to access your reports is through simple dashboards like this one, delivered directly to your favorite device(s) in the format and frequency of your choice.
They should be able to be easily emailed to others, so you can keep leadership informed. (Of course, the reports should be accessible from within the platform, as well.)
2. Can I view the data the way I want it?
Some people want simple, actionable reports customized with just the data they’re interested in. Others want access to the data warehouse to explore hundreds of data points that they can slice and dice to discover every nuance of their church’s giving trends.
A robust, flexible analytics system should offer both.
Typically, the most important metrics you’d want on a dashboard are:
Year-over-year and month-over-month giving
Number of households giving
Fund-specific comparisons (i.e. general fund vs. designated gifts)
Giving channel sources (where are gifts originating from)
Growth of recurring gifts
3. Can I customize my messaging to different giver types?
Identifying giving trends is only the first step of data analytics. Next comes using the data to communicate more effectively with your givers in order to nurture them on their giving journey.
Major nonprofits personalize and customize their messaging through something called donor segmentation. This is the process of segmenting or categorizing different donor types (such as first-time giver or major giver) and messaging them appropriately.
No one likes receiving an email blast that isn’t relevant to them. But they do respond well when the church speaks to them as if it knows them. So make sure the analytics tool allows for segmenting.