Support From Three Organizations Makes Innovative Tool Available to Canadian Charities

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), which tracks growth and losses in charitable giving in the United States and provides tools and templates for charities to improve their fundraising numbers, is set to launch in Canada in early 2020.

The FEP provides resources for charities to better understand their donors’ giving patterns and where to spend money most effectively to improve their fundraising. The project was founded in 2006 through a collaboration of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Urban Institute in partnership with key donor software firms and leading nonprofit professionals.

Software firms provide their data to the FEP, which analyzes the information in aggregate and is completely anonymous and provides reports, updates and resources based on the numbers. Through funding from DonorPerfect Canada, The Hilborn Group and Stephen Thomas Ltd, the FEP will now be able to expand its work from the U.S. into Canada under the leadership of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada.

“The FEP was initially founded in 2006 to examine the issue of donor retention. It has since grown to provide groundbreaking reports and tools to help the nonprofit sector,” said Jon Biedermann, vice president of DonorPerfect. “DonorPerfect, along with numerous volunteers and leading software companies, has been a stakeholder since that original meeting in 2006, and I believe the FEP will provide countless benefits to Canadian charities.”

“The FEP contains a number of resources to help charities analyze how they are retaining and how they can best spend their dollars to maximize their fundraising efficiency,” said Laurence Morel, executive director of DonorPerfect Canada. “We are so excited to help bring those tools to the Canadian charitable sector.”

One resource from the FEP is the downloadable Excel-based Fundraising Fitness Test. The test allows nonprofits to measure and evaluate their fundraising programs against a set of over 150 performance indicators by five donor giving levels. The fundraising performance reports are generated by inserting gift transaction data into the Fundraising Fitness Test Excel template.

“Another important aspect of the FEP is the quarterly report it produces on giving levels based on information from the software companies involved,” said Jim Hilborn, CEO, The Hilborn Group. “Given the lack of data that we have on Canadian giving levels, the quarterly reports can give charities a sense of the fundraising landscape, and if growth is growing or declining, and how donor retention is faring. While the data won’t cover the entire country, it will provide a good general perspective and prepare charities for changes and opportunities.”

The FEP’s Quarterly Reports correctly tracked the drop in the growth in giving in the U.S. in 2018 and provide data on how well charities are retaining donors, how giving is faring compared to previous years and other information. The FEP also publishes a yearly report offering overall trends and analysis.

“In Canada there is a dearth of research on charitable giving – we have limited aggregate numbers but nothing to the level of detail that the FEP has provided in the United States,” said Paula Attfield, president of Stephen Thomas Ltd. “I’m so excited that we will be soon able to have this level of information and research on critical KPI’s in Canada. This will allow nonprofits to benchmark themselves against other organizations, and ultimately by knowing by which measures they are succeeding and those where they can improve, to do better in their overall fundraising.”

“DonorPerfect Canada, The Hilborn Group and Stephen Thomas Ltd, are amazing partners to have to help launch the FEP in Canada,” said Lori Gusdorf, executive vice president of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada. “The foundation works to advance ethical fundraising and philanthropy through education, training and advocacy, and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project will be one of our hallmark programs that can help all charities in Canada. Our hope is that many charities download and use the tools and follow the growth in giving through the reports we’ll be producing.”

The FEP is expected to start in Canada in the first quarter of 2020 with the release of 2019 year-end information.

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