Home Fundraising 3 Strategies for Measuring Your Nonprofit’s Funding Success

3 Strategies for Measuring Your Nonprofit’s Funding Success

3 Strategies for Measuring Your Nonprofit’s Funding Success


Is your nonprofit’s funding technique paying off? Understanding your funding portfolio’s efficiency is vital to establishing a wholesome price range, figuring out future fundraising methods, and offering a significant snapshot to stakeholders.

When evaluating your nonprofit funding efficiency, it’s important to think about the next components:

  1. Return on Funding (ROI)
  2. Danger
  3. Liquidity

By combining these strategies, you’ll have the ability to take a holistic view of your funding method and make the very best selections for the success of your group and group at massive. Let’s dive in!

1. Return on Funding (ROI)

In line with NPOInfo, return on funding (ROI) represents the overall income your group good points over the overall funding price, together with the principal quantity and ongoing charges.

When your nonprofit’s funding success, return on funding is an important measurement to think about. For nonprofits, we suggest your ROI by means of two completely different lenses: ROI over a time frame and ROI in comparison with the market.

ROI Over a Interval of Time

ROI over a time frame considers each capital good points and dividends and can be utilized to research the general efficiency of a nonprofit’s funding portfolio.

To calculate ROI over a time frame, merely divide your funding return (present worth minus funding price) by the price of your preliminary funding. 

ROI = (Funding Return / Funding Price) × 100%

For instance, in the event you invested $100,000 in a mutual fund and it gained 10% over the course of a 12 months, your ROI could be 10%.

ROI In comparison with the Market

ROI in comparison with the market is a strategy to measure how properly your investments carried out in comparison with a benchmark index. On this sense, it focuses on the distinction between the return you earned and the return you might have earned by investing in a low-cost, passive benchmark index.

For instance, if the S&P 500 gained 10% over a 12 months, and your funding earned 13%, your ROI in comparison with the market could be 3%. 

Moreover, as inflation charges rise, you need to examine your ROI in opposition to present charges. If inflation is at 9%, however your funding account returns 8%, your fund is actively dropping its worth, and you need to rethink your funding technique.

2. Danger

Along with ROI, you need to contemplate the riskiness of your investments when evaluating your funding efficiency. A profitable high-risk funding technique can shortly turn out to be a very unsuccessful one.

Whereas measuring the danger of your funding technique is a fancy course of, for nonprofits, we suggest you start by evaluating it in two varieties: volatility and drawdowns.


Volatility is a calculation of how a lot your investments fluctuate in worth over time. Measuring volatility may also help your group perceive the predictability of an funding fund’s development. For instance, a fund that gained 10% one 12 months, misplaced 12% the next 12 months, and gained 16% in a 3rd 12 months could be thought of an unpredictable and thus risky funding. 

Volatility is especially essential to think about with short-term, time-bound investments the place you’ll be able to’t await the worth to swing upward earlier than eradicating the funds. Nonetheless, normally, the upper the volatility, the upper the danger. 


A drawdown tells you the way a lot an funding or fund has misplaced in worth over a particular time frame. Drawdowns are essential to think about in your efficiency evaluation as a result of they supply historic perception into how a lot your investments can lose. Very similar to volatility, the upper the drawdown, the upper the danger.

Usually, a diversified portfolio, alongside ongoing fundraising actions, corresponding to occasions, donations, and matching presents, will assist your nonprofit scale back the potential danger in your funding portfolio and carry out higher long-term. For instance, if in case you have a portfolio diversified throughout a number of asset lessons, corresponding to shares, bonds, and money, your total funding is much less prone to endure if a type of belongings performs poorly.

3. Liquidity

As an funding efficiency metric, liquidity tells you the way simply you’ll be able to convert your funding into money and entry your cash in an emergency. Whereas not all of your funds will likely be liquid, nonprofits ought to intention to have an easily-accessible reserve fund of 9 to 12 months of their working price range in a conservative and diversified portfolio.

Endowment funds, as an example, typically carry restrictions that regulate the quantity your group can withdraw annually and the place that cash can go. Equally, if in case you have a portfolio that’s composed of solely shares, you might have a troublesome time shortly changing your investments into money within the case of an emergency. However, if in case you have a portfolio composed of money and bonds, you’ll doubtless have a neater time changing your investments into money.

To measure liquidity, contemplate the proportion of your funding portfolio that’s composed of money and money equivalents. For instance, if in case you have a portfolio consisting of fifty% money and 50% shares, your portfolio could be thought of 50% liquid.

The Backside Line

By measuring return on funding, danger, and liquidity, it is possible for you to to get a clearer image of how your nonprofit’s investments are performing.

Nonetheless, for a lot of nonprofits with restricted assets, this data can typically be difficult to search out, share, and act on. To enhance transparency and accessibility in addition to improve your investing success, it’s essential to think about the funding instruments you employ. Infinite Giving’s information to nonprofit reserve funds recommends that you just ask the next questions of suppliers when contemplating the place to take a position your funds:

  • How will you assist my nonprofit’s objectives?
  • What are the related service and funding charges? 
  • How do I entry, deposit, and withdraw funds?
  • What security measures do you provide?
  • What funding portfolio choices do you provide?
  • Can I generate and share customized stories with my stakeholders?
  • Do you provide accessible customer support and skilled recommendation?

With the suitable funding instruments and measurement methods, you’ll be able to higher interact key stakeholders and donors, make financially sound funding selections, generate extra earnings to your group, and make a higher influence in your group.



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