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Data to help plan your fundraising

Posted: April 21, 2014

In fundraising, data is your friend. It helps you ground your work, whether that’s benchmarking your fundraising program against your peers, or planning the level of effort to reach your goal, or just trying to determine how big the market might be for your local membership or major gifts program.

Here are a few handy resources for you to use.


It’s always a challenge to benchmark against other organizations as the level of detail you are looking for is hard to find. Really, the only way to get exactly comparable detail is to ask a colleague for it.

But if that’s not possible, then you need to resort to PLAN B, which is to get as close as you can to finding out. A few helpful sources are:

  • National Center for Charitable Statistics. The Table Wizard let’s you pull data in many different ways. You can ask for the breakdown of revenue sources for organizations by type, by size, by NTEE code, by state, among others. You can find out how many other organizations in our category exist in your state, and how they break down by size. Play with the wizard to discover what it has to offer you.
  • 990. The 990 is probably the best tool you will use to get revenue data, shy of asking your colleagues directly. Read More >>

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