Anonymous Question: How do I calculate the real ROI of my nonprofit's fundraising events?

There are many factors that contribute to the ROI of your events, other than simply the expenses and revenue generated.

  • Consider your salary or hourly wages. How much did you get paid for the time you took planning the event, and what could you have done with that time that would have also generated revenue?

  • Think about volunteers who you may have lost through unpleasant committee tasks. Did any of your volunteers get burnt out?

  • Factor in “soft ask” value of the event. Some of your board members or other supporters may have felt more comfortable asking their contacts to attend the event as opposed to asking for a cash gift. These invitees may become future donors.

  • How many potential donors were at the event? Do they have the potential to become major donors, or to have their company sponsor your organization?

  • How much awareness did you gain, not only through attendance, but also through media coverage, social media shares, advertisements for the event, etc.?

  • How many current donors were there and now feel appreciated and reassured that their money is making a real difference in the community? Did the event lengthen their "donor life cycle" beyond what it would have been without the event?

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