Making Meaning of Metrics

Leveraging accountability and analytics to enhance fundraiser productivity

This study examines how institutions can enhance MGO performance management through the strategic application of metrics.

Making Meaning of Metrics

Considering the emphasis today on large-dollar and mega gifts, there's little margin for error when it comes to MGO performance. When small differences in productivity levels among MGOs can have an outsized impact on campaign figures, ensuring that MGOs are achieving their potential becomes a top priority.

This study focuses on three major areas to help advancement offices monitor major gift officer performance management: setting expectations, instilling accountability, utilizing analytics. Download the complete publication or explore the table of contents to learn more about each area.

Why focus on performance?

In 2014, we researched the pre-hire aspects of MGO talent management—namely, recruitment and interviewing of frontline fundraising candidates to ensure your team ends up with the best possible candidate for the job. While finding and hiring your ideal MGO is no easy feat, once your frontline fundraiser is in place, there's no guarantee they will perform to expectations. Since the donations brought in by MGOs are accounting for a larger proportion of the institutional budget, without MGOs operating at peak performance, institutions won't be able to fund a significant portion of their initiatives.

Why focus on metrics?

Metrics are the first building block of performance management. Without consistent and reliable metrics, MGOs will be unable to evaluate how their performance is progressing. But it isn't enough just to establish metrics if they don't have the power to impact performance. In order to instill accountability and motivate MGOs, metrics need to play a key role in evaluating performance and determining rewards or consequences.

For metrics to truly carry weight, advancement teams need to immerse themselves in data and analytics, making them a part of their daily routines and decision-making processes. In addition, improved data quality in your constituent relationship management system will enable you to make a more compelling case for additional investments in advancement and arm you with information to encourage deans to allocate more MGO time to frontline fundraising activities.

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