5 performance indicators to use

Fundraising is so important than any nonprofit manager can become fixated on today’s numbers. Of course it’s good to do well now, but there are also long-range considerations that come into play.

During the 14th annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers at the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago, Jim Stoynoff, president of Synthesis Solutions LLC discussed the need to sustain great financial results and assure that the organization can consistently deliver on its mission.

Stoynoff said it is important to focus on the following areas:

  • The nonprofit model’s viability and sustainability. Is the business model viable? Sustainable? Is it differentiated in ways important to those being served?
  • Leadership. How effective is the organization in staff development and retention, diversification of responsibility throughout the organization, effective use of volunteers, strategic planning and execution, meeting performance goals, learning and innovating?
  • Performance metrics. Has the organization clearly identified its key performance drivers, mission impacts and ways to measure return on investment (ROI)?
  • Systems and processes. How is the organization using technology to manage data, translate this data into actionable information, track and report on key performance drivers, impacts and ROI to staff, board, donors, lenders and other constituents.
  • Board engagement. How effective is the organization in recruiting new board members as needed, clearly stating roles and expectations of board members, fostering and sustaining board engagement/enthusiasm, effectively reporting to the board.

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