How Success Is Measured for Nonprofits on HubSpot

Success and measurement go hand-in-hand. Unless you’re measuring every aspect of your organization, you can’t possibly know if you’re succeeding or failing. You can’t even set realistic goals for the future unless you’ve measured where you are now and where you’ve been in the past. 

Measurement Is Critical 

hubspot.pngI like the HubSpot Blog post titled “The Most Important Tool in Every Nonprofit’s Fundraising Toolbox.” I’m sure you can guess what that tool is. Surprise! Measurement. 

Bottom line, measurement helps you determine your success or failure, allocate funds and effort to achieve the best return, justify further investment, and make needed adjustments. Plus, it helps you keep everyone in sync from your board to your staff to your donors. They all need to know where things stand.

Given the imperative for measuring results, what’s HubSpot and how does it help you measure success?

What Is HubSpot? 

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing platform designed to drive actions that make the biggest difference for your organization. HubSpot is driven by content marketing. For nonprofits content marketing results in attracting more website traffic, growing the size of your member/volunteer/donor database, and driving the actions that result in success for your organization. 

It does all this by providing a website content management system, blogging platform, email and social media marketing tools, marketing automation workflow, contact database, search engine optimization, and that all important reporting tool. 

For a more detailed overview try HubSpot for Nonprofits: Brilliant Ways to Market and Generate More Donations. 

So How Is Success Measured for Nonprofits?

There are, of course, about as many ways to measure success as there are nonprofits. But there are a few key measures that are vital to their health and wellbeing. For example, in fundraising here are a few of the keys:

  • Revenue by Strategy/Tactic. This is the total revenue generated by each strategy or tactic. It provides an overall view of the volume of revenue raised by each strategy. It’s the starting point for reviewing your detailed results.
  • Conversion Rate. This is the number of donors who, for example, receive an invitation to your event divided by the number who accept the invitation. It goes on from there to the number who attend divided by the number who donate.
  • Average Gift Size. This is the total revenue generated divided by the number of gifts. This helps review the results overall as well as for each strategy.
  • Return on Investment. This is the ratio of revenue minus expenses (or net revenue) to expenses. It is usually calculated for each of your revenue strategies or tactics. It can readily show the effectiveness of each revenue source.
  • Cost per Dollar Raised. This calculates how much money it takes to raise one dollar. It’s the inverse of ROI, or total cost by strategy divided by total revenue by strategy.
  • Year-Over-Year Increase in Donors. This measures the overall health of your fundraising. It includes donor retention and the growth or decline of new donors.
Those are some of the big measures that you need to be taking with your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. For further background review “5 Basic Fundraising Performance Metrics to Start Measuring Today.” 

The HubSpot platform can then take these broad measures to a much deeper level and do so all along the marketing effort. 

The big categories shown in the nearby list drive right down to how your landing pages are doing, your call to action buttons, lead nurturing emails, email blasts, blog posts, and social media posts. This is the world of opens, clicks, page views, shares, and most importantly new leads and new donors. 

This is the type of information you need to make the needed adjustment to optimize your results. 

What About Results?

The National Institute for Fitness & Sports reported in a HubSpot Case Study that when they implemented the system they achieved a 228% increase in web traffic along with a 216% increase in leads. Read more and see the video at their Nonprofit Success Story

They cite the use of HubSpot analytics to see what was working and what wasn’t and made adjustments driven by HubSpots keyword grader to help optimize their search engine results. They also used HubSpot’s lead management system to better manage potential donors.

The key is measurement along with the online tools to make things happen. HubSpot is one excellent way to bring that all together for your nonprofit. 

Further Reading

There’s nobody better at building excellent content to attract you to their website than HubSpot. After all, they wrote the book on it. Literally. One excellent source of further reading is their Nonprofit Step by Step Guide to Inbound Marketing

Learn from the Leaders

Campaign Now uses HubSpot to drive and measure their success as well as to guide any needed course corrections in their marketing efforts. With that experience, they would be an excellent starting point to learn how HubSpot could work for your organization. 

While you’re on the phone with them, ask them about all the other services they offer to support your fundraising including data, contact services, text message marketing, direct mail, email marketing, digital development, media advertising, as well as public and media relations.

Leverage their expertise for your organization. Give them a call. 

Contact them at (855) 329-4327 or

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Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson is the founder of PathForeWord, a freelance writing and communication consulting service. He has over two decades experience working for the largest youth membership organization in the USA as director of communication services. He’s written on nonprofits, associations, journalism, technology, and the job search process.


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