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Access and Customize NPSP Fundraising Dashboards

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Define the purpose of the four standard NPSP dashboards.
  • Find and customize a NPSP Fundraising Dashboard.
  • Know who can see which dashboards and data, and why.

Introduction to NPSP Dashboards

The staff at No More Homelessness need a quick way to visualize data and make informed decisions. Dashboards summarize and display report information in a visual format using different charts, gauges, metrics, and tables.

Here's an example of what a dashboard looks like in NPSP:

An example dashboard for Development Analysis displays a bar chart and donut charts.

Nonprofit Success Pack comes with four out-of-the-box dashboards that pull data from dedicated NPSP reports so that you can view trends about donations, donors, and campaigns all in one place. You can access these dashboards by clicking on the Dashboards tab, or by going to the App Launcher and searching for 'Dashboards.' Click All Folders and then look for the NPSP Dashboards folder. If you don't see the folder, check in with your admin. They may need to share that folder with you or your team.

Dashboards tab with All Folders selected

Each of the four dashboards in the Donor Management folder consolidate information from standard NPSP reports:

  • NPSP Campaign ROI Analysis: Compare your fundraising campaigns and analyze their success.
  • Giving Range Analysis: Break your donors into groups and review each individually for patterns year-over-year.
  • Development Forecasting: Review giving in your pipeline, and find and cultivate new potential donors.
  • Development Analysis: Compare giving this year to the previous three years and get a quick overview of your recent and top donors.

Sofia needs to help her manager prepare for an upcoming board meeting. Her manager wants to know who the top donors in California have been this year, which cities they're from, and which cities are responsible for the biggest gifts. 

Let's see how Sofia accomplishes this task. Follow in your own org as Sofia finds and customizes a dashboard from NPSP.

  1. Open the Dashboards tab. Click All Folders and select NPSP Dashboards.
  2. Select the Dashboard you need.

Dashboards Tab, List View All Folders

Sofia opens the Giving Range Analysis dashboard and finds a report titled Donors By Range This Year. She knows she needs a report of donors who have given this year and she thinks she might be able to modify this report to get the data she needs.

3. To edit a report on a dashboard, click View Report.

The View Report link appears at the bottom of a dashboard item.

4. Click Edit in the upper right corner.

Image showing the DASH board with "edit" highlighted.

5. Check the Filters panel to see how the report is being filtered. And add any filters you need to customize the report and dashboard. It's pulling all Household Accounts that have given over $0 this fiscal year. That works for Sofia! Now she just needs to add another filter: Billing State/Province. She adds it and has it equal CA. Then she clicks Apply.

6. Now that the report is pulling all California donors who have given this year, Sofia needs to see data about the city they live in. Billing City is already a column in the report, so she clicks the down arrow next to this field and chooses to Group Columns By This Field.

Edit Report Detail page with Filters and Add Chart

7. Now it's getting interesting! The report now shows the total giving range on the left side and groups the cities across the top. Sofia wonders what this will look like as a chart so she clicks the Add Chart button at the top. She looks at the data in a few different formats — as columns, graphs, and as a donut — before settling on a bar chart.

Report Detail highlighting Chart Attributes Menu

8. Click Run to see the report in action.

An example bar chart measures the sum of total gifts organized by giving ranges and donors within three cities.

Voilà! Sofia can now show her boss that bigger gifts are coming from Berkeley, CA with smaller gifts coming from other cities. Sofia clicks Save As and saves the dashboard in a Public Fundraising Dashboards folder.

She can also add it as a component on one of the pre-existing NPSP dashboards by clicking the down arrow next to Edit and selecting Add to Dashboard.

Edit Dashboard with Add to Dashboard highlighted

When adding charts to a dashboard, you'll notice a grid layout appears. This layout allows you to easily position components by dragging and dropping them anywhere on the page. You can also resize the chart, making it bigger or smaller to emphasize its importance.

As we've discovered along with Sofia, the intuitive drag-and-drop dashboard builder allows for easily customization of how data is grouped, summarized, and displayed. It also gives you the option to edit the column labels and edit how units are sorted to make the data you are displaying comprehensible for any audience.

We've just scratched the surface of what is possible with reports and dashboards in NPSP. If you want to learn more, check out the Reports and Dashboards for Lightning Experience module here in Trailhead.

A Word About Who Sees What

The security settings for dashboards can be set up in a couple of different ways. An admin can determine whether staff accessing a dashboard will see exactly the same data or if the data displayed will be dynamic, that is each user will only see data they are allowed to see, according to their security settings. This frees up the need to create separate dashboards for each user.

  • Dynamic dashboards are typically used when an admin wants to show each user specific data, like personal fundraising results or number of open solicitations, without having to create multiple copies of a dashboard.
  • Standard dashboards (with data that everyone sees) are typically used when an admin wants to show organization-wide data to a set of users, such as overall fundraising results or campaign performance.

So, keep in mind that the data you see in a dashboard may not be the same data as your colleagues see.

In this unit, we've only just begun to see what's possible with reports and dashboards in NPSP. While reporting can seem tedious at times, being able to quickly share your results, analyze them, and take action can help your team and your organization be more transparent and build trust across all your stakeholders - not to mention help you better manage what are often precious nonprofit resources, time and money. If you want to dig into more complex reporting features, check out the resources listed below.

Resources