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Understand Reporting for Donor Management

Learning Objectives

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

  • Identify key metrics to inform your outreach strategy.
  • Utilize Salesforce reporting tools.

Whether you write them down or not, you have goals for every Salesforce campaign that you run. Let’s turn those goals into measurable, quantifiable metrics!

What’s Important? Determining Your Key Metrics

Setting tangible goals informs your outreach strategy and helps your entire team stay in the know and be accountable.

Your team will constantly have questions that they want Salesforce data to answer. And because you know how powerful Salesforce is, you might feel the urge to instantly say, “There’s a report for that!” at every inquiry. But before building a report, it’s important to pause and plan first.

The trick to maximizing the impact of Salesforce reports is to take the question you’ve been presented with, ask some follow-up questions, write requirements, and then map those requirements to report criteria. Once these steps have been completed, it’s time to run and deliver the report results, and then repeat as needed. Resist the temptation to create reports without following this planning process!

Effective reporting starts with report planning.

Cloudy College’s Director of Annual Giving, Kyle Bower, exemplified strategic reporting on a recent request from Virginia Cook, the VP of Development. Kyle was asked to evaluate the success of his annual giving campaigns. After asking some additional questions, Kyle clarified that his boss wanted to know whether he would be able to meet his individual fundraising goals for the year. After defining these requirements, he was able to relate them to report criteria and create a report that could truly be used to drive effective action.

Follow these steps if you'd like to create a custom report like Kyle’s.

  1. Navigate to the Reports tab.
  2. Click New Report.
  3. Select Opportunities as the Report Type.

    Select Opportunities as the report type and click Continue.

  4. Delete any unnecessary fields that are included in the report by default. Leave the following fields:
    • Stage
    • Opportunity Name
    • Account Name
    • Amount
    • Close Date
  5. Under Group Rows search for and select Stage.

    Add or remove Columns to capture the fields you want to include in your report. Then select the field by which you want to group the rows on your report.

  6. In the left-hand navigation menu, select the Filters tab and change the Show Me filter to My Opportunities. Then change the Close Date filter to All Time and click Apply.

    On the Filters tab select All Time for the Range in the Close Date field.

  7. Navigate back to the Outline section from the left-hand menu and find the Amount row. Click on the drop-down menu next to the field name. Select Summarize and then Sum.

    Select the Outline tab, click the dropdown arrow on the Amount column, select Summarize, then Sum.

  8. Click Add Chart to add a visual to this report. In this case a funnel chart works well so click the Settings icon and select Funnel to change the chart type.

    Click the Settings icon to change the chart type displayed on your report.

  9. Click Save and Run to see the report in action!

Salesforce Report for Director of Annual Giving Fundraising Progress

Meet Your Goals with Salesforce Reporting Tools

Leveraging Salesforce reporting tools helps your team define and track your institution’s most important advancement metrics. When you see the report results you’ll really appreciate the benefit of report planning. Not only do you avoid creating unnecessary reports, but the ones you create are useful in helping you meet your advancement goals.

For example, instead of pouring over a generic review of donor email responsiveness, Kyle and Virginia have true insight into his most important leads—thanks to his commitment to report planning.

Kyle can also subscribe to a report, which sets up an automation to run a selected report at a chosen cadence, for delivery on a prescribed date and time.

Kyle decides to subscribe to the report he created for Virginia. Here are the steps he took to subscribe.

  1. From the Reports tab or from the report run page, click Show More | Subscribe.
  2. From the Edit Subscription menu, set the subscription schedule. Kyle decides on weekly delivery every Monday at 9am.
  3. Optionally, add conditions. The conditions are evaluated when the report is run according to the schedule you set. The report is only emailed if all conditions are met.
  4. Under Send To, Kyle is automatically selected as a recipient. To add others or remove yourself, click Edit Recipients.
  5. Select from the available entity types and start typing to see all the matching names. Only the users, groups, or roles with permission to access the report are shown in the list of matches.
  6. Select from the matching options and click Add to add to the list of subscribers. Add more users, groups, or roles as needed and then close the Edit Recipients window.
  7. Under Run Report As, specify who runs the report. Kyle selects Me.
    • Me — You run the report, and recipients see report data in the emailed report as you.
    • Another Person — Specify someone who has permission to run reports and who has access to the report.
  8. Click Save.

By subscribing to his report Kyle is automatically updated on progress so he can keep his team knowledgeable on goals accomplished and efforts needed to close any gaps.

We hope you’re getting excited about the power of reporting and how it can support your institution’s advancement efforts. In the next unit we take a look at reporting’s faithful Salesforce companion: dashboards.