Learning from your Campaign: Evaluation and Metrics

Crowdfunding is not a magic spell enabling donations to appear spontaneously; it is a process in which individuals are inspired to give through a well-crafted, donor-centric communications campaign. Whether your campaign exceeded all expectations or was disappointing in the end, evaluation is a vital last step in the crowdfunding cycle. Crowdfunding is growing in importance as a revenue stream and organizations that continue to strengthen their digital marketing skills will be better placed to reap the advantages now and in the future.

As you consider how to evaluate your campaign, keep these tips in mind:

1. Evaluation starts early

Ideally you will have thought about your evaluation strategy before launching your campaign. That way you’ll have a clear idea of what to measure and can build data collection into your work plan. For example, using an email marketing platform (rather than your own email address), monitoring social media insights, and including a trackable link to your HIPGive campaign page will provide useful data on communications effectiveness, audience demographics, and conversion rates.
The single most important thing you can do as you set out, however, is to have a really honest conversation about your—and your team’s—expectations. Crowdfunding campaigns generate many other benefits in addition to the direct donations, but make sure your expectations are realistic and aligned with your communications strategy.

2. Evaluating overall impact

Once your campaign has concluded, you’ll need to carry out a robust evaluation (although it should not be too time-consuming). Collect your data, call a team meeting, and ask these key questions:
  • Did we meet our financial goal?
  • What else did we achieve? 
Let everyone talk freely—different perspectives should be welcomed. Some of the other impacts/metrics you might want to discuss include:
  • Did we attract as many individual donors as we expected?
  • Did we attract new donors?
  • Did our donors come from our expected target group?
  • Did we grow in our communications reach?
  • Did we improve our digital marketing skills? 
Note: you can easily access a full list of donors and donations from HIPGive at any time during your campaign. Go to your HIPGive dashboard, click on the name of the project and then on the yellow button underneath the percentage raised.

3. Evaluating your strategies 

Once you establish what you achieved, it’s time to evaluate how you achieved it. Take stock of how your organization deployed its resources and the effectiveness of different aspects of your promotional campaign. This helps you get a picture of return on investment from your campaign as well as valuable insights into donor behavior.
Results Question Metric
How much time did we invest in the campaign? Staff hours (setting up + managing the campaign).
Did the campaign involve any financial outlay? Expenses directly relating to the campaign.
How effective were our communications in driving traffic to our campaign page?   Email open rate / email click through rate
Social media likes/comments/shares
Response to phone calls and other outreach channels
How did people give? Average donation amount
Donation range (minimum amount - maximum amount) 
Date and time of donation
Messaging effectiveness (There’s no objective metric for this, but ask your team to gauge what element of the campaign message or content was most effective in increasing participation—the online story, the video, photos, a particular call to action in an email, etc.)

4. Learning for your next campaign 

As you wrap up your evaluation, reflect on your biggest successes and your biggest challenges. How can you overcome those challenges in the future? If you need more information, why not:
  • Reach out to your donors one-to-one or with a short survey to learn about their donation experience
  • Identify areas in which you lacked skills and increase your knowledge for future campaigns. The HIPGive LEARN and FAQ resources are a great place to start.
Metrics are useful in understanding your campaign results, but each campaign is different and sometimes circumstances around the campaign can be difficult to predict, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to evaluation. The most important thing is to learn, grow, and come back reinvigorated for your next campaign further down the line!  
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