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Secrets of Innovative Fundraising: ROI

Posted by Scott Barron on Sep 30, 2014 8:47:59 AM
Scott Barron

ROI ScalesIn the School Growth Tuesday Webinar series this month we are featuring 10 Secrets of Innovative Fundraising. Today our focus turns to Return on Investment (ROI).

What are the tangible benefits that your school or project provides? You might use pictures, videos, or infographics to visually stimulate the emotional side of your donors. But how much value do you actually create in financial terms? Schools leaders are more and more often expected to support their campaign asks with results that justify such an investment. Using some sound research, you can establish concrete values for both the intangible and tangible results gained through the work of your institution.

Measuring the value of investment in your school

The narrative of your fundraising campaign will naturally feature qualitative results of hearts and minds influenced through your program, but how can you also communicate measurable quantitative outcomes that will strengthen your story. Making this extra effort may be the difference for gaining a higher level of support for your goals.

Your parents, grandparents, and other donors may be motivated by different types of metrics.

- Financial return
- Number of children/people impacted
- Opportunity gain
- Public appreciation
- Market awareness
- Legacy creation
- Mission/obligation fulfillment

Understanding and appreciating the goals of your donors will help you shape a proposal that is mutually beneficial.

Social ROI

Social ROI seeks to identify the return by translating outcomes into financial values. How much does the service you provide actually benefit society in financial terms? Data is now available, for example, to help you calculate the average difference between a student who finishes high school then earns a four college degree and a student who doesn't finish high school. You can use these actuarial tables to demonstrate the value of your school to the community as you train up skilled citizens who also have a moral compass.

The goal of Social ROI is to answer the questions: What would happen if your school didn’t exist?

The formula is:

SROI = (Tangible + Intangible Value to the Community
) ÷ Total Resource Investment

SROI can be used a relevant part of your logical proposal for support. Depending on the donor's goals, this may be extremely important in establishing your shared vision for investment results.

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