blog banner
Target Analytics: donorCentrics Basic Training Dashboard

Target Analytics: donorCentrics Basic Training Dashboard


Hello and welcome! In this session we are going to be walking through some basic training for the donorCentrics Advanced Performance Dashboards. This is a basic training. It is designed for either new users, or users who want a refresher on the basics of the dashboards. We will not cover every metric or tab that is designed into the dashboards, but we will be reviewing enough information to get you started in using the dashboards. When you first log into the donorCentrics dashboards, you’re going to go to this website here; dc.blackbaudhosting.com. And you will use the username and password that was sent to you as part of your user license. Once you login that information and click the sign-in button, you will come to a screen that looks something like this. Now for today’s session it’s important to note that I’m going to be using sample data. So, this is some examples of things you can do within the dashboards using a sample dataset. A couple things to notice when you come to this page, you’re going to see first that the name of the dashboard is up at the top. So, for your organization this will be the name of your organization and it will say “donorCentrics Dashboards”. And an important thing to note, if I hover over the name, notice the pop-up. In parentheses in the pop-up it says December 2019, that’s the Data Thru date. So, I know for example when I log into this sample data, I’m looking at data that was sent through December 2019. So, if you are ever not sure about what update you’re looking at that’s a good place to find that information. When you first login you are going to see a screen that looks sort of like this, with thumbnails for each tab within the dashboards. You can also change this view to be a list format. See these two buttons here, a thumbnail or a list view. It doesn’t matter which one you start with, or which dashboard tab you click on first, but if you know which view you want to go to it’s just a quick easy way to get to it. So, I know for instance, that I am going to start on the Active Tab so I’m going to go ahead and click View and it’s going to come up on the screen. So a couple of things before I dive in too deep. What I am doing during this training is basically walking you through some very top line views. We are going to look at functionality, how the dashboards work, how to change some of the views, what some of the definitions are. I’m not going to be walking through every tab or every metric. It’s really just to give you a starting point so that you can start to drill down into the data and feel comfortable with the dashboards. Again, just a reminder, I’m using sample data. It’s based on a fiscal year. That’s a July to June fiscal year with data through December. So, a lot of views that I will be looking at will be 6 months’ worth of data displayed on the screen. Alright! So let’s just jump in and get started. So the first thing to know about these dashboards is that we build these, there’s actually an underlying database that drives everything you’re seeing on my screen right now. We take all of your transactional data, your whole history of all of your giving and we build a database that pre-calculates every possible combination of metric and dimension or slicer, all of these different giving behaviors that you see at the top of the screen. Things like gift frequency and giving level and number of years giving. So a lot of different metrics. All of that’s pre-calculated ahead of time so that when you come into the dashboards, and you start changing the filters and changing the views, what’s happening is the screen we are looking at now is just a front-end viewing app for that underlying data. So, it’s reaching out over the internet, pulling in that data that’s already been calculated. That’s what makes the dashboards retrieve very quickly. So it is different than running a query against your database where it’s trying to actually go through and search every record. So in essence, that part of the step has already been done. So in terms of the layout of the dashboards, you are going to see the name of your organization and that same pop-up with the date up at the top. So that just repeats on this page. And then you are going to see every dashboard tab across the top of the screen. So when I said earlier that it doesn’t really matter which tab you start with, you are going to have access to all of them here at the top. And then you can also scroll to the right, you’ll see there are some additional ones here that are hidden until you scroll. So I’m just going to scroll back so you can see what’s happening here. The order of the tabs is roughly grouped by the type of analysis you are going to want to do. So first are two KPI tabs. KPI just stands for Key Performance Indicators. Those are very high level, visual views. They are not intended to allow you to drill down very deeply into the data. They only give you a handful of filters that you can filter on. And that’s intentional. They’re really meant to be top-line views. So when you get your very, you know, when you get your update, the very first thing you might want to do is look at these overall giving tabs. Donor Gains/Losses and Revenue Gains/Losses are also overview tabs that are looking to see whether you are replacing lost donors or lost revenue each year on the file. So, every time you lose a donor through lapsing you are trying to replace them, through bringing in new or reactivated donors and this will help show you whether you are doing that or not. And same with the Revenue Gains/Losses. It is the exact same equation. Are you replacing lost revenue every year? There are two Active tabs. And Active just means let’s look at donors who are giving in the current fiscal year. The Multi-Channel tab looks at trends by source. So it’s essentially an active view. It’s looking at donors giving gifts in the current fiscal year period. There are two tabs on long term value. There’s a tab on retention, and in donorCentrics what we are looking at for retention is whether or not the donor gave last year, and did they come back and give again this year. So it’s a very simple calculation to show whether donors are returning year after year. There’s a tab for reactivation. And in reactivation we are looking at donors who skipped at least one year of giving. They could have skipped more, but they skipped at least one fiscal year of giving. And then just a few more tabs here. The Migration Tab is looking at donor behavior change one year to the next. So, one of the common things we look at on the Migration tab is upgrading and downgrading behavior. But you can also look at how donor behavior changes in terms of gift frequency. So are you doing a better job at moving donors from giving one gift last year to giving two or more gifts this year? You can look at how their giving levels change from one year to the next, or how the sources they give to change from one year to the next. So it’s a very comprehensive tab to allow you to see donor behavior change. The next three tabs all work together, and they are additional breakouts and additional analysis around units. Most of the organizations that are using these dashboards have units set up. They may be colleges within your institution, it might be setup around a fund type, but in any event, it allows you to understand the overlap in unit giving. So, do you have donors giving to more than one unit, what percentage of donors are giving to more than one unit, and which units specifically are they giving to? So, some really comprehensive analysis around units. And then the very last tab is looking at projections. This is a really different view than most of the views in the dashboard. It allows you to put in goals for the year for donors and revenue. And then using your donorCentrics history, the data we have on your performance, you can start to plug in some numbers to see whether you are going to reach your goals by the end of the year based on your current performance. So there are a lot of things you can look at here. I’m not going to cover every single tab during this session, and I’m not going to cover every single metric, really just enough to get you started. So I’m going to start here on the Active Tab because it really gives me the biggest picture of the kinds of things that are in the dashboard to get you going. A couple of things to notice, and this is true for all the tabs, you are going to have places on each tab where you can filter the data. And you are going to have some sort of visual graph. In some cases, there’s also a table or there might be multiple tables. On this tab we just have the filters at the top and the graph at the bottom. All of the views also have these question mark buttons that if you hover over them it gives you a nice description of the tab. You know, how people are using it and some selection tips. There’s also a question mark here on the graph itself and it gives you the definitions of the metrics that are on the page. So, think of this as your user guide. So, while you are in here and using it, if you have any questions or you’re not sure of the definition of something, you can use those question mark buttons to get more information. A couple of things to think about when you start to do analysis in the dashboards, there are sort of some decisions you have to make very early on as you are using any of these views. The first is which donor type do you want to analyze and look at? So, you’ll see that my default view on the screen is looking at different donor types; alumni, corporate, foundation accounts, faculty/staff, friends, parents. Yours might not look exactly like this, but most of you have some variation of these donor types. And if you look at these donor types, you’ll see their performance is very different. The amount of revenue they give you in a year per donor can really vary. So I would say as you go to use these dashboards for the first time, or if you haven’t used them in a while, remember that you have to think about what donor type you are looking at. Because a lot of times the trends can be very different across donor types. So, I would suggest picking a donor type that you want to do analysis on. A couple other tips. One thing you will probably notice is in the filters at the top and the metrics at the bottom, you are going to see the abbreviation CY. CY stands for Current Year, and this refers to your specific fiscal year. It does not mean Calendar Year. Unless your institution happens to be on a Calendar Year basis, this will refer to your fiscal year. So, CY means Current Year. The other thing to note is that the default is always to show YTD whatever the most current update is. So, in this case my update is through December of 2018, which is fiscal year 19. So that’s 6 months’ worth of data, and you’ll see on the graph here it says I’m looking at data through December YTD and here you see those fiscal years. So, each row of data that I’m looking at is at the same point in time. So, if I’m in FY ’19, it’s six months of data for FY ’19. And if I’m in FY ’18, it’s also six months of data so that I can do a comparison of the same point in time. If you want to change the period that you’re looking at, you have two options. And that’s up here on the left, Period. You can either select YTD or Full Year. Now in the event the update is your year-end update, really you’ll only see your Full Year option, but the idea is if its midway through the year and you are looking at your trends and you’re thinking “Gosh, you know, maybe I need to go back and see what last year looked like because maybe something seems a little off!” You can just pull down this menu here, select Full Year, and you’ll notice the graph below will change. So anytime I change a filter at the top my graph will change. And notice now my header says “Through June Full Year” The default is to show 2 years, however you can also change that in Years to Display. So if you wanted to look at, let’s say you wanted to do a comparison of these different donor types, or you want to do a comparison across units, or a comparison across graduation class years, maybe looking at one year at a time is useful. So in this view I can very quickly see the difference in revenue per donor for my 5 different donor types. If you are doing some trend analysis, you may want to expand it to show All Years. Now in a full fiscal year you will get, you will get, well it looks like we have 4 years of data here. But if you expand it to YTD you should get a little bit more. Let me see. Year-to-Date. Here we go. Okay, so now we get an extra years’ worth of data when we look at YTD. Alright. So, couple other things to think about. So, we talked about donor type. There are also other populations you can slice your graph by. So, I am going to pass of Unit for just a minute because Unit requires just a little extra explanation. But we talked about Donor Type. Some of you may have a second Donor Type, that is an option. Most institutions that I’m working with that have a second Donor Type will have something like the donor’s preferred college or, you know, there might be some others in there as well but I would say preferred college is probably the primary one people are using. You can also look at class ranges, and this will lump your alumni into their graduation years by decade. So here’s the classes of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and so on. So that’s another way. Notice the rows are changing in each of these views. That’s what this whole box here, this row selector, is going to change the view. It’s going to change the number of rows that appear. So class ranges. You can also pick specific class years where you will see each individual class years starting with 1960 and moving on. Okay, so there’s 1960. And with anyone pre-1960 we are lumping together. When you have a dimension or a breakdown that has lots of values like class years, I just want to point out that there’s a scroll bar here on the right. It’s sort of hard to see, it’s very light gray and kind of small. So as you start scrolling down, you are going to need to use that to scroll the data. Because at some point here at the bottom there’s only so much space for these rows to appear. You’re going to hit the bottom of a graph. See? There we go. So there’s the bottom, and you do have to continue to scroll. And then you can see your more recent class years which can be really helpful to understand your more senior class giving or understanding how you’re doing in terms of recent grads making gifts. Alright. Another key thing just to point out is that all of the calculations that we’re doing are at the donor level. So when we look at something and we are counting the number of donors, let’s say donors from the class of 2020, 94 donors have given so far this year. These donors have given $1,000, and this revenue per donor is the calculation for those donors. Okay? So everything is at the donor level. What’s their average gift? What’s their gift frequency? So should be pretty straight forward with that. Okay! So those are some of the key things you need to know about selecting. I’m going to talk about Unit now, and then I’ll give you an example on this page of something you might analyze. So, there’s an important thing to know about Unit, and that is that Unit is set up to look at giving to the unit. So it’s a gift based view. It’s where did the donor designate their gift? Now, when you are selecting on Unit you are going to use both this population, dimension. You’ll hear me use that word, dimension. That’s just the technical term for all these different things that we are slicing on. And the unit dimension. So, population and unit. When you first come in to Display Unit in the rows, you’ll notice only Total Giving appears. We set it up that way on purpose and let me explain why. When I come into Unit and I say, ok, I want to see all the units now, I can click All and you’ll see they will all display. So, the important thing to know about how we calculated this is that because donors can give to more than one unit, we have to build a separate calculation for every single unit. So, think of this as each unit is getting its own donorCentrics report. So, the total is its own calculation of unique number of donors to your institution. And then every single unit has its own calculation. So, if I am in this Alumni Association row, I have a number of donors giving. This is how much revenue these donors gave to the Alumni Association. It doesn’t add up any other of their giving. Just to the Alumni Association. This is the revenue per donor to the Alumni Association. So, every single unit is designed that way. The one thing you have to be very careful about when you are selecting on Unit is that you don’t try to combine units. You know, there might be some logical units that you would want to see combined, or you want to see all of the units and subtract one, you should not do that. You really need to pick one unit at a time to analyze because you risk double-counting donors. Over-counting donors who are giving to more than one unit. So, what I always tell people is, if you are displaying Unit on the page then it’s totally fine to have all of them selected at the same time. But as soon as you go back to just looking at something else like Donor Type or Class Years, you want to be sure you pick one unit and I’ll show you why. Just notice the numbers on the page here. So, in the Total row, there’s 75,000 donors. If I just decide “Oh I just want to go back and get rid of Unit and look at Total Giving” and I click back to All Donors, I want you to see what happens with the donor count. The donor count is 156,000 because what it’s doing is taking every single unit and adding them all up. Which is not an accurate way to count your total! So, if you are not displaying Unit, you need to decide which unit do you want to look at. So, you are either going to be picking Total Giving, which gives you an accurate calculation of total giving, or you are going to pick a specific unit to review. Ok! So that is what you need to know about Unit. Let’s walk through one example of how you might use this tab. And I do want to point out that most of these dimensions that are listed on here, these filter options, are available on almost every other tab. So, showing you how to use the Active tab is going to give you a lot of background information that will apply to all of the other tabs as well. So, if I’m on this Active tab and one of the things I might notice when I’m looking at the data itself is that the donors are going down, but the revenue is going up. And, I may say to myself “well that’s great! I’m getting more revenue per donor for each of my donors!” That’s good right? But it could also be, maybe I just have fewer new donors who tend to be lower level and my revenue per donor is only going up because I’ve shifted to more loyal donors. So, a couple things to keep in mind. In the dashboards we encourage you to not use a gift cap in this data. And the reason is we have the ability to very easily toggle back and forth from lower dollar donors to higher dollar donors and so on. So, let me show you how to do that. You’re going to use this Current Year Revenue filter to change the view to look at donors by different giving level cutoffs. So, what I usually recommend to people is I say, “Ok well, if you really want to understand the story of what’s happening here, you may want to look at donors under a certain level.” Let’s say $25,000 or $10,000. Maybe that’s where your cutoff for annual giving is. So, all I did was click in this box here, and I can type in the number. So, I am going to put in $24,999 and hit enter. You’ll see my view changed. My donor counts are still going down. My revenue is still going up, but it’s not as much of a dramatic increase up. Okay? You can see here’s my revenue per donor going up as well. So, now I may want to dig into that a little deeper and see, okay, what is really going on here? So, if I come into this Giving Behavior dimension, I haven’t talked about this one yet. This is a really powerful dimension that lets you slice the data visually on the screen a lot of different ways. When I pull it down, you’ll see some of the things I can show in a breakout format. Loyalty, giving level, gift frequency. Right? So, there are a lot of different things here. I’m going to break this down by giving level just as an example to show you how you would use this. Here we go. So, you’ll notice how quickly my graph updated. What it’s done now is it’s taken that total donor count and broken them down into cumulative giving levels. And I can very quickly look at this and see “Look! My declines in donors are at my lowest levels.” And at my middle levels like $100-$249. But if I keep scrolling, I start to see increases at $250, $500, $1,000. And as I go up, even all the way up to the $5,000, and the $10,000 is sort of neck and neck with last year but the revenue is up. So, this just allows you to really understand the dynamics of what is happening. So, in this particular data file the donor counts are going down, but they are moving to higher giving levels or donors are retaining, or you’re growing this part of your program. And that’s probably a strategy. If this were an actual organization, I would assume that they have a strategy around building the upper end of their file. So, that’s a quick example of how you might utilize some of these filters on the right and display on the left. Another great one to look at is Loyalty, which you can see when I change that, it looks at how many donors are new-to-file, reactivated meaning they skipped at least one year or more and came back, or they had some years of consecutive giving. These three categories are all Retained Donors. So you can understand what’s happening here. And if you want to dig in to one of these segments in more detail, let’s say I want to look at my new donors and understand some of those dynamics better, all I have to do is come to this filter and say “Ok! Let’s dig into New Donors.” I can click on New Donors and then I can change how I’m slicing them. I don’t really need to see loyalty anymore because I know I’ve picked my new donors. But maybe I want to see them by Origin Source. So, I can see, okay, I had in increase in new donors this year. Where did they come from? Look! Increase in Crowd Funding, increase in Email, decline in Mail. Right? I can understand how exactly I am acquiring those new donors and where things have changed. Okay! I’m going to show you one more very quick thing and then we will wrap up. And that is, I want to give you a little bit of information on the Retention Tab because it is a really critical tab that everyone uses. It’s probably one of the most used tabs. So, I’m going to click on the Retention Tab for a moment. And I just want to point out some differences on this tab, so that you can begin to explore it a little bit. There are other sessions that dive into Retention in a lot more detail that you can watch, but for now at least this will get you started. One of the key things you will notice on the Retention Tab is, well, it looks a lot like the Active Tab! It’s got filters at the top, it has a graph at the bottom. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see the metrics are different and the filters are now based around prior year giving, so see the PY, instead of Current Year. And the idea is that we want to be able to understand given whatever the donor’s behavior was in the prior year, how that is affecting their retention in the current year. So, all of the filters now are based on Prior Year. So, were they new in the prior year? Did the donors give under $25,000 in the prior year? So, it’s all about Prior Year. Now when I look at the metrics below, you’re also going to see this prior year Donor Count. So, think of this if I’m in this FY ’19 row for alumni, what this tells me is that 57,000 alumni made a gift in the prior year. So, it is relative to this row, or to this column. So, if I’m in the FY ’19 row, this is an FY ’18 metric. If I’m in a FY ’18 row, this is a ’17 metric. So, this is the pool of donors you have available to renew at the beginning of the fiscal year. And then as the year progresses, you are getting those donors to come back. Here’s the retention rate YTD for those donors. And notice, this is data through December. So this is really just a six month retention rate. You might look at it and think that seems low, and that’s because they have only had six months to come back and make a gift this year. And then after that you’ll see some CY metrics, Current Year metrics. So, this is the number of donors who did retain, 24,000. And you scroll across. This is the revenue those donors gave when they retained. And their revenue per donor when they retained. So, the way the functionality works is essentially the same. You can filter, you can change rows, you can change the population that you are trying to analyze. The metrics are a little bit different, and you got to incorporate these prior year metrics. One last thing to show on this page. And that is you have the ability to look at donors who are lapsed and be able to really identify valuable donors in the mix. So, I’m going to give a little preview of this and as I mentioned before there’ll be another video on retention that will give many more examples. But just to give you an idea. So, let’s say we are looking at your alumni population. I’m going to pick alumni here. So, I’m going to pick alumni, and I’m going to pick alumni by giving level let’s say. Let’s look at those donors by their giving level in the prior year. And I’m looking to see how does my retention rate look across all these different giving levels. And I applied a cap of $25,000. So, it’s a pretty good performance for these $5,000 donors, these $10,000 donors. But my $2,500 level is down a little bit and my $500 level is down a little bit. My $250 is down a little bit. So, maybe I want to find a group of donors in here that I can try to solicit before the end of the year and make sure I get that gift from them. So what I might do then is switch this around so that I am only going to display one year of data, and I am going to use this filter at the top called Giving Status. This allows me to find all of the lapsed donors. Alright, so here they are! So when I select that, when I change that filter to lapsed, it removes all of the current year giving and all the current year donors. So all I have left are the donors who gave last year but have not given yet this year. And when I look all the way out to the right, this is the value of those lost donors. So, if I actually take all the money those 217 donors gave last year and I add it up, it’s $3 million. So, think of this as the opportunity. You’re not going to bring back 100% of these donors, but if you can start to make a dent in it you can understand what kind of impact it might have. So, now let’s say I am going to pick these very highest-level donors. So, here’s how this works. I’m going to select by holding down my mouse, clicking and dragging until I have selected these three rows of data. And you can see I have gotten it selected because you see the bars turn bright green and the other bars lighten. So, I just used my mouse. I’ll do it again. I just click, I drag until I get the rows I want, and there they are. Now what I can do is I can hover, and this little pop-up comes up. I click View Data. I click Full Data. I click Show All Columns, and then I click Download as a Text File. Now when I follow those steps a file will pop-up in the lower corner, and I open it up you will see, it will take just a minute to open. It will open up in an Excel file and you will see every donor that fell into that population with their Account ID. This is an ID that comes through from your database. Whatever your unique constituent ID is. And then a lot of other interesting information about these donors. So, there is a row for each donor and there is some not very helpful data in here. Like this, Help Label, with a question mark. Obviously, you can ignore that. But you can find information on the donors like, their lifetime giving. You can see how much revenue you lost from that donor specifically. What did they give you last year? So, you could sort this, you could filter this to just your highest-dollar donors. You know, maybe you give them a phone call or send them a notecard. This will tell you how many years were they giving to you through last year. Right? They haven’t given yet this year but how much, how long were they giving to you before. What’s their lifetime revenue to date? So, really important to make sure you don’t let these really highly valuable donors fall through the cracks. Alright. So, I think that gives you a nice little preview of the dashboards overall, the Active Tab which is where a lot of the analysis takes place. And the Retention Tab. Please come back and check out our other videos and you will learn even more about the dashboards. And of course, definitely reach out to your analyst. You should all have an assigned analyst that works with you one-on-one. If you have really specific questions, reach out to them. If there is something you want more information on, they can help you with that and dive into your data in a more detailed way. Alright! Thank you so much for joining us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *