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The use of marketing metrics by British fundraising charities: a survey of current practice

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Abstract:

Although most large UK fundraising charities have substantial marketing departments and apply high levels of sophistication to their marketing work, little is known about how and to what extent charities measure the consequences of their marketing activities. This empirical study sought to identify (i) the marketing metrics that were most commonly employed within a sample of UK charitable organisations, (ii) which metrics were regarded as the most useful, (iii) which ones were presented to senior managements, and (iv) which were seen as the most important when petitioning governing bodies for increases in marketing budgets. A model was developed to explain the degrees to which charities applied various categories of metrics. It emerged that all the charities in the sample employed at least some basic metrics, with 19% using a wide range of measures. The extents of the sample organisations' employment of marketing metrics were significantly influenced by their levels of prior investment in marketing, the magnitudes and formality of their forward planning systems, their donor and competitor orientations, top management demands for accountability, resource availability, and whether a charity employed academically well-qualified marketing staff.

Keywords: ACCOUNTABILITY; CHARITIES; MARKETING METRICS; PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT; PLANNING AND CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725707X250421

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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