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Benchmarking for Nonprofits: 5 Steps to Consider

Benchmarking is a valuable tool for all nonprofits. The quantitative findings and resulting qualitative discussions can lead to better decisions, improving performance and making organizations stronger.

Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Think about the why? – Gain an understanding of what you want to achieve through your benchmarking.
  2. Who? – Get the right people from the organization involved. Remember to bring in those people outside of the finance department that are working with donors and more involved with the organization’s objectives.
  3. Determine what data is relevant. Lots of information can be pulled directly from your financial statements including investment returns, operating reserves, donations left after subtracting costs to get them and planned gift maturities. Volunteer retention and number of beneficiaries served are also good factors to consider.
  4. Collect and analyze data. Consider meeting with peer groups from similar organizations. These relationships can provide value, insight and best practices to consider allowing you to see what actually works.
  5. Repeat – Hopefully you have ideas to consider from each round of benchmarking that allow your objectives and ideas to develop. This last step is most important as your organization grows and practices improve.

As you consider peer groups to meet with and discuss challenges with, remember to reach out to your GBQ Assurance service team for ideas and potential connections.

Article written by:
Meghan Buxton, CPA
Assurance Senior

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