About The Fundraising Effectiveness Project

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Updated Jan. 19, 2021

About FEP


The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP)

In 2006, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute established the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results at a faster pace.

FEP Annual Reports

The groundbreaking annual Fundraising Effectiveness Survey, piloted in November 2006, collects fundraising data from nonprofit organizations beginning with data for 2004-2005. The Fundraising Effectiveness Survey enables participating groups to measure and compare their fundraising gain and loss ratios to those of similar organizations. Participants can use this industry data, which AFP offers free, to make better-informed, growth-oriented budget decisions to boost donor revenue.

FEP Fundraising Fitness Test

In collaboration with PSI/Adventist, the FEP has developed the downloadable Excel-based FEP Fundraising Fitness Test that allows nonprofits to measure and evaluate their fundraising programs against a set of over 100 performance indicators by five donor giving levels. In addition, the seven GiG Reports in the downloadable Excel-based FEP Growth-in-Giving (GiG) Reports template (revised and simplified) provide concise, yet informative pictures of fundraising gains and losses-growth in giving and attrition – in a simple, reader-friendly format that the executive staff and board members can understand.

Donor Software Firms Facilitate Nonprofits’ Participation

A critical element in the success of this project has been the cooperation and support of numerous donor software firms. The following firms assisted with the design of the FEP survey and provided data from 2007-2013 for the annual FEP survey and report: Bloomerang, Donor2/Campus Management Corporation, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, eTapestry(Blackbaud), GiftWorks (Mission Research), MatchMaker FundRaising Software, Metafile Information Systems Inc., PhilanthrAppeal (FundTrack Software), The Raiser’s Edge (Blackbaud), ROI Solutions, Telosa Software Inc. (Exceed!).

Growth in Giving Initiative

The Growth in Giving Initiative was introduced in the fall of 2012.  It was based on a unique, real-time, detailed gift-transaction data collection and analysis process developed by Jon Biedermann, Vice President of DonorPerfect, with Bill Levis, Manager, FEP Project, in September of 2012.

The Growth in Giving Initiative was formally established in January of 2013 with funding commitments by the three founding sponsors, Association of Fundraising Professionals, DonorPerfect/Softerware, Inc., and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. A Growth in Giving Initiative Steering Group was formed, and Erik Daubert, Associated Scholar at the Urban Institute, agreed to serve on the Growth in Giving Initiative as Chair, and he has led the Initiative since that time.

Since then, the initiative has grown to attract leading thought leaders and technology companies across the philanthropic spectrum.



Partner Organizations
 

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AFP and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy
Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change—helping nonprofits and charities and supporting fundraising efforts that have generated more than $1 trillion. AFP advances effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 33,000 members raise more than $115 billion annually, equivalent to approximately one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world.

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy enhances philanthropy and volunteerism through programs of education, research, and service that benefit those who lead, serve and support nonprofit institutions. The purpose of the Foundation is to generate resources for strategic initiatives that advance fundraising worldwide.

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Bloomerang
Bloomerang helps nonprofit organizations to reach, engage and retain the advocates they depend on to achieve their vision for a better world. Their cloud-based donor management application is rooted in principles of philanthropy, simple to use and focused on empowering your team to achieve remarkable results through enhanced donor loyalty.

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DonorPerfect/SofterWare*
DonorPerfect/SofterWare is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. The organization was founded in 1981 with a mission to develop and support software that is easy to learn, easy to use, and adaptable to users’ unique needs. The company has grown over 30 years from a small entrepreneurial business to a $30 million+ company with over 10,000 nonprofit, childcare, camp, school and payment processing clients. We credit our longevity and success to our team’s dedication to providing complete customer satisfaction through outstanding products and services.
*charter member of the Donor Software Group
*founding data partner

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DataLake Nonprofit Research
DataLake Nonprofit Research has a long history of excellence in the field of nonprofit research; offering unique insight and evidence-based solutions that strengthen charities and communities since 2002.

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DonorTrends
DonorTrends is on a mission to educate, equip, and inspire fundraisers to use mathematics to elevate their marketing strategies.  Providing actionable intelligence to enable nonprofit organizations of all sizes, to focus on the right donors, at the right time, with the right message.



Data Partners
 

(Donor software and data consulting firms currently providing monthly data and/or analysis for the Growth in Giving database, in alphabetical order):

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The Biedermann Group, led by 25-year industry veteran Jon Biedermann, is a consulting, fundraising software, and holding company for growth-oriented businesses, serving the nonprofit space and related stakeholders.

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Bloomerang helps nonprofit organizations to reach, engage and retain the advocates they depend on to achieve their vision for a better world. Their cloud-based donor management application is rooted in principles of philanthropy, simple to use and focused on empowering your team to achieve remarkable results through enhanced donor loyalty.

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DataLake Nonprofit Research has a long history of excellence in the field of nonprofit research; offering unique insight and evidence-based solutions that strengthen charities and communities since 2002.

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DonorPerfect Fundraising Software is one of the largest fundraising software companies in the world and consistently achieves the highest rankings and awards on independent review sites.

Neon One

Neon One is the best in class software and services built to drive growth for nonprofits, foundations, and educational institutions of all sizes.



Associations of Fundraising Professionals Endorsing the Project

  • Association Foundation Group
  • Association of Donor Relations Professionals
  • CASE
  • National Association of Charitable Gift Planners


Other Creative and Engaged Organizations


BoardSource
BoardSource is the only organization focused exclusively on nonprofit board practices and inspiring board service.  It provides services to inspire and support excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership. Its “Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness” (MFE) project was endorsed by AFP in 2017 and is a cornerstone for the FEP Activity-Based Management project.

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy by training and empowering students and practitioners to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world.

Giving USA
For 59 years, fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, donors and volunteers, scholars, and other individuals who work in or with the charitable sector have counted on Giving USA to provide the most comprehensive charitable giving data available. No other source provides the context for annual giving like Giving USA.

Giving Institute
Our vision is simple; we want to develop extraordinary leaders in the world of philanthropy. Everything we do is designed to help elevate the fundraising consulting and nonprofit services industry and enhance the philanthropic sector, all while advancing your own career.

Our goal is to continue to build up this section of the site so that we are listing a wide variety of partners that build our credibility; we consider this to be a beginning.

Greater Washington Society of CPAs 
The Greater Washington Society of CPAs serves more than 3,000 CPA and Non-CPA members in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  Its activities are designed to help members in their professional practice and career advancement. A collaborative with AFP and Philanthropic Services for Institutions (PSI), and GWSCPA has developed the Excel-based FEP-ABM “Fundraising Net Analyzer (FNA)” (see Tools page).



Fundraising Effectiveness Project and Growth in Giving Steering Committee Executive Board Members


JBJon Biedermann, Chair, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and member, Biweekly Work Group
Jon Biedermann has served the nonprofit industry for more than 25 years and was the founder of DonorPerfect Online, one of the leading fundraising software products used by thousands of nonprofit organizations across the world.  Besides joining the Fundraising Effectiveness Project in 2006, he serves on the boards of The Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation, as well as local community nonprofit groups including baseball and basketball youth sports organizations.  He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Sue, their 4 children, 3 cats and one puppy.

benBen Miller, Vice Chair, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and member, Biweekly Work Group
Benjamin Miller is a consummate entrepreneur drawing upon degrees in mathematics and systems engineering to advance applied data science in the non-profit sector. Ben Miller is the Chief Analytic Officer at DonorTrends a division of EveryAction, (https://www.everyaction.com/) and has helped raise billions of dollars from tens of millions of donors for thousands of organizations over his career.  Ben also serves on the Research Council for the AFP and is the Vice Chair of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. 

timTim Sarrantonio, Treasurer, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and member, Biweekly Work Group
Tim Sarrantonio oversees Neon One’s ecosystem of software, consultant, and institutional partners that can address any nonprofit need. Neon One provides best in class products with NeonCRM, Rallybound, CiviCore, Arts People, and an ecosystem that ensures that over 27 product integrations and over 90 consultants are working to solve problems specific to nonprofits.

cwCathlene Williams, Ph.D., Secretary, Growth in Giving Steering Committee, and member, Biweekly Work Group.
Cathy Williams is a consultant specializing in curriculum development, project management and business writing. She is a former AFP staff member and is currently a consultant to AFP for FEP, ACFRE, research programs and other professional advancement projects.

ebElizabeth Boris, Immediate Past Chair, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and member, Biweekly Work Group
Elizabeth T. Boris, Ph.D. is an Institute Fellow, a position she has held since 2016 at the Urban Institute where she was founding director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy from 1996-2016.  The Center, a co-founder of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, conducts research on the roles and impacts of nonprofit organizations and the policy issues that affect them and hosts the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS).  Dr. Boris has authored many research publications and served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees.



Fundraising Effectiveness Project and Growth in Giving Steering Committee Members
 

joshJoshua Birkholz, member, Biweekly Work Group
Joshua Birkholz is the CEO of the international fundraising consulting and service firm, BWF.  Josh is widely regarded for his foundational work in data science, his 2008 book, Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy among other books and publications, and for is strategic design, program development, and implementation of several multi-billion dollar campaigns across the nonprofit landscape.  Josh is on the board of the Giving USA Foundation, having chaired the Advisory Council on Methodology for seven years.  He is an instructor at the Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. He has the Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence from CASE. And he is a recipient of the prestigious Apra Visionary award for his contributions to prospect development.

erikErik J. Daubert, MBA, ACFRE, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Erik is regarded as a leader in the areas of nonprofit management and fundraising. In addition to a broad-based career in nonprofits, he has also served as a consultant and founding partner in multiple nonprofit and for profit organizations. Erik has written several publications including books, articles and more on fundraising and nonprofit management topics ranging from annual to capital to endowment as well as major gifts, donor cultivation, volunteer management, grant getting and more. A current faculty member at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, Erik is regularly a top rated speaker at national and international conferences. Erik is Founding and Past Chair with the Growth in Giving Initiative and currently serves as an independent consultant and as Managing Director with Philanthropy4, an organization helping to grow, inspire, and promote philanthropy.

ndNathan Dietz, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Nathan Dietz, Ph.D. has served as Senior Researcher at the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy since March 2017, after earlier work in government, the nonprofit sector, and academia. His work with DGI focuses on social capital, volunteering, charitable giving, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship.

Dr. Dietz has recently published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the American Journal of Community Psychology, and Nonprofit Policy Forum, as well as two recent Spotlight reports published by the Giving Institute, sponsors of the annual Giving USA report on American philanthropy. He has also worked at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, at the Partnership for Public Service, at the Department of Research and Policy Development at the Corporation for National and Community Service, and taught in the Department of Government at American University.

thomThom M. Digman, CFRE, member, Bi-Weekly Work Group and Growth in Giving Steering Committee; Chair—FEP-Applying Activity-Based Management (ABM) to Fundraising Study Group
Thom M. Digman is a Principal of The Digman Network—an advancement advisory and counseling firm focusing on assisting mission-driven non-profits. He has over thirty years of progressively responsible mission advancement experience. An AFP Master Trainer, he loves talking about Fundraising Fitness, Donor Retention, and Measuring What Matters in fundraising.

jdJon Durnford, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Jon Durnford is principal consultant for Datalake Nonprofit Research, providing management, research, and information technology services to the nonprofit sector. Recent projects include public charity and private foundation research at the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) at Urban Institute, director of the National Analytic Database for the Growth in Giving/ Fundraising Effectiveness Initiatives (GiG/FEP), and contributing researcher for Giving USA Foundation’s Giving USA report.

sgSharon Gleason, CFRE, ACFRE, EdD (2022), member, Biweekly Work Group
Ms. Gleason has more than 25 years of experience managing and leading nonprofits.  She has raised over $550 million and has worked for some of the world’s most well-known and effective nonprofits including the American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, City of Hope, YMCA, Federation of American Scientists. She currently is part of the senior leadership of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, running the Society’s Development and Marketing.  She also Chairs Community Bridges, a community-based nonprofit serving minority and immigrant girls who live below the poverty line.  She holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, a MEd from Harvard and is currently pursuing her doctorate at Vanderbilt in Leadership and Learning in Organizations.

Jjimames M. Greenfield, ACFRE, FAHP, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
James M. Greenfield, ACFRE, FAHP, FAFP, was a senior development officer at eight colleges and hospitals between 1962 and 2001. Now in semi-retirement, he is a member of the Growth in Giving Initiative Steering Committee and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project Working Group. Jim’s lifetime service was honored by AFP with the Distinguished Fellow Award in April 2018 at the AFP ICON in New Orleans.

loriLori Gusdorf, CAE, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Lori Gusdorf is the Executive Vice President of the AFP Foundations for Philanthropy located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  The philanthropic arm of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Foundations provide funding for scholarships, educational programs, research, diversity and inclusion and leadership development.  Prior to taking on this position in December 2016, Lori was the AFP Vice President of Membership and Chapter Services for 26 years.

kjKarlene Jennings, MSIS, PhD, CFRE, member, Biweekly Work Group
Karlene Noel Jennings (MSIS, PhD, CFRE) is the Executive Director of Advancement and External Relations, University Libraries, UNC Greensboro.  She has served at the UNC Greensboro University Libraries since July 2016. In her role, Karlene leads advancement efforts for discovery, life-long learning, and engagement through the University Libraries. Karlene believes in the transformative power of stories, in cheering for the improbable, and advocating for the (statistically) incredible. A passionate advocate for the life-changing impact of education and libraries, Karlene finds joy in creating strategic philanthropic partnerships between donors and institutions.

slScott R. Lange, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and chair, Biweekly Work Group
Scott is the founder and president of Visionary Philanthropic Consulting LLC.  No stranger to philanthropic analytics, he is acknowledged for creating the first actionable campaign forecast from wealth screening data in 2001. Scott co-founded two AFP Chapters, served as track dean for the International Conference, served on the board of AFP and is a member of the “Emeritus Society.”  His previous roles include serving as CEO of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, Vice President Analytics at Grenzebach Glier + Associates, and Senior Consultant at Marts & Lundy. Prior to consulting he rose through the ranks of development from annual giving to major gifts, director of development, to AVP of operations, Chief Development Officer, and Interim CEO.

billBill Levis, Founder (2005) and retired Manager, Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) (2005-2019); member, Biweekly Work Group
Bill is the developer and programmer of the core FEP Annual Fundraising Effectiveness Survey and reports and the FEP Fundraising Fitness Test. He is the organizer of the ten-member FEP Donor Software Workgroup that has provided FEP with data since 2006. Bill is an Affiliated Scholar (retired) in the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. He has a long history of investigation into fundraising costs and productivity with numerous articles, papers and projects going back to the 1970s, when he organized and directed the NSFR Fundraising Cost Study (1975–1981).

jayJay Love, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Jay B. Love is is the chief relationship officer and co-founder of Bloomerang. He has served this sector for 40 years.   He has been the CEO of four companies serving the nonprofit sector. He is currently a member of the AFP Ethics Committee and former member of the AFP International Board.  He served as the Senior Vice President of Avectra. Prior to Avectra, he was CEO of Social Solutions and Senior Vice President of the Arts and Cultural Division of Blackbaud. Jay is co-chair of the AFP Donor Software Group.

loriLori Hunter Overmyer, MBA, CFRE, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Lori Hunter Overmyer, who chairs the AFP Research Council, has more than 25 years of professional fundraising experience with a focus on the arts, and social and human service organizations. A consultant with Goettler Associates, Inc. since 2005, she has lent her knowledge of marketing research, proposal writing, personal donor cultivation, recognition strategies and volunteer leadership to some of the Columbus, Ohio’s most successful capital campaigns. An accomplished and successful speaker, she is frequently called upon to offer her take on topics as varied as major gifts, grants writing, donor metrics, and public-private partnerships.

asAngela Seaworth, Ph.D., MBA, ACFRE, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group 
Angela Seaworth, Lecturer and Director of Philanthropic Initiatives and Capacity Building at the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at Texas A&M University, has more than 20 years of multifaceted experience in the nonprofit sector as a professional fundraiser, consultant, and professor.  She developed fundraising as a functional expertise early in her career and, for the past decade, has focused on advancing the field through nonprofit education and research. She founded the Center for Philanthropy at Rice University and taught graduate courses at Notre Dame and University of California Irvine. Also she has served as a subject matter expert for CFRE International, on the ACFRE Credentialing Board, and in various local AFP Chapter roles.  Angela earned her Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, her MBA from the University of Chicago, and BA from Denison University.

ssSteven Shattuck, member, Growth in Giving Steering Committee and Biweekly Work Group
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. Steven volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and the Study Fundraising Steering Group at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University. He is also an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving.

Steven has contributed content to the National Council of Nonprofits, AFP, NTEN and Nonprofit Hub, and is a frequent conference speaker, having spoken at AFP International, NAYDO, Cause Camp, ADRP, the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, and Planet Philanthropy to name a few. He is a co-author of Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition.

He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers – How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media (2020).

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