Key performance indicators for non-profit websites

Non-profit key performance indicators (KPIs)Identifying and tracking website key performance indicators (KPIs) is vital for a non-profit’s marketing practice.

What to measure
What is your organizaion’s overall goal or current priorities? Which metrics will help you achieve it? For many non-profits, building advocacy is important. Advocacy online can be nurtured and developed as a marketing goal. Sure, some advocacy happens organically from a non-profits day to day activities, but advocacy can be encouraged on a broader level. As a non-profit attempts to develop advocacy online, measuring social engagement, email open rates, click throughs, content shares and peer promotion all help build visibility for a non-profit and their cause.

Building advocacy for a non-profit

Try building a measurement practice that includes the following metrics. Including these potential advocacy metrics, can help your non-profit marketing efforts improve over time.

  • Social media engagement
  • Online donations
  • Likes, shares, +1s, retweets, Twitter favorties
  • Comments
  • Content shares or address bar shares
  • Email click throughs
  • Event sign-ups plus guest inclusions
  • Volunteer sign-ups
  • Dialogue surrounding a cause within social media
  • Links to website
  • Press
  • Misc. support call-to-action engagement (clicks on CTAs for support)

Digital Opportunities for Nonprofit Marketers [Download eBook PDF]

Measuring non-profit websites

  • Organic search: Your SEO activities and content strategy can be measured with the rise and fall of keyword rankings, traffic sent from your top keywords and overall organic search traffic over time.
  • Paid search (PPC). PPC advertising is gaining in relevance for many non-profits.  Measure the impact of each campaign and keyword to better understand the effects of your investment.
  • Remarketing. Remarketing can be used to reengage with a campaign, cause or brand. As users leave your website, you can still connect with them by showing exclusively those users displays ads and text ads throughout the web on third-party websites and within search.
  • Referring websites. Which websites link to your non-profit site? How much traffic do these websites refer?
  • Social referral traffic.  Within Google Analytics, you can automatically distinguish between Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. Social media measurement is important to understand engagement and conversation about a cause and with your non-profit brand.
  • Direct visitors. Don’t ignore direct visitors. Many of your other marketing efforts may drive direct visits up as a second touch.
  • Custom defined channels. You can isolate other channels in your reporting to understand ROI from these unique channels. For example, traffic from a mobile app.
  • Social influence. Social influence is more than just clicks from Facebook. It represents future potential. By building your reach on social media you can increase social traffic and advocacy online. Twitter reach is an example of social influence, and it can be clearly measured.

Common fundraising metrics

Sure, this is not an exhaustive list of potential metrics to grow a non-profit’s fundraising abilities, but properly executing these metrics can give a non-profit a wealth of data on how to improve their fundraising efforts.

  • Total donation amount within a campaign period
  • Number of donations
  • Average donation amount per donor
  • Average donation amount within advocacy group (new donors, large donors, repeat donors)
  • Online vs offline donations
  • Donations with social media as a first touch engagement
  • Donations resulting from email asks
  • Email click throughs to support / donation links
  • Donation cart drop offs (abandonment) or bounces from donation page
  • Identifying potential supporters through contact forms

Marketing Analytic Tools
There are many tools to consider for measuring KPIs, including Google Analytics, Hubspot and Hootsuite. Choose the tools based on the data you are looking to measure. For example, Google Analytics has a wide variety of measurement capabilities–from website traffic to diving into specific marketing channel performance to understand engagement with content from a specific source.

Ironpaper also recommends observing the behavior of specific contacts to customize more appropriate and timely messages and identify great prospects for support and donations. For this type of measurement, we use Hubspot software to track user engagement more deeply and clearly determine ROI.

Hootsuite provides insight into a non-profit’s social relationships. Certainly there are clear overlaps between the three tools, but these overlaps can provide some much needed context for your campaign as a whole.

A few fantastic tools

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Adwords
  • Hubspot
  • Hootsuite
  • Addthis



Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.