KPI Examples for Non-Profits

By Jessica Wishart

KPI examples for non profits
One of the many wonderful aspects of the Rhythm software platform and methodology is that it is industry agnostic. It works in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, education, consumer package goods, and even non-profits. We love helping all of our clients succeed, and our team takes a lot of pride in how the success of our clients in the non-profit sector positively impact the world—putting shoes on kids' feet, creating recreational opportunities for at-risk youth, providing mental and behavioral health services, and improving lives and communities through various ministries.
KPI examples for non profits
Running a non-profit is different from running a business in some important ways, but the critical tasks of strategic thinking, execution planning, and doing the work remain the same. Measuring your organization's health using a scorecard of a few key metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs) is just as important for non-profits as it is for any business. Some of our customers in the non-profit sector have asked for specific examples of KPIs applicable to them. The traditional examples like sales and revenue don't apply, so here are some metrics to think about if you work in a non-profit.
In addition to measuring your team health and retention as in any industry, you might also be interested in these metrics:
  • Number of volunteers or volunteer hours/month
  • Training or continuing education hours
  • Overtime or flextime hours
  • Employee Engagement
  • Absenteeism
  • Time to hire
  • Board engagement
Due to the nature of non-profit work, your team may be more prone to burnout and turnover than in other industries. Be sure you are measuring an Employee Health Index. You may also want to consider other leading indicators of burnout such as unused vacation time.
In your case, they may be called participants, patients, clients, students, neighbors, partners... these are the people you serve. You might not call them customers, but you should be measuring some key metrics to ensure they are happy with your services and getting the beneficial experience you are working so hard to provide. Depending on your mission, what you measure related to the population you serve will vary, so be thoughtful to choose a number that you are working to improve:
  • Number of people served
  • Satisfaction Scores or other Survey results
  • Referrals
  • % of target population reached
  • Event or program attendance rates
These are generic suggestions; to find a meaningful number for your organization, think about what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to expand the number of individuals you serve, improve the quality of the services you provide, help those individuals achieve specific health, vocational or educational goals?
Again, you'll have specific numbers to measure success on relevant programs, projects, or operations that will vary. You may be highly focused on creating awareness, so your marketing efforts (to both people you serve and potential donors) could be key metrics. Alternatively, maybe your awareness strategies are working well, and you want to improve your program efficiency so you can serve more people with the same resources. Depending on which processes you are focused on for success, your metrics will be different. Here are a few examples to get you thinking:
  • Wait time for services
  • Response time to inquiries
  • Reporting accuracy and compliance
  • Technical support requests
  • Resource utilization
  • On-time delivery
  • Promises kept
  • Space Utilization
Ensure you are measuring what you want to improve or what you need to know your organization is healthy. Your process KPIs could be different for each department or team. You may have some process KPIs around social media marketing, some around volunteer recruitment efforts, some around building maintenance, or any number of other specific ways you'll know if your project or program is on track for success.
Your non-profit may not have traditional sales and revenue numbers to track, but you should be monitoring your financial health through tracking leading and result indicators. You need to know that you have the funds available to serve your population and that you're meeting your growth goals for the organization. Depending on how you are funded (grants, donations, etc.), you'll need to set KPIs to know you're on track. Here are some examples to consider:
  • Program Expenses
  • Cost per service, unit or person served
  • Maintenance costs
  • Grant applications submitted
  • # of Fundraising Events
  • Fundraising ROI
  • Community outreach efforts
  • Growth Year over Year
  • Average donation size
  • # of Recurring donors
If you depend on individual donations, consider measuring conversion rate by channel. Do you get more donations from direct mail, email campaigns, social media posts, or in-person events? Also, be sure to measure the ROI on any fundraising events. If that big silent auction or 5k race doesn't generate enough donations to cover the costs, you need a different strategy for fundraising.
Hopefully, these examples have given you some food for thought. If you are still having trouble thinking through the right KPIs to know if your non-profit is healthy and on track for success, our expert consultants have seen hundreds of patterns from every industry and are ready to help you.


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Jessica Wishart


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