What I love about Matrix reports

Forcify.me has launched a new training video on Salesforce Summary and Matrix reports for nonprofits!  Frankly, I'm exhausted from the effort so I'll dive into the recent archives for a blog post on why these reports can be so incredibly useful for nonprofits.  Enjoy!


Development Directors get three consistent questions from the Executive Director and Board of Directors:

  1. How much did we raise last quarter?
  2. How does that compare to our expectations?
  3. What are we going to raise next year?
    (often phrased to the fundraising team as, "Here's what we need to raise next year.")

What I love about Salesforce Matrix reports is that they empower Development Directors to pursue a thoughtful approach to decide the annual fundraising goal as well as report on progress throughout the year.

The essence of matrix reports is to distill down a large volume of information into summary information that highlights and totals key attributes.

Annual Donations by Type

For nonprofits, my favorite Salesforce Matrix report takes an entire year’s worth of revenue and breaks it down by the type of contribution and the month it came. Development Directors that budget by Individual, Corporate, Grant, Government and In-kind gifts, will really appreciate how this report is ready-made for the next board meeting.

Also, it's easy to generate a good chart from :).

Campaign Donations by Size

A (very close) second-favorite Matrix report divvies up annual revenue by campaign and Gift Range; which is in essence sorting donations by whether they are considered small, medium, or large and grouping them by the fundraising effort that generated the gift.

This report offers gems of knowledge every way it is seen:

  • Overall fundraising is broken down into the number of small, medium and large donations so you can see how much of total revenue came from gifts under $1,000 for example.
  • Fundraising campaigns can be assessed by the size donation they generate.
  • Focusing on certain gift ranges, such as large donations (as we tend to do), one can see what efforts generated gifts of this size throughout the year.

All this is well and good information to share at the next board meeting but these two reports will REALLY pay off when it comes time to plan how to increase fundraising revenue next year.

If the goal is more and larger gifts, the first report tells of the type of large donations the organization has success with (grants, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, etc).  Only you can know if there is opportunity to scale up each category or if you've reached your potential but the starting point is knowing the facts about year's past.

If instead the goal is to cultivate a broader donor base, the second report can highlight which efforts generated the small and medium sized donations that typically comprise the majority of gifts.  A quick adjustment to that report can limit the results to just new donors from the past year, showing exactly where the growth in the donor base came from.

Once the annual fundraising plan is in place, both these reports can help to predict income for each month and quarter of the coming year.

In short, what I like about matrix reports is they help make next year’s fundraising goals a reality by putting real information at the fingertips of Development Directors as they plan and execute on an annual fundraising strategy.