2018 Benchmarking New Zealand Data Requirements

Please click here to access 2018 Benchmarking data requirements. 

New Zealand Benchmarking Options

Industry Trends Report

The 2018 Industry Trends Report Launch Presentation will take you on a 3hr tour of the key metrics and benchmarks that describe individual giving in Australia and New Zealand, including:

• Gross Income growth to 2017 (overall, by gift type, by charity, by size, highs and lows) • Cash Donor acquisition (channels, volumes, growth, decline, 2nd gift, conversion to RG, long term value) • Cash Donor behaviours (average gift, attrition, lapsed reactivation, donor value, conversion, gift-shift trends, channel variation) • Major Donor Trends (gift amounts, attrition rate, temporal variation, gift types) • Regular Gift Acquisition (channels, volumes, growth, decline, attrition, average gift, demographics) • RG Donor Development (upgrade, reactivation, retention, cross-sell, long term value, gift levels, attrition indicators) • Bequest Programs (income trends, bequest intention rates, variation and indicators) • Donor Cross Pollination (multi-charity support, gift levels, attrition, channels, donor value).


 Individual Charity Report

This will focus specifically on the performance of your charity. It provides named access to the performance and metrics of all members at an individual charity level. As such, it allows you to compare your own charity with the general market and your competitors in great detail. It allows you to find out how you compare in 2017 and in previous years. What has changed, and how? Discover where you are above and below average, by how much, and what other charities are doing differently to you.

A Pareto Fundraiser will deliver this detailed report in person, highlighting valuable insights about your fundraising activity, often contrasting it with the performance of other charities and/or the general fundraising sector. In an analytics-packed two hour session you will be offered advice and opportunities for improving your performance for the coming year and beyond.

The session will provide strategic interpretation, as well as guidance for developing those tricky key performance indicator questions such as:

• What sort of retention levels should I be getting from my programs? • How many donors do we need to maintain, or to grow our income? • Which donors are most amenable to mention us in their Will? • Is there potential in our existing supporters for more major gifts? • How many of our donors are giving to other charities? • Do my donors give more to other charities? • Which charities are doing better than mine, and why?


Optional Reporting Extras

Now Benchmarking members can choose to take on additional monthly or quarterly reporting with Pareto Fundraising Control Panels. Use this reporting system to monitor critical aspects of your organisation’s cash donor acquisition activity or regular giving attrition/ retention.

Go to the Benchmarking Control Panels page to learn more about how this level of reporting is set up to help your organisation.


* Eligibility conditions for membership at FREE (Basic) Level of Benchmarking

  • Must have a minimum of 10,000 transactions in the previous 12 months in any channel across any of the following gift types: regular gift, cash appeal, major gift, bequest
  • Must register before the registration deadline
  • Must provide a full, accurate and complete data-set before the data submission deadline
  • Must pay a data processing fee of $995 for every data re-supply required (e.g. if previous supply is incomplete or inaccurate)
  • Must buy tickets for the Report Launch presentation at full price ($239) if wish to attend

Is Your House In Order?

If you saw the recent “Show Me the Money” story on Channel 7’s Sunday Night or heard influential 2GB radio journalist Ray Hadley a few days later, then you know the spotlight is once again on Australian fundraising – and not in a good way.

Pareto’s Benchmarking Report 2017 clearly shows that two decades of great growth in fundraising income has contracted.  And that the dependency on Face to Face Fundraising needs to be considered with the trends.

Our team have been working with both the FIA and PFRA to supply them with figures that show the value of long term donor relationships and the multiplication effect of the initial investment in fundraising that can be realised if we look beyond the first 12 months.

Lessons learned from Britain’s not-for-profit sector, tells us to prepare for the change and ensure Australian Charities have their house in order.

You may remember that 2015 was called the summer of charity discontent in Britain.

Months of fundraising criticism by the media, politicians and the public, including donors, resulted in a devastating loss of trust and public confidence in Britain’s charities.

Shocked by this national outrage, the UK government demanded an investigation.  Sir Stuart Etherington, chair of the review panel, said ‘… charity fundraising has never been more important … this is why it is particularly crucial that we get fundraising right.’

Part of getting fundraising right was the formation of the Commission on the Donor Experience. Their role? To produce an authoritative report on the fundamental ideas and strategies that will put the donor at the heart of fundraising – not fundraising targets.

Almost two years on, the Commission has released the first of its summaries.

The 6Ps: a blueprint for transforming fundraising for good is the first in a series of planned reports that aims to change forever the donor experience and the way that fundraising is done in Britain.

I urge you to download this report – with thanks to SOFII – and share it with everyone in your organisation.

The CDE’s first findings show you practical ways to help fundraisers everywhere deliver happy, satisfying and effective experiences for donors.

Please do contact me or your Pareto Account Director with any questions you may have.

Dearne Cameron

CEO Pareto Fundraising +61 (0)2 8823 5800

Thank you: Say it often, say it right

Next to your fundraising appeal, your thank-you letter is the most important piece of communication that your donor receives.

Great thank you letters are the hallmark of great fundraising programs. They make a donor feel appreciated and important … that their gift will make a true difference.

When donors are thanked properly for their gift, they are far more likely to give again.

So how do you write a great thank you letter?

  • Thank you letters should be written as part of your fundraising appeal. They are not an afterthought but are a significant, integral component.
  • They should be as beautifully crafted and well thought out as your appeal letter.
  • They should be personal – a real letter that speaks directly to the donor.
  • Your letter should tell a story; ideally, a story in which the donor is the hero (because of their gift.)
  • It should reinforce just how the donor’s gift will be used – and the difference it will make.
  • If you don’t have any immediate results that you can send back in response to a donor’s gift, let your donor know when they will next receive an update on the program being funded. And follow through!
  • There should be no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Most importantly, the letter should be sent out quickly.

Thanking matters! If you aren’t spending as much thought and energy on thanking donors as you do asking them, you aren’t doing your job.

Need some help? There are some great resources out there to help you get started.

Visit Lisa Sargeant’s ‘Thank you Letter Clinic’ on SOFII.  There are eight examples of thank you letters to help inspire you to write your next one.

There are five thank you letters donors will love at ‘the balance’




2018 Auckland Industry Trends Report Launch

Register your staff to attend the Benchmarking Industry Trends Report Launch in Auckland


Pareto will present the 2018 Industry Trends Report in Auckland and Wellington. If you are a current member then please register your attendance for the launch in Auckland.

Location: Spark Lab
Level 4 Seafarers Building
52 Tyler St, Britomart, Auckland 1010

Agenda: Arrival Tea/Coffee: 8:30am- 9:00am Morning Tea: 10:45am- 11:15am Report Presentation: 9:10am- 1.15pm

There is limited parking available onsite and paid parking available on the street. Alternatively, please consider using public transport.

Please include information for all attendees in your registration, and should you require any assistance or more information on the launch event then please contact Damon Twight by telephone on +612 8823 5850 or by email

New Australian Donor Numbers Fall for First Time in Two Decades

The latest Pareto Benchmarking figures show that the number of new donors acquired by the 82 participating charities in 2016, was less than in 2015.

These charities include a majority of charities raising over $20m in 2016, and a good selection of medium sized fundraising organisations as well.


With more than 65% of all regular givers and appeal donors acquired by face to face or direct mail, whatever happens to these two channels influences the big picture more than anything else.



Direct mail grew solidly until last year despite postage costs increasing dramatically, the Australian dollar falling from 1:1 to 1:0.75 and Australians falling from being ‘the wealthiest people in the world’ to just pretty rich (on average!)

By the end of 2015, intense acquisition strategies from many charities, large budgets and our small population of people aged over 65 (the average age of a direct mail donor is around 73) led to many charities simply running out of new people to ask.

Unless charities have great mid, major and bequest donor strategies in place, direct mail has slipped from being a great acquisition tool to just an OK one.  Annoyingly we haven’t a ‘replacement’ channel working at scale to bring in the older demographic.


However, direct mail can’t be looked at on its own as its about the donors not the channel in isolation. The long term benefit is really in bequests.  Despite taking many years, the potential of direct mail with a good bequest program in place is extraordinary.

Just 5,000 new direct mail donors could be worth $5m with a good legacy marketing program.*

Unless you are an animal charity or responding to intense media covered disasters, my advice is to only invest in direct mail acquisition if you have plans in place for donor retention, upgrade (of mid value donors) and especially that bequest fundraising plan.

The other dominant channel is face to face, I have been predicting a peak in face to face volumes for about three years. I guess if you predict your football team will win every year, people forget all but the year you got it right!

Unfortunately I hung in there, and this time I was right. Fewer new monthly givers signed up through face to face in 2016 than 2015.

Despite all this, face to face is still miles ahead of any other channel for acquiring large volumes of monthly givers, and beats direct mail without bequest follow up on five year return on investment.



We have had good growth in online lead generation and phone calls, but the volumes are still comparatively small.  TV, radio, press ads and other channels are just a blip on total volumes, but very important to the few charities getting it right.

New monthly givers signed up by non face to face channels usually have better retention, but there simply aren’t that many of them.


So what does this mean for Australian charities?

We have a small population, our costs are higher than most other markets and our average donations much higher.

We have to really look after the donors we get.  I have mentioned mid value, major donors and bequests already – and they are key – but critically we need to increase our focus on donor love (donor care, supporter service, whatever you call it in your organization).

Here are my tips for all charities fundraising through individual gifts:

  • Be on top of your data.  Measuring campaigns is fine but you really need to be on top of tracking key indicator numbers, key performance indicators and running ongoing analysis to identify trends. And this is for your whole program, individual programs, donor segments and even some individual donors. Produce monthly reports, or even better dashboards, and make sure they are understood and the information is acted upon. It is important to make sure the quality of your data is managed effectively. It’s all well and good to make ‘fixes’ with an agency or mailhouse, but make sure you apply any fixes in your systems too, otherwise it may not be ‘fixed’ for the donors next interaction.
  • Acquire more donors.  If you are acquiring donors and modeling a break even within two years – don’t stop! In fact, if there is any more capacity you can use (e.g. lists or face to face go for it. Just make sure you check the compliance credentials of any suppliers).
  • Know your donor.  A true donor communication survey is key for donor care, major donor work, bequests and more.  It can even help with future direct campaign results!  Key to good donor care is to understand your donor and use a survey year after year.
  • Thank properly.  This doesn’t mean just send a receipt with a short thank you letter.  Every time we conduct mystery shopping, charities come up badly.  Donors deserve a beautiful thank you letter, telling them how their gift will help.  Then they should get a follow up telling how it DID help.  Hardly anyone does this, so, it is easy for your charity to have the best donor care around.
  • Ask properly.  Personalise copy.  Not just name and address, but donation amount, reflect their support, personalise paragraphs depending on their survey responses and previous donations. It is important any personalisation included relates to the donor, and isn’t just changing an adjective in the copy depending on their giving level. Take time to think about where the donor is in their giving journey, what they’ve told you and ensure your copy reflects this well.
  • Use the Pareto Principle. Donors who give larger than average gifts will likely give you more larger gifts.  You don’t have resources to spread equally, so prioritise those with the best potential to give more.  About half your donations will come from just five per cent of your donors.  Use the survey and look at previous giving to work out who they are.
  • Meet donors. The best fundraising happens face to face, but any full time major donor fundraiser who spends more time NOT meeting donors is either under supported or in the wrong job.  There are usually around 220 working days for a full time person.  A full time bequest or major donor fundraiser should be spending 180-200 of those visiting donors.  ALL fundraisers would be speaking to donors. Making thank you calls, checking in on how the fundraising you do feels for your donors. Aiming to understand more and more about your donors. If you have not spoken to a single donor in the last month, pick up the phone now
  • Hold staff and suppliers accountable.  Make sure they know what is expected and make sure good KPIs are in place and understood. Ensure suppliers are compliant with regulations.
  • Try some new stuff. Finally, and only if you have made sure you are doing all the above!  Budget for R&D with no income expected. And please – on behalf of the whole sector – let us know how you get on!

If you want to be part of Pareto Benchmarking next year please email Jesse Zarb.

* 5,000 direct mail donors, average age 73, average bequest in Australia $59,273.  Benchmarking shows 0.4% of all such donors have become bequestors, with more advanced bequest programs achieving 2%. $1.2m-$5.9m.

Fundraising Control Panel: Core monthly and quarterly options

Overall there are six fundraising control panels available – more details of which can be seen in our videos here.

However, we have matched up the two most popular panels with our Benchmarking program to make them available now as a cost-effective monthly or quarterly reporting service:

1 – Monthly Regular Giving Attrition Monitoring

2 – Quarterly New Cash Donor Performance

The images below show the default dashboard set-up for each of these panels. Like all of our panels, we can customise them to meet your specific reporting requirements.

Monthly Regular Giving Attrition Monitoring

Cost: $1,995 monthly or $23, 940 per annum

(click to enlarge image)website1

Quarterly New Cash Donor Performance

Cost: $2,995 quarterly or $11, 980 per annum 

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How to order Pareto control panels?

Register online for Benchmarking and select the control panel you desire via the Dropdown. Or contact Jesse by phone or email:

Jesse Zarb Events and Communications Manager E: P: +61 7 3015 4014

Got more questions about the panels? Contact Clarke by phone or email:

Clarke Vincent Head of Marketing and New Business Development E: P: +61 7 3015 4021

The fine print

  • Please note that additional charges may be payable if you need to provide a new data feed solely for the purposes of generating a control panel report – if we have an updated data extract from you for any other purpose (e.g. Benchmarking or Appeals work) then we should be able to use that with no extra data charges.
  • Additional charges may also apply for report customisation or variations to the data supply format.
  • Reports are produced on the timescale you need them (e.g. Quarterly/ Monthly) but can be generated on a daily basis if your IT dept will facilitate API access to your supporter database.
  • Your initial control panel(s) will be set up to run for a minimum of 12 months, but during that time you are able adjust the frequency and number of panels that you access.

BM2016 Benchmarking Registration

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Benchmarking Why Join?

Your charity will benefit from:

Being part of a co-operative. with members who share key metrics, benchmarks and knowledge. You can identify a specific piece of information you’d like, and access that information from the entire co-operative, just a few members, or a single other charity.

Information compiled and delivered by fundraisers. Pareto Fundraising’s team members are active in the sector. They understand industry issues and which areas of information are most useful to Benchmarking participants generally – and your charity specifically.

An exceptional opportunity to adapt your strategy. You have the option of engaging a senior Pareto Fundraising strategist to help turn your charity’s Benchmarking insights into action. They can help you find solutions to your fundraising challenges, and identify opportunities for program development.

Transparency. Pareto Fundraising’s Benchmarking is not anonymous within the group – in a debate by top fundraisers in the UK, the group concluded that anonymous benchmarking was next to useless, because the context of any particular charity’s operations could not be known by the group. Your benchmarking information, however, will never be shared outside of the member base, unless you give explicit written permission.

Real data from real donor transactions. Pareto Fundraising’s Benchmarking is not based on subjective views, or information gathered by survey. We use only transactions from Australian and New Zealand donors.

Benchmarking Members 2018

The following charities are registered to participate in Benchmarking 2018: