Most nonprofits talk to their audience through their website. Websites help explain your mission and ask for donations, volunteers, or other support. It’s important to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of your website. But there are many different metrics or data points to consider. This article will talk about some of the most important nonprofit website metrics and what they can reveal.

Unique Versus Repeat Traffic

One of the most important nonprofit website metrics to consider is traffic. This gives you a strong idea of your reach and connection with prospective donors. There are two traffic metrics that you need to carefully evaluate. The number of unique visitors is a proxy for reach. It measures each individual person who visits your website. Growth in unique visits demonstrates that you’re raising awareness about your organization. Poor unique traffic suggests the opposite. The other metric, repeat visitors, helps you evaluate the strength of your relationship with visitors and prospective donors. Strong repeat traffic suggests that you’ve developed a committed audience for your message or cause. This population is more likely to donate. Other metrics can also have an impact on traffic. A high bounce rate on your landing page, for example, could suggest a lack of compelling content when people visit your site.


Conversion rates are one of the most important nonprofit website metrics. This is true whether you’re a private company or a nonprofit. In the private sector, conversion usually measures the number of people that make a purchase. For nonprofits, conversion is usually means the donation rate. This is because the most common call to action is to make a donation. Other possible “conversion rates” for nonprofits might include sign ups for the organization’s newsletter or commitments to volunteer at upcoming events. Conversion rates help you evaluate if your message is connecting with site visitors. If your conversion rate is poor, you may need to provide more detail about your organization’s mission or how you will spend donations. If you have a strong data culture, it may be fairly easy to get this information.  One helpful way to boost conversion is to have members champion the organization on their social media profiles. Sharing on social media can humanize your organization and make it easier to boost conversion.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value is another private sector metric that nonprofits can use. For private companies, customer lifetime value (CLV) measures the expected financial benefit of a customer relationship. It’s usually calculated as how much the customer will spend throughout the relationship, minus marketing or retention cost. The formula is pretty similar for nonprofits: expected donations from an individual over a period of time, minus any kind of marketing or communication costs. Reaching a Donor Lifetime Value (DLV) figure for donors allows you to prioritize outreach towards those most likely to support your organization. You can organize donors in a data dashboard or other nonprofit data visualization tool and segment them from high to low DLV. Those DLV figures aren’t static and will change over time depending on donations.

These metrics can help you evaluate the quality of your site content, how well you connect with prospective donors, and how to segment those donors. They also can be helpful when analyzing ROI across web properties when you prepare your end of year report. Capturing and evaluating these metrics can be time consuming but could significantly improve your organization’s effectiveness. The right data points and thorough analysis can get you that much closer to meeting your fundraising targets.

Interested in getting started with improving the value of your website? Ask about our Nonprofit Website Care Packages for WordPress and Drupal.

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