The Ultimate Guide To Our Nonprofit Custom Dashboards

Jul 9, 2019 | Analytics, Guides

Luke Barratt

by Luke Barratt

Find out how to interpret our custom analytics dashboards to turn data into insights. 

Analytics Nonprofit Overview

Why use our custom dashboards?

Analytics allow you to make better decisions – use our dashboards to find out more about your donors so you can leverage the information to increase donations.

When it comes to making key, difficult decisions for your nonprofit, like which projects to invest in next and how much to spend on fundraising, you’ll want to ensure you’re well informed about the available options.

Using concrete facts and figures in the form of data analytics can help you weigh up alternatives and give you insights to make better decisions. Keeping track of key targets also helps you monitor performance so you stay on track, achieve your goals and continue to improve over time.

Our custom website analytics dashboards provide a solid basis to track key metrics so you can maximise the value of your online presence. They aim to illustrate the link between your online marketing efforts and your key goals – increasing donations and volunteers. When you know what campaigns and channels work best, you can greatly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your advertising to allocate more time and resources to your cause.

Whilst the initial template is generic, it can be tailored to your nonprofit so you can track exactly what matters to you. This guide is intended to help you gain an overview of the key report sections, why they’re worth tracking and the kind of insights you can draw from the data.

Nonprofit Analytics Dashboards

How do the dashboards work?

Without going into too much detail – the dashboards effectively use code snippets and tags to track all interactions with your website via Google Analytics, your Google Search performance, your Google Ads and Youtube videos.

Then, by adding various filters, the data is ‘cleaned’ to remove irrelevant traffic that would skew results. Common examples include non-human bot or spam traffic and internal traffic (like page views and clicks from your web development team).

Once the data has been filtered you can set up goals – the actions you most value and want your website users to take – for example making a donation or signing up as a volunteer. By setting triggers for these goals, you can measure how often they occur, where the traffic came from and the actions that were taken prior to achieving the results.

That information is then collated from various sources to be presented into the dashboards which are hosted on Google Data Studio. We use a variety of different data visualisation methods like bar and pie charts to clearly convey the most important information in a concise and visually appealing way.

Given that data filtering and conversion tracking are key to deriving insights from your data we highly recommend that you seek professional help in setting them up to ensure they are correctly installed – book a consultation with us if you need a hand!

How are the reports structured?

There are 10 pages in the report template which are intended to provide a high-level overview of each aspect of a nonprofit’s online presence. Our template is populated with random data to illustrate the type of data which can be displayed. To use the report with your own data you can make a copy of the template in your own Google account or contact us so we can get it set up for you. If you would like to skip ahead to find out about a particular section just click the page title:

  1. Cover Page – a brief introduction to the report
  2. Overview – how you’re progressing towards your donation and volunteer targets
  3. Audience – insights into who your web users are
  4. Acquisition – how your users got to your website
  5. Google Ads – an overview of your Google ad performance
  6. SEO – how your keywords are ranking in Google search results
  7. Social Media – how much website traffic arrives from your social networks
  8. Youtube – key metrics concerning engagements on your Youtube channel
  9. Engagement – how users interact with your page
  10. Conversions – key insights into what is driving donations and volunteer sign ups

We’ll go through each page individually to illustrate how they can provide important insights for your nonprofit.

Cover Page

The cover page simply explains that this is a standardised template, using random data, which can be tailored to your nonprofit and supplies links to our website templates and Google Ad Grant Eligibility check.

Cover Page With Controls

To navigate to other parts of the report you’ll need to click on the page navigation option in the top left.

Report Navigation

There are also options to download the report in a pdf, share the link to the report, embed the report on your website, enter full screen mode and make a copy of the report using your own analytics data. If this is something you’d like to do, please get in touch so we can provide instructions on how to set it up properly. 

Controls Explanation

Overview

The overview shows aggregate statistics of your online donations and volunteers, how you are progressing towards your annual targets and how you performed in this period compared to the previous period. 

Overview

There are a number of filters available in the top right which allow you to segment your data by country, channel, device and date range to provide deeper analysis. 

Filters

Use the country to filter by geographic region – just be aware that depending on how much data you have this might take a while to load. If the majority of your fundraising efforts are within an individual country or for more detailed insights it is also possible to filter by city. 

Filter by Country

The channel feature can provide great analysis into the performance of your marketing campaigns and refers to the source of your website traffic. Organic traffic measures the number of users that arrived at your website via a search engine results page – which you did not pay for. You can analyse the particular search queries they used in the SEO report page which we’ll cover later.

The (none) channel measures traffic which went directly to your website and some common channels for analysis are ’email’, ‘cpc’ (cost-per-click) and ‘referral’. For some of these channels to show accurate statistics for your data you’ll need to ensure that your campaigns have been tagged correctly – get in touch if this is something you’re interested in. 

You’ll also notice that the demo data has some custom channels like ‘Affiliates’ for example – you can also set up similar custom channels which are important to your nonprofit.

Filter by Channel

The device feature is pretty self-explanatory, although it’s always worth checking how mobile traffic is performing since this is (most likely) how most people will access your website.

Filter by Device

Finally, the date range filter will allow you to compare performance across different time periods. Based on what you enter the graphs will also adapt so you can visualise performance differences. 

Filter by Date

Audience

The audience page aims to give you some insight into the users that land on your website: where they come from, age, gender and which device they’re using. It can be useful to compare the percentage of new users to returning users to gain an insight into how likely it is that users return to your site.

Just be aware that the data may be skewed because data is collected by cookies (which is why having a cookie policy is essential if you’re considering using analytics). That means that a returning visitor is only recorded if they are using the same device and browser (which would have left a cookie). If they’re on a new device (mobile) or a new browser, or cleared their browsing history then they would be recorded as a new user.

Audience

The reports are interactive, meaning that they change when you click or hover on certain items – so use this to get more detailed information. Other than the filters in the top right, some tables (like the country table) allow you to filter through to see more results by clicking on the ‘>’ icon. You can see the total number of table items in the bottom right (in this case 180).

More Countries

Hovering your mouse over the line graph will give you access to aggregate statistics.

Line Graph Hover

The same is true for the pie charts. Using a combination of the filters in the top right and on the page itself you can drill down into exactly the data you need. 

Pie Chart Hoover

Acquisition

The acquisition page aims to give you an overview of the total number of visits to your website and how they got there. For this page there are a few definitions that’ll come in handy; users are visitors to your website, sessions are a group of user interactions that happen within a given time frame (usually 30 minutes) and page views are the total number of pages that were viewed.

Note that for this report we use unique page views, which means if the user refreshed the same page multiple times it’ll still count as one page view.

Acquisition

On the acquisition page, it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the sources that are driving traffic. You can then focus on these areas to amplify the amount of traffic you receive. It’s worth comparing this list to the sources table on the conversion page to see if the traffic from these sources is actually contributing to your nonprofit’s success (donations or volunteers).

Top Traffic Sources

The same can be said for the referral table. A referral is the source of traffic that arrived at your website, i.e. the name of the website the user was on before they clicked through to your site. 

Top Referrals

The landing page table illustrates the first page users see when they first arrive at your website. You’ll want to put more effort into these pages to ensure you catch users’ attention to increase the likelihood of them navigating to other areas of your website (and then hopefully donating!). 

Top Landing Pages

Google Ads

The Google ads page aims to track how your paid search advertisements are performing. Whilst this template can be adapted for all of your Google ad spend this template assumes you are receiving the Google Ad Grant and primarily focusses on displaying the most important information to maximise the use of the monthly $10,000 ad credit. If you’re not currently using the grant you can check your eligibility for free.

You’ll notice on this page that there are limited filters – if you want to drill down further into your data you’ll have to login to your ads account. 

Ads Performance

Regardless of the marketing campaign you’re running you’ll want to know how your efforts are contributing to your overall goals. Google ads is no different and with the first table you can see how the ad credit is contributing to overall donations. 

How ads are driving donations

The following graph is also important as it records how well your ads are performing. The CTR or click-through-rate measures the percentages of clicks received every time your ad was shown. A higher percentage indicates that your ads are relevant to the search query. This is extremely important as it is one of the ranking factors which determines your ad position (rank in the search results) and also needs to be at least 5% in order to continue to receive the credit. 

Your conversion rate is also worth monitoring as it determines whether your ads are driving results. Conversions will vary depending on your nonprofit but we generally recommend that you include donations and volunteer sign ups. 

CTR and Conv. Rate

The search query list provides insights into which ad keywords are driving results. You can use this information to determine your most important ad terms and optimise them for better results.

For terms which have a high CTR but low conversion rate you could consider either changing the ad to be more representative of the destination page or removing them altogether. If terms have a high conversion rate but low CTR you should consider changing the ad content or include more similar keywords to increase how often it appears in results.

Regular monitoring and optimising of keywords is key to getting the most out of your grant – we provide an ad grant management service to take care of this for you. Just be aware that you should wait until you have sufficient data before you make too many changes to ensure that your changes will actually result in a positive result. 

Search Queries

It’s also worth monitoring how performance is split according to device – this allows you to choose where to display certain ads to maximise their effectiveness. 

Device Breakdown

SEO

The SEO or Search Engine Optimisation page tracks how your organic search engine rankings are driving online donations. Organic rankings are non-paid placements in search results pages which Google has selected based on their relevance to searched query. Ranking high in these results can provide lots of value to your nonprofit, since you’re not actually paying for the resulting website traffic. That said, SEO is a complex and ongoing process which you can find out more about here

 

Search Engine Optimisation

You’ll notice on this page that there are multiple filters in the top-right – this is not a mistake. It’s just that the data relies on multiple sources, so if you want to dive into the information make sure to apply both filters (to the same value).

Multiple Filters

It can be difficult to track the value SEO provides to your nonprofit, however, using this table you should be able to monitor how organic rankings are driving key metrics and how they fit together. Ranking keywords are the number of keywords Google finds your website relevant for, the average position is how high those keywords appear in results pages, impressions are the number of times your website appeared in results and CTR or Click-Through-Rate is the percentage of times your result was clicked. The resulting clicks are the amount of website visits which then result in donations. 

Organic Results and Donations

The search query list provides insights into which keywords are driving organic traffic. You can use this information to determine your most important search terms and optimise them using SEO techniques to appear higher in search results. Similarly, using the landing page list you can see which pages receive the most organic traffic so you can focus on them to make sure they engage users. 

Top Organic Keywords

Social Media

The social media page tracks how your social media platforms are driving traffic and online donations. You can use this information to help plan your social media strategy and focus more on the platforms that are performing well – and less on those that aren’t.

 

Social Media

It’ll be worth monitoring which platforms actually result in donations, which you can see using the chart below. However, be aware that just because these numbers are low does not mean that your social networks do not deliver value. They might be really important in making users aware of your cause, and users may return directly to your website at a later time to donate, in which case their donations would not be recorded in this chart.  

Social Network Donations

You can also monitor when your social media followers are actively engaging with your content and arriving on your website using the chart below. Again, be aware that although these charts may provide insight into the best times to post your content, they might also result in false-positives. For example, if you see that Wednesday 17:00 is the best time to promote your content, based on the data, and then decide to only post your content at this time, it’s likely that your analytics will show spikes at those times.  

Social Media Activity

Youtube

If you’re using Youtube to promote your cause you’ll want to track how your videos are performing.  You can use this information to help choose the type of content that is resulting in high brand exposure and donations.

You’ll also want to ensure that you track the engagement your videos are receiving, particularly the amount of comments, to ensure you can respond to what your supporters are saying.

 

Youtube

You can track how Youtube videos are actually resulting in donations, as represented in the chart below. Referrals record how much traffic Youtube sent directly to your website, how much of that traffic ‘converted’ by landing on your donation page, how many users converted on your donation page by leaving a donation and the resulting total amounts of donations.

Note that, similarly to the social media referrals, not all donations from Youtube will be accurately reflected in this chart as users may have navigated to your website directly after viewing a video. 

Youtube Driving Donations

Using the video list, you can compare which videos are performing best to identify the type of content which receives the most engagement. Unfortunately, to see the title of the video you’ll have to cross-check by logging into your Youtube account.  

Top Videos

Engagement

Engagement refers to the interactions your users have with your website. Generally speaking, the more interactions and the higher the engagement the more interested they are in your content. These metrics (particularly the bounce rate, which is the percentage of users which only visit one page) are worth tracking as they are taken into account by search engines to determine your ranking.

You’ll want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible as a high bounce rate indicates that users left your page because they didn’t find the information they were looking for. This is a poor quality signal to Google and your results will suffer as a result.

Other important metrics are the average session duration, average time on page and the percentage of users which scroll to see more than 50% of your content. To see individual page scroll metrics – so that you can prioritise important information to increase engagement – you should dive into your Google Analytics account. 

Engagement

You’ll want to focus on the referrals which are bringing the most engaged traffic as these are most likely the kind of users which find your cause most interesting and, therefore, most likely to get involved. 

Most Engaged Referrals

You can also set up some custom goals to track user engagement, like the number of pages per session and the total duration on your webpage. Again, the higher these metrics then, generally speaking, the better your content. Contact us if this is something you need help installing.

Engagement Over Time

It’s definitely worth tracking engagement metrics across devices as these may indicate some formatting issues on your website that need to be addressed. 

Engagement Across Devices

Conversions

Now for arguably the most important part of the report: conversions. Although every nonprofit is different, generally speaking, the success of your online presence will come down to two key goals: the number of online donations and the number of volunteers. The conversion page aims to provide an overview of the process, or funnel, users go through to donate and/or volunteer so that you can identify areas for improvement. Tracking progress on the conversion rate of each of these stages to continue to make minor improvements over time can have a huge impact on goal performance.

Whilst these are the conversions included in our template, don’t forget that these can be highly customised to your nonprofit – arrange a free consultation for our advice on which goals you should track

Conversions

The donation process generally follows these stages: total page views on your website (indicates how much traffic your website receives), total page views on your donation page, and total overall donations. You’ll notice that the conversion rates are all the same in this demo example but those figures could provide great insights for your organisation. You’ll also want to monitor the average donation as even slight increases here will have a massive impact on your overall donations. 

For a quick win, to increase average donation size consider installing a seamless donation system which allows for gift aid reclaim and the option for the donor to cover the transaction fees. These two features alone have the possibility to increase the average donation amount by 20-30%! 

Donations Funnel

The same can be said for your volunteer page. If you’re finding a low conversion rate from your page to actual sign ups, consider changing the content or reducing the amount of information you request on the sign up form. 

Volunteer Funnel

This is arguably the most important table in our report template. You’ll want to record the highest converting sources of website traffic and focus on these in your marketing efforts to increase conversions. You may find that some channels are better for volunteers and some are better for donations – using this information you can create tailored campaigns depending on your goals. 

Highest Converting Sources

Other Analytics Features

So there you have it: a summary of how to use our nonprofits analytics dashboards. As a reminder, the dashboards are designed to give you and your team a high-level overview of how your online presence is progressing. To drill down into some more specific information you’ll want to customise the template to your needs and make use of some of our further analytics features.

Some popular examples include:

  • Visitor recordings: watch how real visitors use your site
  • Heat maps: visual representations of clicks, taps and scrolling on your key webpages.
  • User feedback: visual, specific feedback from users about your site
  • Split testing: using different versions of a webpage to see which one results in the most conversions.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above or need help setting up your custom dashboards just get in touch!

Iphone Analytics Dashboard

How can Twenti help?

We can help you set up and track your website analytics, and make it easy to view your progress with simple, visual dashboards and reports. We can also help you acquire and manage the Google Ad Grant which offers nonprofits $10,000 a month (approx. £100,000/year) to advertise your cause.

For more information you can sign up for a free eligibility check and if you’re looking for some inspiration for your new website you can try our nonprofit template for 20-days for free.

Need help setting up analytics?

 

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