We are often asked whether there are any standards or guidelines on what return on investment should be expected for every pound spent on fundraising.

We don't believe it is possible to be specific about return on investment because there are so many factors that will vary year on year and organisation to organisation. For example, it may vary depending on the popularity of the cause, the supporter base, the resources available and the age of the fundraising campaign.

Charities should be transparent in their dealings with donors. They should explain why costs are at a particular level and why that investment is necessary in order to secure the future of the organisation, not just year on year, but also in the long-term. More information about accountability and transparency for fundraising is available from the IoF and from the ImpACT Coalition.


Fundratios: The Research

The Institute has been a partner with the Centre for Interfirm Comparison since 1995 by initiating a Fundratios benchmarking project which has involved over 80 charities, both large and small.

It aims to provide a comparison of performance levels and methods, giving an overview of fundraising performance. The project has devised a set of benchmarks to assess and compare all major aspects of fundraising performance.

Read the Fundratios brochure



Read the latest report: Fundratios Summary 2013


Earlier reports together with a summary of key figures from the past 10 years are available for everyone to download.


Take Part

After receiving advice and guidance, participating charities provide data in a carefully defined framework, which is then verified and analysed.

Each charity receives a meaningful report containing written analysis, charts, performance profiles and commentary on the results, which enables them to compare fundraising performance against other charities in a thorough and structured manner.

The fundraising areas concentrated upon in the project include central appeals, local fundraising, corporate and trust fundraising, direct marketing, legacies and trading.

This project also has an important role in generating accurate information in order to promote a better understanding of fundraising.

Further information about how Fundratios could help your organisation is available in the brochure.


Rates for participation are quoted on the registration form.


Further information

For further information about joining the Charities Fundratio project, telephone Carol Good at the Centre for Interfirm Comparison on 01962 844144.

Find out more about the Centre for Interfirm Comparison