Benchmarking & Revenue Forecasting

Cygnus’ senior consultants work with your board, staff leaders, program managers, frontline Development officers or your entire organization to help you gain the knowledge and confidence you need to implement Donor-Centered Fundraising approaches.

Cygnus has developed a unique benchmarking process that distils your donors’ philanthropic activity and your organization’s fundraising performance into easy-to-understand statistical profiles. Our analysis builds on key markers like lifetime giving progression and donor conversion from low-value to high-value fundraising programs. These benchmarked profiles highlight key trends, risks and opportunities.

There is a better way to forecast fundraising potential than the all-too-common approach of adding a percentage increase to last year’s results. Cygnus builds revenue forecasts based on what your donors say they would be willing to do in response to specific strategies and in the context of what they are already giving to other not-for-profits. Cygnus’ forecasts assess and accommodate trends across multiple fundraising programs and anticipate changes in donor behavior based on past performance and specific tactics. Our analysis identifies and targets key segments within your overall donor population so that you can deliver your programs and messages directly to those donors who will be influenced most

  • The session, Donor-Centered for Boards, with Penelope Burk was by far the best learning experience I’ve ever had as a board member for any organization. I also bought and read both her books (which is something I rarely do after attending a session) and I have applied so much of her donor-centered philosophy to my work, not only as a board member but as a donor, too.

    Robert C. Woodhouse Jr. Trustee, Saint Mary’s Foundation
  • Penelope Burk is a phenomenal presenter for two reasons: first, her casual and engaging style draws participants in and makes the subject matter easy to understand with real-life examples and an “I know what it’s like” connection to those in the room; second, her data is extensive and compelling, and it gives fundraisers real-life tools that they can use to begin shifting from a traditional dollar-centered approach to a more dependable and lucrative donor-centered approach.

    Elizabeth Brunner Habitat for Humanity International
  • Penelope’s keynote address and her break-out session yesterday were the highlights of the conference for me. She shared such relevant and immediately-applicable information. What an inspiration she is—in speaking, in writing, and (most important) one-on-one.

    Karen H. Crane Director of Development, University of Jamestown
  • I congratulate Penelope for her presentation at the AFP International Conference. She is a truly dynamic performer and speaker who shares her vision with humor and energy. Listening to her makes me want to commit more to my work; and she increases my dedication to philanthropy.

    Elsa Desjardins Director Events and Fundraising Projects, Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
  • Penelope is the most knowledgeable and interesting speaker I have ever heard in my nearly twenty years in the business.

    Kelly Millington Vice President of Financial Development, YMCA of Greater St Louis and YMCA of Southwest Illinois
  • Penelope is a rock star for fundraisers. Always entertaining; always provocative. She has transformed how we see our donors and how we do our work in fundamental ways.

    Laura Breeze President, AFP Southwest Florida Chapter