What happens when you refresh a Blackbaud CRM™ Marketing Effort?

Once you’ve created a Blackbaud CRM™ marketing effort and sent your mail pieces out into the world, the exciting part happens. Responses start to roll in and they are entered into the system. Most organizations will probably have some particulars around how they track the success of an effort but Blackbaud CRM™ has a built-in tool that can help you understand your results.



This feature is available to you once you Activate your marketing effort, after activation you’ll have a new link in your taskbar to Refresh the effort. The Refresh action takes a look at the revenue that has been entered into the system to see if it can be directly or indirectly attributed to the marketing effort.


Once you refresh a marketing effort, if the system finds revenue that has been returned from the effort, the process will update the report within your effort to let you see the basics about how the effort is doing. Not only can you see how many people have responded, you can also see things like the amount raised for a specific segment, the average donation amount, etc. If you are tracking KPIs you’ll be able to see how you are tracking against these.


Here’s a snapshot of a sample marketing effort that has had a few responses. Because I filled out the budget and expenses information for the mail Package, I’m able to see how I’m tracking against these costs in addition to donation information.





What you’ll get from the report:

  • Responders - Number of individuals who have responded

  • In my example, my segments have had 2, 2, and 1 responder.

  • Responses - Number of unique donations

  • For the 1st segment where you see 2 responders and 3 responses, that means one of those constituents made two donations.

  • Cost/dollar raised

  • If you are setting up your package costs then this amount will be calculated based on what you entered vs. the number of donations.

  • Total gift amount

  • Calculated per segment but if you were to download this report you’d be able to sum the totals for all responses.

  • Average Gift Amount - Total gift amount divided by the number of responses

  • Response Rate - Responses divided by the segment quantity

  • Lift - Lift is calculated as Response Rate over Total Response Rate - the ratio of the response rate for the segment to the response rate for the entire mailing.

  • ROI Amount - Total gift amount minus Total cost for the segment

  • ROI Percent - Total gift amount divided by the Total cost for the segment


In addition to these basic calculations, if you are tracking KPIs in the system you can attach them to the marketing effort to measure against your goals. The report will calculate the following items.

  • Expected cost/dollar raised

  • Expected number of responders

  • Expected gift amount

  • Expected response rate

  • Expected total amount

  • Expected ROI amount

  • Expected ROI percent


At the bottom of the segment breakdown, you’ll also see additional information about indirect and unresolved responses.


  • Indirect Responses - Gifts attributed to the marketing effort but not someone in the effort.

  • You’ll see these if someone other than the person listed on the reply slip sends back a donation with the slip. In this case, gift entry can see the donation came back because of the marketing effort but the responder is not actually present in the marketing effort so the system cannot include it in the normal segment totals. Indirect responses should be included in your calculation of totals for the marketing effort.

  • Unresolved Responses - Gifts attributed to the appeal but not the effort.

  • These will often be present if you are using an appeal across many efforts. You will likely have to put on your investigator hat to determine if these responses should count toward the totals for the marketing effort or not.


Refreshing an effort is something that you should do for a period of time after a marketing effort has gone out. As responses come in, the totals will update. Once you activate a marketing effort you could put it into a queue to do this Refresh on a regular basis, instead of doing it manually for each effort. Or, even better, you could install the Marketing Effort Refresh tool that Brightvine built. This tool will look at any new revenue that’s come in and build a queue of only the marketing efforts that need to be refreshed. Click to find out more about the FREE Marketing Effort Refresh Process Automation