Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance  metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries (Wikipedia).

Origin – The term benchmarking was first used by cobblers to measure people’s feet for shoes

Most charities think they carry out benchmarking exercises to measure their performance in fundraising, staff retention, performance or targets met.  However, quite often they only measure their performance against information they are able to gather from other similar organisations.  There appears to be a reluctance to share information in the other direction!

Jackie has recently been involved in facilitating a benchmarking exercise on behalf of the RNLI and gave the participating charities the option of providing information on an anonymous basis.  The level of participation exceeded even my hopeful expectations.

Jackie plans to share the data gathered with all of the participating organisations so everyone will benefit.

We believe the success of this exercise is down to the following approach:-

  • Using a third party  to gather the data
  • Keeping the questions brief and to the point
  • Making it easy to respond
  • Allowing the participating charities to remain anonymous if they wish.


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