Benchmarks for Public Radio Fundraising now offers a new way to enter data and access reports. If you're accustomed to how Benchmarks worked before 2018, here are some answers to questions you may have.

Why did Benchmarks change?

The 10-year-old custom-built database that stored Benchmarks data and generated reports was no longer stable or serviceable. It had served us well for over a decade, but the company that built it is no longer in business, so we’d been maintaining it ourselves for the last few years. We had concerns about data security and integrity as well as the possibility of losing the entire system.

We’d also been hearing from many of you that you would appreciate having a single login for both Benchmarks and greaterpublic.org as well as easier access to reports with the option to print, or transfer to excel. You can now do all of that.

What happened to the PDFs? Why are all my reports digital?

The new Benchmarks report tables are sortable, filterable, and can be quickly copied and pasted right into your favorite spreadsheet for more in-depth analysis and filtering. You can easily screenshot the Peer Report charts and paste them into presentations for your board without wading through 90+ pages of unrelated detail first.

The PDF reports of the past, though useful in their day, were static documents that couldn’t be pieced apart or easily shared in order to serve other important goals. Users told us they didn’t like all the printed paper waste and wanted something easier to navigate and more accessible to more people in their organization. All you need now is your web browser and your login to greaterpublic.org. And you can still print the report if you’d like!

How can I let you know my ideas and suggestions for Benchmarks?

We truly consider this a new generation of Benchmarks, and the sky (and budget of course!) is the limit on what we will be able to do now that Benchmarks is integrated into Greater Public’s Salesforce CRM.

We want this to serve you, our members, so whatever ideas you have – large or small – send them our way. Now that Benchmarks can be managed in a stable data environment, we can focus on finding new ways to better serve you with this vital data instead of putting our energy into maintaining the old system

So what’s next?

As is past years, Benchmarks consultations will be available to all participating stations. We also want to get more stations involved so we’ll be reaching out to encourage more stations to participate. We would also like to form cohorts of stations who would like to meet to share information based on Benchmarks.

The Benchmarks team

We wished a fond farewell to Craig Oliver, who retired from his role at Greater Public as Research Director of Benchmarks last July. Craig was instrumental in the creation, maintenance, and development of our Benchmarks program and we’re grateful for his role building this essential tool for stations!

Thank you for being a member and participant in Benchmarks. We look forward to this next chapter in serving you with this important service.

Jay Clayton, Benchmarks principal advisor
Gayle Ewer, Member Services Manager
Melanie Coulson, Executive Director for Member Station Services