Best use of the Apteco Marketing Suite 2017 Award

Adroit revolutionised the delivery of the benchmarking initiative with the introduction of the Apteco Marketing Suite in 2017

Company overview

The International Fundraising Leadership (referend to IFL Forum) is a peer group of international fundraising directors in some of the world’s biggest Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) and both UN agencies raising funds from individuals, companies and foundations in multiple countries. Members are: ActionAid, Amnesty International, Care International, Greenpeace, ICRC, IFRC, MSF, Operation Smile, Oxfam, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, UNHCR, UNICEF, WWF and World Vision.


The Global Donor Benchmarking Initiative (known as Indigo (a play on “International Donor” and NGO) is a unique and prestigious project within the not-for-profit sector and has now been running for nine years on an annual basis, it was established by the IFL Forum, a group of leading INGOs to facilitate fundraising performance analysis and benchmarking for both their INGO headquarters and their fundraising offices throughout the world.  

Adroit Logo

Apteco FastStats is at the heart of the project, with all subsequent applications and analysis fed from the Apteco Marketing Suite system.

The IFL Forum license the Apteco Marketing Suite via their chosen Apteco approved reseller Adroit. Adroit were tasked with implementing the vision of project - “FEWER FIGURES, MORE STRATEGIC & ACTIONABLE INSIGHT”.

Specifically to:

  1. Deliver a concise and highly visual analysis on key trends
  2. Provide a Business Intelligence solution that can be securely and remotely accessed by agreed users
  3. Provide advanced users an access to the underlying dataset

The Solution

In 2017, a pilot year for the new approach, the study involved over 80 individual organisations and markets. This includes European, Asian, North & South American markets, and allows around one hundred selected users to understand in detail how they are performing in their individual fundraising whilst maintaining the confidentiality of donor data. Apteco FastStats® is at the heart of the solution:

Adroit IFL Case study

Adroit developed a large base of metrics for each NGO to support analysis & planning of their fundraising programs based on their actual gift transactional data, and other information held at the anonymised account or supporter level, which is processed and normalised.  

Users have noted that this has “revolutionised” the benchmarking deliverables by developing specific insight and applications aimed at senior fundraisers. One application called Indigo, is loaded from Apteco’s FastStats analytics system. This currently contains non-personal data for 76 million donors and 400 million+ gift records, and can be accessed by each organisations' analysts to drill down to more ad-hoc analysis.  This allows different users to access information from the same dataset and gain insight relevant to their markets. The applications are now being used globally by hundreds of fundraisers to better understand the dynamics in their market and how they compare against similar organisations. Adroit provide training, support, knowledge base articles and user forums for each market.


Adroit were selected to deliver and revolutionise the global benchmarking project in 2017 and were tasked with implementing the vision of the project which was “FEWER FIGURES, MORE STRATEGIC & ACTIONABLE INSIGHT”, whilst also achieving the following three core objectives:

  1. Deliver a concise and highly visual analysis across the participating organisations and markets to inform senior audiences, who may not all be fundraisers, on key trends and highlighting on where the OPPORTUNITIES and ISSUES are. This component is focused on CORE INSIGHT and should be attractive both in contents and formats. 
  2. Provide a Business Intelligence solution that can be securely and remotely accessed by agreed users to dig out further insight through filters rendering all the dimensions available from the datasets e.g. Source origin, Gift type, Initial value band, Payment method, etc. The solution proposed should be easy to navigate and allow intuitive data exploration to users with minimum training.
  3. Provide advanced users an access to the underlying dataset – the purpose is to grant a limited number of authorized users with advanced technical and programming skills sufficient autonomy to produce ad-hoc analysis and respond to specific analysis requirements. 


  • Apteco FastStats: The Apteco FastStats system allowed fundraising analysts to delve deeper into the data to produce more bespoke analysis for their organisations.
  • Access & Security: An access security model was deployed to suit the underlying business rules of the IFL Forum.
  • Indigo Excel App fed from FastStats: An extensive Excel application was developed, enabling users to cut and slice predefined highly visual informational dashboards by a variety of different filters, allowing fundraising Program managers to drill-down into the information in more detail.
  • Global & Country Trends Analysis: A detailed analysis identifying key trends and opportunities was produced, using information straight from the Apteco FastStats.
  • Support & Community: A key challenge of this project was around the communication and training of such a diverse set of Apteco FastStats international users, including 88 multi-lingual users spread across the globe. Face to Face training wasn’t practical, so Adroit came up with a specific strategy to communicate and train users. Adroit created over 20 support videos with informational and "how to" videos as well as supporting documentation guides and webinars. To supplement the initial training, Adroit developed the Indigo web portal.


Adroit's “revolution” on the GDII has replaced the previous large telephone directory of numbers, with a range of deliverables accessible to different audiences.

  •   Created actionable insights & accurate peer performance metrics in each market
  •   Driving targets and showing best practice
  •   Widened the benefit of the project to more users
  •   Allowed different user groups to engage with the data and ask deeper questions
  •   Promoted data as a central role in fundraising strategy

Ultimately the Indigo benchmarking project produces a wide range of benefits. The Apteco Marketing Suite is the integral engine which is at the centre of all the actionable strategic insights, and now plays an integral role in shaping the global fundraising strategy for all these major NGOs with a combined annual individual giving income in excess of $3.1 billion US Dollars per annum