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Best practice article

Benchmark clients with Cause IQ

Compare an organization's financial and descriptive information to its peers

In this help article...

Comparing organizations to their peers is often necessary as part of your job. Sometimes you need that extra value-add in a client proposal. Sometimes your existing clients ask you questions, and benchmarking is important to provide a high-quality answer (especially with executive compensation questions). Other times you just need additional context on an organization.

Cause IQ equips our customers with the data and tools they need for all of these situations, helping you gain helpful insights to develop winning proposals and provide quality client services. Our customers use Cause IQ's purpose-built tools to compare an organization's details to their peers, identify trends amongst a subsegment of nonprofits, gain insights on executive compensation figures, and analyze how much organizations spend on third-party vendors.

Compare an organization to their peers

Cause IQ has tools to help our customers understand how peer organizations match up against each other and see how key financial data points have changed for a group of organizations over multiple years. Our tools generate custom reports useful for client services and proposal development. The reports contain both pre-packaged benchmark stats and downloadable raw data to conduct your own analysis. For example, you can use Cause IQ's benchmark tool to compare and summarize any quantitative field in Cause IQ for up to 500 peer organizations at once. Also, you can use our multi-year export feature to download financial data points from the past five years for organizations meeting certain search criteria or a list of specific organizations. For more information on comparing organizations to their peers in Cause IQ, check out these links for best practices:

Here's an overview video showing you Cause IQ's custom benchmark reports and the Excel file that's generated with the multi-year export feature:

Your clients and prospects want to know about how they compare to their peers and what trends exist across the sector. Cause IQ provides multiple tools to provide these insights. For example, you can add a client as the reference organization to your benchmark report to quickly see how their quantitative data matches up against their peers. Also, you can use the analyze tool to view summary means, medians, and percentiles for quantitative fields (e.g., Total revenues) and most common values for qualitative fields (e.g., Tax preparer firm) for thousands of organizations at once. Check out these links for best practices on how you can use Cause IQ to answer client questions on industry trends:

Here's a video that overviews how Cause IQ displays a reference organization in our benchmark reports and how the analyze tool provides summary stats on organizations:

Analyze executive compensation

When clients turn to you for advice on how much to pay their executives, it's important that the comparison group is as specific as possible and that the salary data is high quality. We built our executive compensation benchmarking tool to accomplish just this, with multiple ways to find similar personnel from peer organizations, and up-to-date information from the most recent Form 990 and Schedule J. For example, you can use Cause IQ's benchmark tool to generate reports with pre-packaged visual reports and download the raw data for your own custom analysis. For more details on analyzing executive compensation in Cause IQ, check out the following links for best practices:

Here's an overview video that shows Cause IQ's compensation analysis reports and how you can view salary information for a specific individual:

Analyze pricing of vendor services

Nonprofit organizations spend billions of dollars each year procuring products and services from third-party vendors. Cause IQ mines organizational fee-for-service expenses (e.g., Accounting fees, Pro. fundraising fees) and makes the information available for our customers to view and benchmark to help them understand the spending habits of organizations. These insights are helpful to include in your proposals for your potential clients. For example, you can use Cause IQ's benchmark tool to generate pricing analysis reports that compare the Accounting fees of the organization you're creating a proposal for to similar organizations in the same metro area. You can also download the report to Excel for additional analysis and to see how the Accounting fees for the peer organizations have changed over time. Check out these links for best practices on analyzing pricing of vendor services with Cause IQ:

Here's a video that shows how Cause IQ packages our pricing analysis benchmark reports in Excel and where you can view how much a specific organization spends on products and services: