7 Calculated Google Analytics 4 Metrics for Nonprofits


Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides a powerful feature called calculated metrics that allows you to create custom metrics by combining existing metrics using mathematical formulas. This gives nonprofits the flexibility to define and track metrics that are most relevant to their organization’s goals.
Google Analytics 4 loosens the reigns and lets us do our own thing with Calculated Metrics: Click To Tweet
Calculated metrics are user-defined metrics created by combining one or more existing metrics and/or custom metrics within a mathematical formula. For example, you could create an “Item Margin” metric by combining the standard “Item Price” metric and a custom “Item Cost of Goods Sold” metric.

Where to Find and Create Calculated Metrics

  1. In GA4, go to Admin > Custom Definitions > Calculated Metrics.
  2. Click “Create Calculated Metric”.
  3. Enter a name, optional description, formula, and unit of measurement
  4. Use { } brackets around metric names in the formula.
  5. Click Save.

Accepted operators: -, +, *, /, ()

Now let’s look at some examples of calculated metrics nonprofits can create:

1.  Donation Rate from Multiple Donation Forms

(Form #1 Donations + Form #2 Donations) / Users

Format Type: Percent
Many nonprofits use multiple online donation forms or run different donation campaigns simultaneously. This calculated metric aggregates the donations from each separate form or campaign you have set up as goals in GA4. It then divides the total by the number of users to your website to calculate the overall donation rate across all donation sources. This provides a more accurate picture than the individual donation rates for each form.

2.  Overall True Conversion Rate

Total Conversions /  Users

Format Type: Percent
GA4 typically calculates conversion rates using sessions rather than users. However, since users can visit your website multiple times, using sessions underreports your true conversion rate. This metric divides your total conversions (all goals) by the number of users to give you an accurate overall conversion rate.

3.  Total Program or Campaign Conversions

(Program Goal #1 + Program Goal #2 + Program Goal #3)

Format Type: Integer
If you have multiple goals set up in GA4 tied to conversions for a specific program or campaign, this metric sums those conversions into a total count. This allows you to analyze the overall performance and impact of that program/campaign.
You can calculate total campaign conversions with Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics 4: Click To Tweet

4.  Total Program or Campaign Conversion Rate

(Program Goal #1 + Program Goal #2 + Program Goal #3) / Users

Format Type: Percent
Similar to the above, but dividing the total program/campaign conversions by users to calculate a conversion rate. This shows what percentage of your website users completed one of the desired actions for that program or campaign.

5.  Completion Rate (process started vs process completed)

Applications Completed / Applications Started

Format Type: Percent
For processes that have a start and completion conversion goal, such as email signups, program applications, or workout tracking, this metric measures the percentage that complete the full process after starting it initially.

6.  Average # of Sessions per User

Sessions / Users

Format Type: Integer
This shows the average number of sessions (visits) each user makes to your website over a given period of time. It can highlight active user engagement for logged-in sections of your site.

7.  Average Time on Site per User  

Session Duration / Users

Format Type: Time
This calculated metric is useful if your nonprofit has information pages that you use to spread awareness and teach people about why adopting kittens (or whatever your cause space is) is important. Sooo… pretty much every nonprofit ever (hopefully). Using a custom report or dashboard, you can set this calculated metric for those specific pages and see the average time a user spends absorbing that useful information.

Hints, Tips, & Tricks:

  • You can use your calculated metrics in custom reports, dashboards, or other widgets.
  • Calculated metrics are currently in beta & are limited 5 per standard propr.
  • These are meant to get you thinking. Calculated metrics are created to drive more relevant analysis for your nonprofit. There are no rules here – you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT! What other calculated metrics would be most beneficial for your organization?

Have any other ideas? Is your nonprofit using a calculated metric that’s not on this list? Let us know on Twitter or at wholewhale.com/contact-us/. We’d love to know how your nonprofit is using this new Google Analytics feature!