The Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Team will be rolling out the latest update to Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Benchmark Report at the Run Walk Ride Conference in Atlanta next week. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the key findings that you’ll see in the report.

Do registration fees help or hurt fundraising?

The short answer based on the benchmark results is that charging registration fees negatively impact fundraising efforts for short distance running and walking events. Across almost all of the event fundraising activity metrics, events without registration fees outperformed the counterparts that charged a registration fee.

To be clear, I’m not advocating that existing events toss their registration fee. In fact, there are circumstances where the revenue generated from registration fees is greater than the potential increase in fundraising, in which it makes better financial sense to stick with the registration fee.

Fundraising event organizers need to be aware that there is a participant perception that paying a registration fee meets the financial duty required to participate in the event. Events charging registration fees need to be especially clear that fundraising is an important element of event participation.

Participants are becoming increasingly multi-channel

The percent of participants using email is down again this year, as is the number of emails sent per participant; however, overall event fundraising is up. This clearly tells us that people are spreading the word by means other than sending email from their participant center. It is probably safe to assume that much of this solicitation is happening on mobile apps and social media.

The best thing about this trend is that we know that participants who are soliciting gifts across multiple channels, are raising 40% more than their peers who limit solicitations to a single channel. For event fundraising organizers, this means that you should be thinking pro-actively about the experience that participants and donors have when they visit your event website from a mobile device. It also means that you should be creating opportunities that encourage your participants & donors to talk about their event experiences in social media.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is HOT!

While traditional running, walking and cycling events are still a mainstay for many nonprofits, we are seeing growing demand from organizations to extend their peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities beyond the paradigm of a traditional running, walking or cycling event.

These campaigns can be called Third-Party Events, DIY Fundraising, Independent Fundraising Events, Marathon Fundraising, Grateful Patient Campaigns, Create your own fundraiser, or Virtual Events. To blatantly steal a quote from my brilliant friends at Charity Dynamics, “No matter what you call them, these online campaigns are HOT!”

The npENGAGE bloggers and I have already written a lot on this topic, check it out:

  1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Expanding Beyond the Fundraising Event
  2. DIY Fundraising
  3. 4 Tips from the Alzhiemer’s Assn on Starting a Virtual Fundraising Campaign
  4. Cornucopia of Ways to Support Independent Fundraising Events
  5. Creating a Development Army
  6. Third Party Fundraising Done Right

The latest installment of Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Benchmark Report will be available for download next week.  If you need to quench your thirst for peer-to-peer event fundraising knowledge while you are waiting, download the 2011 Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Benchmark Report or download some of our other peer-to-peer event fundraising whitepapers.

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