Data Rocks Pt. 2: The Data Detective | npENGAGE

Data Rocks Pt. 2: The Data Detective

By on May 17, 2011


David Baldacci is my favorite author. I can get lost for hours in one of his mysteries. I’m a David fan, because he has a great way of drawing you in and just when you think you’ve figured it out he throws you another curve ball. I’ve always loved a good mystery, growing up Murder, She Wrote was a weekly staple. My mom and I would watch Jessica Fletcher catch the bad guy or gal every Sunday night.

My need to uncover “Who done it?” is not limited to mystery novels or TV shows. I’m an investigator by nature and I use these skills to uncover information hiding within a constituent record. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about goal setting in Data Rocks [defunct link removed]. Now, let’s tackle mid-season metrics. Are you ready to investigate?

First and most importantly, always remember you have the ability to impact mid-season fundraising activity. How? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few key metrics to investigate:

1. Number of participants vs. number of donors. This will tell you if your participants are actively fundraising.

a. A good average ratio to attain is three donors per one participant
b. If you’re participants are below this average, consider creating an online promotion to increase fundraising activity.

2. Number of participants sending Friends Asking Friends emails. This allows you see if your participants are using the online tools you’re providing.

a. On average about 20%of participants use online tools. This percentage correlates with the 80/20 rule. Jeff Shucks, from Event 360, broke down the 80/20 rule a.k.a. the Pareto Principle in a webinar– click here to download the slides.

3. Number of team captains vs. number of team members. This will help to show if your team captains are actively recruiting team members. If you have a bunch of team signed up, but they’re all one person teams then it’s time to re-connect with your team captains.

a. Send them email about team building and let them know as team captains their participation is crucial for event success.
c. In your email provide your captains with three ways or ideas to recruit team members. Why three? People tend to remember things in threes.
d. Why not go a little old school and give your team captains a call? Never underestimate the power of the personal touch. Forming relationships with team captains is the cornerstone of a solid event program.

What mid-season metrics are you tracking? Once you have your numbers, how are you influencing participant behavior?


Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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