December = Analyze, Reflect, Brainstorm and Plan | npENGAGE

December = Analyze, Reflect, Brainstorm and Plan

By on Dec 5, 2011


Thank goodness for December. When I was managing peer-to-peer events, I always looked forward to December; it’s my favorite time of year. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday cheer, it’s not why I love December.

Dec 1st and the changing of my wall calendar signaled the completion of Septober (a.k.a the fall events season) and all the November wrap-up activities: thank you parties, wrap up meetings, incentive prize mailings, etc…

December was my month to analyze and reflect on the year’s success and challenges. Since the events were still fresh in my mind the calmness of December was my time to brainstorm and think about how to incorporate all those ideas I wanted to do, but didn’t have the time.

So, now that’s December and hopefully your workload has calmed down; let’s take some time to analyze, reflect, brainstorm and plan for 2012. Boot Camp seems like a good place to start. In the first session, Event 360’s Jeff Shuck kicked off Boot Camp with “What’s Your Event IQ?” Jeff shared how to look back, look forward and keep moving with your events program.

Since I’m in a reflective mode, let’s spend today looking back and run some reports measure our participants fundraising performance. The question you should be asking yourselves is: Are my participant’s effective fundraisers?

I’m sure you’ve probably already calculated your averages for example: average online gift, average amount raised, average raised by team. But, let’s go beyond the averages and spend some time looking at what our participants did online.

1. How many participants personalized their webpage? How many simply added a picture and how many took the time to share their story?

2. How participants sent emails from their My HQ? How many emails did they send? How many gifts did they receive from emails?

3. Did my participants use the My HQ social media tools? If so how many gifts came from Facebook and twitter.

Look at median and modes, not just averages. Averages are great and give you a quick snap shot of your activity, but zero dollar and top fundraisers can skew results. So the median allows you to see the true middle, while the mode provides you with the most common dominator.  I’m a big fan of using mode when looking at participant fundraising. What was the most common amount raised, based on this number you may want to change your fundraising message and look at changing your pre-set amounts next year.

Later this week I’ll share some benchmarks for you to compare your results with, but first look at your numbers. What do you numbers say to you?  Do you feel your participants were effective?

To learn more about looking back, look forward and keep moving watch the webinar online. You can also download the slides. But, if you’re like me and love the calm of December take the time and watch the webinar. Jeff shared a ton of helpful information that you’ll only be able to get by watching the webinar.


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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