I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people need me | npENGAGE

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people need me

By on Apr 6, 2012 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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That’s not Stuart Smalley’s daily affirmation, that’s your data talking.  Are you listening?

Data is the most important part of any event and often over looked.  I’m not talking about YOY metrics or benchmarks; I’m talking about participant activity data.  Whether you’re using Friends Asking Friends or another set of online tools, there’s a wealth of information housed in your online database just wanting to be used.

Are you ready to go beyond simple registration reports to uncover your active participants?  If you’ve checked out my two recent papers; Peer-to-Peer Consumer Survey and the 2012 donorCentrics Report, you probably noticed a common theme.  Participants view signing up to participate and signing up to fundraise as two separate tasks.  When you’re looking at your event data, it’s important to keep this in mind.  Also, let’s start segmenting your participants into: fundraisers, participating donors and zero dollar participants.

Fundraisers – Individuals who have signed up and are actively fundraising

Participating donors – Individuals who signed up, made a donation, but are not actively fundraising

Zero dollar participants – Individuals who signed up to participate in your event, but are not raising money.  I know we give this group a hard time, but here’s the deal.  These aren’t terrible people; they’re doing what you’ve asked… they’re creating awareness by participating in your event.  Their participation is important if you want a huge crowd at your event.

Now that we have our three groups, let’s focus our energy on the fundraisers.  First up, how do you identify your fundraisers?  Successful major gift officers excel at identifying prospects.  Let’s identify our fundraisers like a major gift officer.

Sphere users you’ll want to pull a participant detail report.  Here’s my trick for pulling reports in Sphere, I run a standard report then go back and extra fields.  I don’t know why I pull my reports this way; it works for me and what’s it they “old habits die hard.”

Once I have my Participant Detail report, I click Choose Column. If you’re not familiar with Choose Column, it’s right above the report under the export to excel button.  When you click on Choose Column all the reporting fields will appear.  Simply select the fields you want to add to the report and click save.

Here are some of my favorite fields:

Additional donation amount (made an additional donation when they signed up)
Total messages sent
# of gifts from email
Facebook messages sent
# of gifts from Facebook
Tweets sent
# of gifts from Tweets
Image/Video Personalized
Story Personalized
Last login date

You can choose to add all these fields or some of them.  My favorite feature in Friends Asking Friends is the ability to add or remove field to reports.  Once you’ve added the desired fields it time to look at your participants and indentify your active fundraiser.

Sphere reporting tip:  If you click on a column header the report will shift. The most active participants will appear at the top of the report.  For example, if you click on the # of emails sent, participants who sent emails will appear at the top of the report and those who haven’t sent any will shift to the bottom of your report.

Ok, so now you have your report.  Let’s look for fundraisers.  Look for participants who’ve take a couple actions, like made an additional donation and sent emails.  This is an active fundraiser.  If the individual made an additional donation, but didn’t send emails or take another action than I’d consider them a participating donor.

Now what?  How about make some calls to your most active participants.  Click on choose column and add phone number to your report or click on the participants name to view their constituent record.

Now that you have some info about your participants, when you call them you have something to talk about.  Maybe one of your active participants has sent emails and Facebook status updates, but they didn’t personalize their page.  When you’re chatting, you could let them know personalizing their page is important and offer to help if they need it.

Or, maybe a participant has raised $700, but has logged into their My HQ in over a month.  When you call this participant ask if they’d followed up with contacts they thought would donate, but haven’t.  Also, remind them to send a thank you email to their donors.

There’s a ton of information that will tell you if your participants are active.  Listen to your event data, it will help you raise achieve and exceed your revenue goals.

Do you have a favorite report?  Or a reporting trick to share?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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