Put a Fitbit on Your Event Fundraiser | npENGAGE

Put a Fitbit on Your Event Fundraiser

By on Apr 24, 2014


In August I’m heading off to Snowdownia National Park in Wales for some hiking and “wild camping” along the Moelwyn mountain range. While I’m no stranger to hiking rough, steep terrain, during this trip I’ll be packing about 35 lbs. of my gear on the way up.  I’ve been training to get myself ready to be successful for this trip. Although I’m a pretty active person, my day job has me tied to the desk and, therefore, pretty sedentary. A couple of months ago, on top of my training I made a commitment to move more and be conscious about my overall habits when it comes to activity, diet and even sleeping. So I broke down and purchased a FitBit and as a metrics geek, I have to say I love it!

The device syncs with my apps that help me track my miles and meals while the FitBit itself tracks my activity level, steps, and my sleeping patterns. Each week, I receive an email that provides me an overview of my performance allowing me to check and even reset my goals when needed.  I’m also able to sync up with my peers, including my friend in London who is joining me on my Welsh adventure. Our device allows us to challenge and encourage each other as we train for our trip.

So why not think of your event metrics as your own personal P2P FitBit? Whether you are monitoring your event progress week to week until you reach the big day or you are reviewing your results, your fundraising event success depends on monitoring your metrics such as participant solicitation activity, average gift, as well as your middle to outlying fundraisers.

So what metrics should you check out to monitor the health of your peer-to-peer fundraising event?

A great place to start if you are reviewing your data at the conclusion of your event  2013 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study Blackbaud released this month which (like my little fitness device) will provide you with data to allow you to compare yourself with some of your event fundraising peers.

Team Captains
As my colleague Jori Taylor said, these guys not only bring home the bacon, but the eggs too! The benchmark study found in terms of participant population and revenue that while team captains bring in 27% of the revenue, the members of their team raise a little more than 57 percent. So start looking at your team metrics, and find ways to nurture your fundraising super heroes because it is your team captain who is recruiting those team members and encouraging that increase in your revenue.

Self-Donations and Average Gift
Those participants who gave an additional donation during registration tend to be stronger, better fundraisers according to this year’s study. Take a look at your participant’s self-donation activity and think about how your event can encourage this activity beyond the message above that “additional donation” field on the registration form.

In addition to keeping an eye on participant self-donating behavior, what do you know about your average online gift? This is an ideal metric to keep a close eye on because if you can find a way to increase your average gift by a few dollars, then you are increasing your event revenue.

Over the past year we’ve all heard about mulit-channel fundraising as we’ve seen a decline in email, however, the 2013 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study found great fundraisers are email senders. On average, across all four event types (Endurance, Cycle, Walk and 5K), 68% of great fundraisers send emails. So here is another metric to put in your own fundraising rucksack. Start tracking the email usage among your overall and specifically your top fundraisers, then begin to think about how your organization can encourage that behavior.

Want to learn more about using peer-to-peer benchmarks to get better results?

You can still dive into the findings of The 2013 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study by registering to view the webinar recording here. Monitor where you’re succeeding with event fundraising, where there’s room to grow and how you might find a way to climb to the top.


As a Blackbaud consultant, Jennifer Peters combines her knowledge and nonprofit experience to help customers maximize their fundraising potential with Blackbaud Sphere’s Friends Asking Friends. Jennifer loves seeing her client’s peer-to-peer fundraising websites move from thought to fruition. Her day to day activities allow her to work with a variety of organizations to build their online fundraising site while guiding them with best practices along the way.

Prior to joining Blackbaud, Jennifer served the nonprofit sector through various development and communication roles with non-profit organizations such as Project Medishare for Haiti, Drug Prevention Resources, Inc., Alley’s House and The Mended Hearts, Inc. Her background consists of event planning, peer-to-peer fundraising and eMarketing.

When she’s not working, Jennifer can be found either walking her three dogs, hiking/kayaking/biking around White Rock Lake or traveling to satisfy her wanderluster soul.

Comments (1)

  • Deborah cartier says:

    Hi Jennifer
    We are try to get a fit bit donated for our late daughters fundraising event. Could you send any info you have that can help us with our memorial scholarship event.


    A very special girl!

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