Thank you Chicago! Guest Blogger: Welcome Nancy | npENGAGE

Thank you Chicago! Guest Blogger: Welcome Nancy

By on Jun 1, 2012


I was bummed that I couldn’t make this week’s P2P fundraising roundtable in Chicago.  I’ve attended the first three round tables, which were fabulous! Thankfully a few friends where in attendance and are bringing highlights to Friends Asking Amy in a two part series.  Hey Nancy – What was your take away from Tuesday’s roundtable? 

While David Hessekiel, President of Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council loves runs, walks and rides he acknowledges that what’s next in peer to peer fundraising may not be one of these event types so he brought together fundraising professionals from the Greater Chicago area and asked them what they thought at the second annual Event Fundraising Roundtable on May 29, 2012.

The overwhelming answer to his “What’s Next” question to the group was independent fundraising events (IFE) otherwise known as third party or community events. These events are planned by individuals other than the non-profit benefitting from the funds raised. They are supplementary, not competitive, to the non-profit’s development portfolio and offer an organization the opportunity to raise money at a relatively low cost of fundraising, while providing a deeper level of engagement with the organization’s strongest supporters.

Many organizations have supporters hosting events without a formal program, some not knowing about the event until the check arrives in the mail. You wouldn’t host a run, walk or ride without a campaign plan, so it’s time to start planning your IFE campaign.

3 Steps to Launching an Independent Fundraising Event Brand

1. Brand It: Organizations with the most successful IFE programs have created brands for their programs for example Michael J. Fox’s Team Fox or National Down Syndrome Society’s NDSS Your Way.

2.  Provide the Tools: Encouraging IFE participants to register, communicate, and fundraise online through online tools like Friends asking Friends and Team Raiser allows your program to operate more efficiently. Participants set-up events online, communicate with attendees and donors with branded e-communication tools and donors can support the events online.

3. Engage with Participants: IFE fundraisers can become avid champions and long term supporters of your organization. Learn who these fundraisers are, remembering that most of them are directly affected by the cause you represent and likely represent the very audience your mission serves. Treat IFE fundraisers like major gift donors and honor the time, talent, and treasure they give so freely and passionately to your organization.

To learn more about Independent Fundraising Events, go to Resources, and check out our white paper Raising More Money Online with Independent Fundraising Events


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

Comments (2)

  • Kathryn Hall says:

    It was great meeting you at this session, Nancy! One thing that stuck in my mind from the roundtable was the comment by one participant that “it’s not a field of dreams, if you build it (an IFE) they won’t necessarily come”. She advised to plan to promote the IFE platform more than you think you will need to and to inform, encourage and support your volunteers to ensure their success (your point #3).  

    • Amy Braiterman says:

      Thanks Kathryn for the comment. I 100% agree with you.  .

      Your comment reminded me of a post I wrote in March.  So often folks make the mistake that simply launching a website (any kind of website) will generate activity, but does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is around?  That tree alone in the woods is just like your website alone waiting for someone to happen upon it.  Marketing your website is equally as important as creating one. 

      For more check out: [defunct link removed]

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