What Matters Most to Event Fundraisers? | npENGAGE

What Matters Most to Event Fundraisers?

By on Mar 4, 2011


What was your answer? Is it online tools to help you administer your events and register participants? Is it logistics and course planning for your run, walk, or ride?  Is it getting high-profile sponsors to help defray costs and gain exposure?  Is it how to engage and inspire your participants to fundraise more effectively?  I’m sure you answered “yes” to any and all of the things I mentioned. They are all very important pieces of any successful event.

But I happen to think what matters most to event fundraisers is your participant.  How do you retain your participants?  How do you motivate and incent them to meet their fundraising goals?  And probably most importantly, what motivates an individual to get involved with your organization and take action?

These are the questions Blackbaud’s Amy Braiterman [defunct link removed] and The Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council’s David Hessekiel were interested in answering when they implemented the first ever Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Participant Survey which was unveiled at the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference in Atlanta, GA this week.

I’ll let you read the summary for yourself, but I wanted to highlight some interesting statistics:

  1. Not surprisingly, 47% of peer-to-peer fundraisers raise money for health or disease research.
  2. 39% of the respondents to the survey were between the ages of 30 and 39 years old.
  3. 73% of these participants were involved with a team either as a team member or a team captain.
  4. The average fundraising goal of the study group was $100.00-$199.00.
  5. The majority of respondents used personal asks (80%) as their primary method of fundraising.  Sending emails ranked second at 73%.
  6. Only 45% of respondents took the time to personalize their personal fundraising page.

The biggest takeaway, for me anyway, goes back to the question of motivation.  Overwhelmingly, 69% of these participants responded that they fundraise for a particular organization because they have a personal connection to the cause. Unfortunately affinity for the cause doesn’t always translate to effective peer-to-peer fundraising as only 45% of these participants took the time to personalize their fundraising page.  It makes you wonder, “What would happen to your organization’s fundraising returns if these committed, motivated fundraisers shared their reason for getting involved with your organization with their friends, family and colleagues?”  Helping participants tell their stories more effectively seems like it would only yield higher fundraising returns.

It’s definitely something to consider.

What information in the survey is most interesting to you? Leave a comment below and let us know!


Looking for information on increasing event fundraising revenue? Register for our Event Fundraising Newsletter and immediately get access to 5 whitepapers covering topics from using social media to empower participants to increasing team captain effectiveness..

  • Understanding the Value of Team Captains
  • Making Participants and Donors Successful with Mobile Solutions
  • Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey
  • Raising More Money Online with Independent Fundraising Events
  • Increase Event Fundraising with Social Media

Image: Chris Fritz


Comments (4)

  • Mike Snusz says:

    Great data! I’ve also found that your top participants usually have the strongest connection to the cause. They continue fundraising because they really understand the urgency that funding is needed, and this often stems from a personal experience. The challenge for nonprofits is to make the event and event fundraising experience simple and enjoyable, and provide a way for these motivated participants to really make a difference.

  • Lynda O'Connor says:

    I have been to hundreds of fundraisers and they are all the same – boring and loud. The real way to make money now is to come up with some new ideas. The best event I was ever at was at the Friends of the Library in Chicago. They had small dinner parties at people’s houses with a guest of honor being an author, who sat at the head of the table. The night was wonderful, small, and educational. These huge events with bands, silent auctions and noise are just not good. Also, I have been involved with getting movie stars for events at the Chicago International Film Festival and this works. Get a popular celebrity and people will come see them.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been pretty successful by making the “canned page/email” more personal, and would love to be able to add background music. As recipients read my personal note about my loved one, i.e. the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked – about a dear friend/relative that I’m walking for or in memory of. I do think the more personal you make it, the more $$ get donated.

  • petercrowe says:

    Informative article!!

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