What’s Elvis Got to Do with It? | npENGAGE

What’s Elvis Got to Do with It?

By on Jan 11, 2011


New Year, New Goals and New Ideas…

For 2011, I’ve promised myself to try new things and take on more challenges.  So far, I’m off to a good start.  Thanks to an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery in DC, I went on an impromptu road trip to Graceland and spent New Year’s Day touring Elvis’s home.  Needless to say,  I’m now an Elvis fan.  Who knew that would be the outcome.

During the 14 hour car ride, I had tons of time to think about FriendsAskingAmy.com and talk fundraising with my fellow road warrior.  The outcome is that I hope FriendsAskingAmy.com will become a space for individuals managing peer-to-peer events to ask questions and get ideas to increase participation and revenue.  So I thought I’d start out 2011, asking questions.

Here goes.  Please share your thoughts and let me know what you think.

What moves people?  This is a big question and one with many different points of view.  That’s why I picked it.  Before we start sharing best practices and fundraising advice, I thought we should take a minute and talk about why someone becomes involved with an event.

It’s proven, relationships move people.   It’s those relationships that we nurture and technology enables us and our participants to raise more funds.  More often than not, it’s the thoughtful email or call that encourages participants to ask their friends for support, not a bar that reminds them their days to participate are coming to a close.

In my experience, individuals who raise funds are inspired to reach their goal because of their passion for the cause and the organization.  It’s these two important factors that drive an individual or team to achieve fundraising success.  It’s the job of events staff to educate and support participants while providing easy-to-use tools that will enable and empower them to become successful fundraisers.

Tell me what you think?  What role does technology having in moving individuals to take action?


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 (3)

  • Mary says:

    Any ideas or suggestions for building relationships with participants? I'm having a tough time getting my staff to understand the importance of connecting with participants/volunteers. Have you ever had this issue with staff?

    • Amy Braiterman says:

      Hi Mary,

      Great question. I've experienced this issue before, you're not alone. I like to lead by example, for example when sending holiday cards or thank you notes to participants as the department/team leader I would make it a point to show my team that I was also taking the time to write notes to participants.

      I also would assign teams & participants to my staff. I would set recruitment and retention goals for each team member to involve them in the process of creating a successful event. I found that setting goals with the team gave everyone something to work for. Creating accountable seemed to really help encourage relationship building. The team was able to see that a multi-year participant raised more than a new participant, so they saw the value in building relationships with participants.

      Are you currently setting goals with staff?

  • hephail says:

    Every social network is basically a continuing event. Hence if you understand what brings people to social networks, you will understand what brings people to events.
    Hence, a technology event, brings in people with a strong relationship with a specific technology/product/service.

    Hence, once you identify the object bringing people together, like a Lady Gaga concert, you would understand how to develop the relationship further.

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