What’s your favorite one-liner? | npENGAGE

What’s your favorite one-liner?

By on Oct 9, 2012


Make it work

My all-time favorite one-liner is courtesy of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn “Make it Work.”  This became my tagline when I managed events.  Why, you ask?  There comes that point in every event when you’re feeling nervous about reaching your event goals and you begin questioning your decisions. This time usually coincides with the popping up of pre-event roadblocks.  When I would hit these roadblocks, I would tell myself to Make it Work.

The more I think about Make it Work, the more realize its mindset.  You’re always going to run into challenges, you can either let them hold you back or you can move forward and Make it Work.

If I had to create my own tagline for planning your peer-to-peer fundraising events or virtual programs it would be “you can’t be everything to everybody.” This is really important to remember when you’re creating your P2P plans.  Why?  Great question.

Last week at bbcon, I hosted a session on P2P fundraising and data (I’m sure you’re not surprised; it is one of my favorite topics).  Even though I look at data all the time, I usually get some nugget of information.  So here it goes….

It’s been well established and discussed that 20% of participants raise 80% of the revenue.  But, are we really thinking about this when creating our communications plans?  I’m not sure.  It seems that we’re not connecting what we know about event performance with our communication plan.  I’m not just talking about email, but the combination of offline and online communications.

Ok, so back to you can’t be everything to everybody.  How does this relate to my communication plan?  That’s another fabulous question.  When you’re working on your email strategy this your way “To Be Everything to Everybody” – email is a great way to disseminate information to masses.  Of course you can get the most out of your emails by creating segments i.e. team leaders, non-leaders, top fundraisers, non-fundraisers, etc…

Now, when it comes to your offline communications plan, this is where you need to remember that you can’t be everything to everybody.  When you’re overwhelmed because you don’t have time to call all your team leaders, instead of giving up… Make it Work… start by calling your active team leaders.  By active I’m referring to teams with team members or with dollars raised.

I’m a realist.  I know you don’t have time to visit or call all your team leaders.  But, you do have time to connect with your active team leaders.  Team leaders are very important.  While team leaders represent the smallest portion of your participant population (9% according to a Blackbaud Study) they make the greatest impact.

Team leaders aren’t just 9% of participants, they actually account for 66% of your participants.  Team leaders bring team members (57% of participants).  Team leaders can also be tied to 63% of your event revenue.  On their own team leaders raise 20% of your revenue, but since team leaders bring team members and team members account for 43% of your revenue.  Sixty-three percent of your event is tied to team leaders.

What all this means is that while focusing on team leaders isn’t a new tactic, it’s an important one.  Rarely are we going to uncover something new to help you reach your fundraising goal, instead let’s focus on refining our techniques.

I’m super excited about this topic! Instead of looking for the next great thing, let’s improve and prefect our current cultivation strategies.  This is one of the topics we’ll be covering in Boot CampP2P boot camp is open for registration, are you up to the challenge?


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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