Study Shows Stronger Results in Peer-to-Peer Nonprofit Fundraising Events
As spring is well underway so are many outdoor peer-to-peer nonprofit fundraising events. Miratel recently signed-up and recruited a team to participate in the CN Tower Climb to raise funds for WWF (World Wildlife Fund) as we are a Workplace Champion within the WWF Living Planet @ Work Community. Although, it is not uncommon for us to raise funds for various causes internally, this was the first time our efforts required recruiting a team to climb the tallest building in Canada (the third tallest tower in the world) containing no less than 1,776 steps and raising a minimum donation. As the leader of this event, it was a little daunting.
Last year I wrote 5 Reasons Why Run, Walk, Ride “Thons” Increase Nonprofit Fundraising and Supporter Engagement and I recently came across the newly released Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Benchmark Study, Key Performance Benchmarks for Traditional and Third-Party Events which further supports why these types of fundraising events are so popular. The research is based on data compiled from over 1,275 nonprofit organizations which held approximately 28,000 events across the U.S. and Canada that raised almost $1 billion in online fundraising every year.
Events were categorized into four different types: cycling, endurance runs/walks, runs/walks with a registration fee and runs/walks without a registration fee and the following are some highlights of the study:
images from blackbaud.com
- Growth – There was overall growth in both registered participants and confirmed funds raised. There was a median growth rate of 2.7% (cycling events) to 13.07% (endurance runs/walks) for registered participants in 2011 over 2010. There were even larger gains in funds raised of 10.27% (cycling events) to 14.94% (runs/walks without a registration fee). These results show that individual participant fundraising results have also grown during the reporting period as the increase in donation revenue is larger than growth of event participants.
- Increased Contributions – The average online gift in 2011 ranged from $47.63 (runs/walks with a registration fee) to $68.10 (cycling events). These averages represent a growth of 2.28% to 5.69% when compared to 2010 results signifying that donors are willing to give more to event participant fundraising efforts. Interestingly cycling events and endurance runs/walks had the highest donation averages of $68.10 and $59.67 likely due to established (higher) fundraising minimums.
- Registration Fees – It seems that registration fees may have an impact on the amount that a participant raises. Runs/walks without a registration fee saw an average of 1.72 gifts per participant raising an average of $92.53 while runs/walks with a registration fee was an average of 1.01 gifts per participant raising an average of $51.36. Based on my recent personal experience, I found it more challenging to recruit participants for an event that had a registration fee compared to one that didn’t and similar to this research it seems that our own overall fundraising results were stronger despite the lagging of some team members.
- Returning Participants – Across all event types, returning participants on average secure more gifts, raised more dollars and sent out more email communications compared to new participants. It’s clear that experience counts towards better results as returning participants will have established a reputation with their supporters and a stronger familiarity of the process of promoting the event and asking for and collecting donations. Event coordinators are better served to strengthen their relationships with existing participants as based on this research they will post stronger results and higher donation revenues.
At the time of publishing this post our team, the Miratel Panda Bears, just increased its fundraising goal to $2200.00 and intend on meeting that challenge along with tackling the stairs this coming Thursday. Checkout our Facebook page next week for updates and pictures of our participation in the event and how our team faired overall. Wish us luck!
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.