5 Event Fundraising Best PracticesJuly 12, 2010 By Joe Boland
Fundraising events can be extremely valuable sources of revenue and awareness for any nonprofit organization. However, there is a lot more to successfully pulling one off than mobilizing a few volunteers and getting participants to encourage pledge donations to walk (or run or swim or bike, etc.).
In a webinar presented by nonprofit technology solutions provider Convio, 5 Best Practices for Event Fundraising: Proven Success Strategies of the Top Run-Walk-Ride Events, James Young, senior open strategy manager of Convio, and Jeff Shuck, president and CEO of event fundraising consultants Event 360, discussed the important aspects of executing successful fundraising events.
The webinar was based on information gleaned from a joint research study by Convio and Event 360, in which more than 170 Convio nonprofit clients using the company’s TeamRaiser for Special Events product were examined.
All fundraisers agree that, by and large, the goal of a fundraising event is to raise money. The question is, how do you raise money at events, especially when only about 30 percent of fundraising event participants actually raise any money, according to the study. A major key, Shuck said, is to focus on the right metrics. Problem is, most nonprofit organizations don't.
“One of the things that I think we all believe in the special events world and in the nonprofit wold is one of the ways that you increase money is by getting more people there,” he said. “What we found is that there’s not a very strong relationship between the number of people who attend an event and the total amount that is raised. Where there is a relationship … there is an extremely strong relationship between the number of gifts that are given and the amount of money raised.
“So really the trick right from the beginning, as we’re looking to improve the fundraising performance of events, is not just to focus on getting attendance to be increased,” he added, “but we want attendance from people who will actually solicit donations from other people.”