A Question to my P2P Peeps

Not surprisingly, one of our favorite quotes at Analytical Ones is from Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Most people in direct response fundraising agree. Perhaps that’s why the fundraising field is filled with metric hungry professionals – everyone wants to learn how to improve their programs and raise more money. Really, this drive for improving fundraising performance is why we are in business. But there is one fundraising category that seems not to be as metric hungry. And those are our friends who manage Peer-to-Peer fundraising events. While I have some hypotheses, I’m not exactly sure why this is the case. So, if you work in the P2P space, I’d love for you to review my hypotheses and tell me if these are all wrong. And, if they are, share your thoughts to explain this phenomenon. Hypothesis #1: Boards of Directors view P2P events as more about building the brand of the nonprofit and less about fundraising – so the focus is on executing a memorable event rather than a profitable event. Hypothesis #2: P2P events demand so many long hours of preparation that once it’s done, the staff really don’t have time to evaluate it. The focus is on starting preparation for the next event. Hypothesis #3: By nature, P2P staff are more qualitative than quantitative. They aren’t driven by the numbers like their direct response fundraiser counterparts. Hypothesis #4: P2P events just don’t budget for analytics – so they never can afford them. Ok P2P people, tell me I’m...
An Affair to Remember?

An Affair to Remember?

Below are two recent analyses I’ve done for different clients. The first shows the Second Year Retention for FY14. It compares retention for New Donors whose first gift was to an Event versus retention for Non-Event Donors. In this analysis, New Event Donors have a 40% lower retention rate than non-event-acquired donors. Only 20% of new Event Donors gave again in the second year at all; 80% did not give. The second analysis shows 2-year retention for FY12 New Donors to Events versus Non-Event Donors. Here, in the second year on file, Event Donors have a 43% lower retention rate that non-event donors. In the third year on file, the Event donors have a 58% lower retention rate than non-event-acquired donors. These numbers are probably not surprising to anyone who is reading this. Event donors give to the event, but they don’t give to the mission of the nonprofit and they don’t give a second gift, or even attend the event again the next year. Events can raise substantial revenue for nonprofits. But, events are NOT a path to acquiring new donors. There may be some exceptions, but that’s the rule. A deeper analytics dive into each of these individual events would certainly provide additional information about how other segments perform and year over year trends compare. So, here is the question – are there strategies we can put in place to get a second gift from Event Donors (can we make events more mission-driven, educate donors about the mission more at the event, or have better stewardship and follow up after the event)? Or are Event Donors a...

Five Key Insights From The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Conference

A few weeks ago I attended the annual Run, Walk, Ride fundraising conference in Atlanta hosted by the Peer-To-Peer Professional Forum. Like most conferences, the goal is to come away with an understanding of what is working in the industry so that we can apply best practices to our own fundraising programs. So, in case you missed the conference, I am going to share my five insights with you because here at Analytical Ones, we believe the more you know, the more you can shine in your fundraising position. Five key insights: Focus on the participant event experience rather than the process. For example, do your participants have to wait in line for 20 minutes to use the restroom? Can you spend a few hundred extra dollars to provide more restrooms therefore making the participant experience better?  Segment your communication to your participants and fundraisers based on their motivation. Donor/participant motivation varies from organization to organization. For some disease related nonprofits, segmentation by survivor or non-survivor can work. Others may find that peer-to-peer fundraising participants are motivated by incentives and should be communicated to in such a way. You need to find what motivates your donors/participants, it may not always be what you think. Data, data, data. Event fundraisers are collecting data on their participants but are struggling to piece it all together and develop strategy based on this data. (Good news is that is where Analytical Ones comes in. We make sense of your data and provide you with actionable insights for how to grow your fundraising program.) According to the 2013 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top 30 survey results...