Closing the Loop on Event Fundraising

Don’t waste time on communications that don’t connect with your event fundraisers. Here’s what you can do to maximise your strategy.

We at everydayhero see incredible fundraising events all over the world. One of the wish-list items from our 6,000+ charity partners is they want deeper engagement with their fundraisers and donors. Engagement starts with communication, so we put together two surveys. We wanted to understand what kinds of communications charities sent pre and post event, and what kinds of communications the fundraisers both received and wanted to receive. Here are a few key points to help focus your event fundraising strategy for deeper engagement and increased impact.

Stop Calling

We learned that 63% of charities are calling event fundraisers; however only 19% of fundraisers said they would be happy to receive a phone call in relation to their event. In fact, when asked to rank which method of communication they would least prefer, 47% said by phone (the most of any other option offered). What was once a personal touch is now seen as invasive and intrusive. It’s also time-consuming and inefficient. It’s time to stop. Focus on giving fundraisers the information they want, in the way they want it. Which, as it turns out, is email and direct mail (preferred by 47% and 22% respectively).

Share Impact Content

So now that we know how people want to receive communications, what do they want to know? We asked. 60% want to know how the money raised for the event will be used. Yet only 54% of charities always let fundraisers know this information. 45% want to know how much was raised in total by the event, but only 65% of charities always provide this information. There is an opportunity to engage and gain trust by letting your fundraisers know how much their efforts contributed to your organisation, and how that money will affect your mission. Spend your time crafting this message. Then email and direct mail it to them. Every time, without exception.

Engage Your Champions

In the UK, the top 7% of everydayhero fundraisers raise 42% of all funds. The difference is even larger in Australia, where the top 6% raise 49% of all funds. These are your Champions, and you should know who they are. And not just because they raise the most for you. While it’s true that Champions raise, on average, 4.5x what the next group of “High Achievers” do, they are also more engaged. 90% upload a profile photo to their fundraising page, versus 61% of the majority of fundraisers. 31% post an image on their page, versus 7% of the majority. They also believe in your cause more. 69% made self-donations, versus 30% of the majority. And they are thankful. 59% thanked donors, versus 32% of the majority.

They are your Champions. They raise more, they give more, they care more, they advocate more and they engage more. Yet, when asked whether or not charities treat Champions differently or have different communications plans for them, 77% said no. If ever you do segmentation (hint: you should), this is it. Want to make the most of your stretched time? Point your Champions in the right direction and ask them to help. Trust me, they will.

Follow Up

When fundraisers were asked the likelihood of taking part in another fundraising event for the same charity, 40% said they definitely would and 43% said they would consider it. So 83% said they would possibly take part in another event for the same charity (you). Yet, when asked if the charity had asked them to sign up to another event, 44% said they were not asked. 83% are willing to consider it, yet only 56% were actually asked.

Shocking, but it makes sense. When asked about the largest challenges charities faced, 57% said they didn’t have enough internal resources or time. Which means we have to pick and choose our priorities and strategy carefully. Especially when you consider that 95% of charities said they would either maintain or do more events next year, yet 64% said they are not considering hiring more staff. If you thought you didn’t have time before…

To The Point

The point of all this is, 57% of charities told us event fundraising was important or very important to their overall fundraising mix – making up between 15-50% of their overall fundraising. With increasing pressure on the not-for-profit sector and stretched time and budgets, every little thing charities can do to maximise their fundraising strategy can help. Spend your time and efforts where they can do the most good, so that you can do the most good.

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