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Raising More Money Online from Independent Fundraising Events
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Raising More Money Online from Independent Fundraising Events



What are the common denominators of a successful programmatic approach to independent fundraising? Through the study of several organizations using the Friends Asking Friends module to support and ...

What are the common denominators of a successful programmatic approach to independent fundraising? Through the study of several organizations using the Friends Asking Friends module to support and manage their third party fundraisers, Blackbaud and Event 360, Inc. came to understand the ROI of investing in certain businesses processes, technical infrastructure, and careful relationship management of this revenue segment. Canadian Cancer Society provides highlights of their successful Independent Fundraising Event program.



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  • Not a lot of data, but see trend
  • Put materials on-line so IFE’s can print on ownOffer but don’t automatically send, only upon requestHave standard list and requests beyond available at a feeOffer online store of branded goods and supplies
  • Lance Armstrong Foundation IFE participants raise 6x’s more than Livestrong participants!
  • How does the organization view IFEs in comparison to their traditional events?Complimentary fundraising – important organizational attitudeAnother opportunity for our supporters to express our mission-allows supporters to get creative and gives them choices, decreases barriers, allows event organizers to determine their own fundraising cyclesMany IFE’s start out supporting main events-Two of our largest IFE’s got involved through cops for cancer but wanted to do moreLow maintenance – as far as online support goes, IFE’s take the least resources internallyLow cost - no event to organizeHuge reach – getting into new communitiesPassionate, our IFE organizers are a special breed – they want to do more (not just donate, not just participate in the perscribed manner) - who better to be ambassadors for the cancer cause and be delivering our mission
  • Why did CCS invest in this program online?- Raise money – low CRD, high average donations-Desire to stay competitive- Technology was availableOnline activity was up in all other revenue streamsBecoming aware of the power of FAF and thought we could increase the reach of our event organizers if they had a tool that removed geographical barriersImprove participant experience and give them tools needed for successWanted to improve donor experience (instant tax receipt)Wanted to connect both donor’s and participants to CCS – getting the brand out there with some standardsWanted to provide our staff and our event organizers with event management and reporting toolsWanted access to regional activity
  • How did the IFE program first move online?Ironcops – IFE supporting a main event – on a 2 year fundraising cycle restricted by our model and our annual fundraising cyle for Cops for Cancer – leaving old sites live for them, hard to find, not properly branded, very cold and unsupportiveDecided to go ahead and give them their own FAF initiative as a pilot – closed registrationSame region that supported iron cops had another IFE group with a very tech savy and passionate event organzier who really wanted to fundraise onlineWe were getting more comfortable with setting up FAF events and decide to pilot a template with open registration for all events online that would be active year roundPretty straight forward site design, used the basic FAF template and changed the word team to event throughout the template, and that was that – we launched our first IFE site in early 2007.It was so easy to implement and well received by the regions that within 2 months we had implemented online IFE’s across all 7 regionsAt that time our division support of online was focused only on RFL and COPS so while we were promoting the use of IFE’s we didn’t designate any staff time at division to support the regions, they had to fight tooth and nail to even get recognized on our main website, somehow they still managed to flourish, despite us providing no support
  • What level of success has the program experienced?- With very little investment we have raised 700K in almost 3 years (online represented 10% of our gross in 2007, 15% in 2008)- All 7 of our regions are now actively promoting IFE online fundraising (talk about staff buy in, KR retirement 900 in first 2 years, 9k since staff retirement) average online donation is 82.38 for IFE’s – 60 is our account wide averageAverage raised is 1153, including some offline $’s … triple the value of an RFL participant.1000 new highly engaged online fundraisers, 175 of them are event organizers10,000 new donorsData that enters itself - we have regional staff begging to report, participants wanting fundraising totals online prompting offline gift entry at a regional levelOur most successful IFE event is getting it’s own revenue stream this year
  • How does the organization support the program / plan to grow in the future?User focused web presence:- Spend a few $’s on our IFE web presenceMove to CFAF and provide more tools for the participantsInvest in website design, using CFAF is much more flexible on the front endInvest in community building tools – venue for IFE participants division wide to engage each other, promote social networking (facebook tool) Extend support:we’ve hired a part time staff member at the division, supporting our regions, about a .25 FTE will be dedicated at a division levelDeveloping training resources specifically for the IFE team (instead of making them share with Relay)Develop training resources specifically for IFE participants (and hopefully include a lot of them in their participant HQTarget this group with coaching emails – easy place to get started here would be our zero fundraisers and thank you emailsImplementing reporting standards across the division for IFE’s

Raising More Money Online from Independent Fundraising Events Raising More Money Online from Independent Fundraising Events Presentation Transcript

  • Raising More Money Online with Independent Fundraising Events
    A Joint Research Project fromEvent 360 & Blackbaud
  • Speakers and Agenda
    Meghan Dankovich, Director of Consulting, Event 360
    Mark Davis, Director of Technical Solutions, Blackbaud
    Sarah Hall, Online Fundraising Administrator, Canadian Cancer Society
    Summary of Report Findings
    Case Study – Canadian Cancer Society IFE Program
    Blackbaud Online Solutions Overview
  • Show of Hands…
    • Have you thought about creating an event series, but were scared off by the costs?
    • Do you have constituents that would be willing to help you but because of location or activity you feel you have no way to engage them?
    • How many have gotten a plea for help from an independent fundraiser too close to their event to help make it a successful and positive experience?
  • Research Project Overview
  • Summary of Report Findings
    Meghan Dankovich, Director of Consulting, Event 360
  • Fundraising Events
    Tangible expression of your mission
    Opportunity to host a captive audience
    Extension of your brand and reputation
    Strong revenue driver
    Ideally a 20-30% cost of fundraising
    Want to do more?
    Supplement your fundraising portfolio with an…
    Independent Fundraising Event Program
  • Who – Your Mission, Your People
  • What - The Independent Fundraising Event
  • Where & When – Anywhere, Anytime
  • Why - Revenue at Low Cost
  • How – Match Passion with Mission
  • Team Fox – Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • Team Reeve All-Stars – Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
  • Challenges of IFE Programs
    Budgeting Revenue
    Justification of Costs
    Supplies and Giveaways
    Positive Online User Experience
    Reputation/Brand Risk
  • Best Practices
    Ensure Organizational-wide Support
    Encourage Online Use
    Provide a ‘Hand Up’
    Standardize Tracking and Reporting
    Create a Recognition Program
    When in doubt, get outside help!
  • 1 - Ensure Organizational-wide Support
  • 2 - Encourage Online Use
  • 3 - Provide a ‘Hand Up’
  • 4 - Standardize Tracking & Reporting
  • 5 - Create a Recognition Program
  • Benefits of an Independent Fundraising Program
  • Case Study:Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon Division
    Sarah Hall, Online Fundraising AdministratorCanadian Cancer Society
  • How We View Independent Fundraising Events
    Complimentary to Traditional Fundraising
    Opportunity for Our Supporters to Express Our Mission on Their Terms
    Many IFE’s Start out Supporting Main Events
    Low Maintenance / Low Cost
    Potential to Reach Untapped Resources
    Extremely Passionate Event Organizers
  • Why Online?
    Increase revenue generating opportunities
    Stay competitive
    Technology readily available
    The power of Friends Asking Friends
    Improve donor experience
    Improve participant experience
    Connect IFE donor’s and participants with Canadian Cancer Society
    Easy access event management and reporting tools
  • How it Began
  • How to Measure Online Success
    Raised over $700K in just under 3 Years
    All Regions Now Actively Promoting and Fundraising Online
    Average Online IFE Gift is $82.38
    Approx $60 Average Gift for Traditional Events)
    Average IFE Participant raises $1,153 Online
    Average Relay for Life Participant Raises $350
    Over 1,000 Passionate Volunteer Fundraisers Delivering Our Mission
    175 Event Organizers
    10,000 New Online Donors in Our Database
  • The Future
    User-Focused Online Presence
    Friends Asking Friends Custom Friends Asking Friends
    Invest in site design
    Invest in online community building tools
    Designated division level staff person
    Training for regional staff
    Coaching for participants
    Email strategy
    Division-wide reporting standards
  • Blackbaud Online Solutions Overview
    Mark Davis, Director of Technical Solutions, Blackbaud
  • Blackbaud Sphere Events - Standard
    Autism Speaks Give Now - http://givenow.autismspeaks.org
  • Blackbaud Sphere® Events™ - Advanced
    Team Fox - http://www.teamfox.org
  • Key Take-Aways
    • Getting Started – Engage Existing Supporters and Develop Program
    • Branding – Compliment Mission, Separate from Traditional Events
    • Key Decisions – Teams/No Teams, Community, Reporting
    • Fundraiser Engagement – Higher Level, Donor Conversion Strategy
  • Questions and Answers
    Thank you!