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What You Think vs. What You Know: Developing Real Strategies to Drive Event Fundraising Performance / Kari Bodell, Event 360


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When you evaluate your fundraising efforts - you have two sets of data sources: what you think and what you know. What you think is often based on gut, proven experience or conventional wisdom about performance. What you know is based on data analysis, proven statistics or measurable trends. To drive real fundraising results, you need to validate what you think with what you know and then take action. In this interactive session, participants will do a self-assessment of their fundraising efforts and then learn real strategies to translate what they know into an action plan to increase fundraising. With a special emphasis on event fundraising, we will address change management, participant and donor relations, segmenting communications and using technology to maximize fundraising.


An understanding of how your data should inform and influence your fundraising strategies
Strategies to take your analysis and turn it into a fundraising action plan
How to effectively introduce the plan to your organization and engage them in the implementation

Published in: Technology, Business, Education
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What You Think vs. What You Know: Developing Real Strategies to Drive Event Fundraising Performance / Kari Bodell, Event 360

  1. 1. What You Think vs. What You Know:Developing Real Strategies toDrive Fundraising PerformanceKari BodellDirector, Business Development 12 June 2012Event 360, Chicago, Illinois My Charity Connects
  2. 2. What you “think” or “feel”• gut instinct• experience• lore• conventional wisdom• what your predecessor or committee member told you
  3. 3. What you “know”• data analysis• measurable trends• proven facts
  4. 4. ExerciseMake two short lists1. What you buy at a typical visitto the supermarket2. What you do in the first hour ofa typical day at work, in fiveminute increments
  5. 5. We help organizations use experiences to change the world9 years 130 events over2 offices 2800 sites $700,000,000 fundraised for nonprofit130 team members 8,000 miles of route groups30 states 500,000 participants immersive experiences . event fundraising peer-to-peer engagement . social impact
  6. 6. Experiences matter Event AA means to development an end Fundraising function A real discipline
  7. 7. A means to Mission an end Revenue two asks Gifts Donors second “ask” Participants first “ask” Event
  8. 8. A means to Mission an end Revenue Giftstwo groups to cultivate! Donors Participants Event
  9. 9. The event fundraising equationmore people come back ( Participants x Fundraising )+ Sponsorship - Expenses more newpeople come = Net Revenue
  10. 10. The event fundraising equation more participants ask more donors donors give larger gifts( Participants x Fundraising )+ Sponsorship - Expenses = Net Revenue
  11. 11. The event fundraising equation more sponsors sign on( Participants x Fundraising )+ Sponsorship - Expenses sponsors make = Net Revenue larger donations
  12. 12. The event fundraising equation we cut costs due to efficiencies( Participants x Fundraising )+ Sponsorship - Expenses = Net Revenue we cut costs but sacrifice quality be mindful!
  13. 13. data: your best fren frenemy “where should I start?”
  14. 14. what you “think” or “feel”versus what you “know” worksheet
  15. 15. be mindful! mean: average median: mid-point mode: appears most often
  16. 16. what you “think” or “feel”versus what you “know” worksheet
  17. 17. A few questions• Was anyone surprised by how much you “thought” or “felt” compared to with how much you “knew”?• Which question are you most looking forward to confirming or disproving what you “think” or “feel”?• Can anyone share their experience confirming or disproving something they “thought” or “felt”?• Once you get home: what is the greatest discrepancy between what you “think” or “feel” and what you “know”?
  18. 18. so what?
  19. 19. can we reach them? can we communicate with them in afirst meaningful way?shows us who we can impact have they shown us they are listening?
  20. 20. The Pareto Principleroughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes
  21. 21. Where you find it• healthcare• crime• economics• management• software• fundraising
  22. 22. Why shampoo costs $114 Shampoo $3.00 Diet Coke $1.59 Popcorn $1.00 Toaster $24.99 Plant, House $14.99 Stationary $11.99 Toiletries $2.49 Pillow $17.99 Lamp Shade $7.99 Cereal $3.99 Candy $2.99 Gum $1.79 Bread $3.00 Toiletries $3.49 Book $4.59 Snack $2.49 Markers $5.99 Total $114.36
  23. 23. Your cumulative spend
  24. 24. Cumulative revenue: walk series
  25. 25. Cumulative revenue: one walk in the series
  26. 26. why are they participating? have they raisedsecond their hand?tells us who is likely to take action have they taken action in the past?
  27. 27. Affinity to an activity• I like to cycle.Affinity to a third party group• I’m supporting my school / church / office team.Affinity to participants or individuals• I like to spend time with my friends.Affinity to a cause• I believe that all kids deserve a great future.Affinity to an organization• I care about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada.
  28. 28. “there’s way too much going on”third “I’m being asked to do more with less”helps determine focus “my team is totally maxed out”
  29. 29. “we need a plan”
  30. 30. AudienceTacticTiming and FrequencyMessage, Call to Action, Ask
  31. 31. Audience• First time participants, who are connected to your cause• Returning participants who have never fundraised• Last year’s top 5%• Last year’s team captains• New team captains• Anyone who raises more than $______• Someone who sends a fundraising e-mail
  32. 32. Tactic• E-mail• Something in the mail• A phone call• A phone call from a VIP• An invitation to an event• An invitation to an exclusive experience• An event day perk• An incentive or prize• Recognition or thanks
  33. 33. Timing and frequency• Know your constituents• Identify segments• Know your organization’s larger communications schedule• Strike a balance between consistent and overbearing• Ramp up as the Event gets closer On E-Comm • Monitor performance • Tailor content • Run some tests • Use a control group!) • Use your subject and P.S. lines wisely
  34. 34. Message, Call to Action, Ask
  35. 35. relevant 38
  36. 36. Exercise: Twitterize your passionIn 140 characters or less,share the reason you do this.
  37. 37. Know your storyNot “why you have a job” but “why you do this”• Tell YOUR story. Not someone else’s• Make your own ask. Not someone else’s
  38. 38. The ask: 4+11. The need you are trying to address2. Why it is important3. What you are doing about it4. “Will you help by doing X?”The plus one: Shut up.
  39. 39. A great ask is• Tactical• Practical• Authentic• A question• Delivered
  40. 40. Exercise: make an askCraft an ask for one of theaudiences you identified. Deliverit to the person next to you.
  41. 41. “we need a plan”
  42. 42. do they have the right resources? what support willFourth they need from you?Who is going to put the plan together? who else needs to buy in?
  43. 43. how will you help them stay focused? how will you getFifth dialed in?Who is going to execute the plan? how will you measure it?
  44. 44. SixthWhat (or who!) could derail the plan? how can you mitigate that?
  45. 45. Exercise: your second listOf the 60 minutes you listed,which 10 – 15 are most impactfulto your mission?What are you doing during thattime?
  46. 46. Focus on high-value activitiesHigh LowMeeting new people Sitting alone at your deskSharing your story (and asking others for Sharing routine updatestheirs)One-on-one conversations Writing and reading emailsReflection on what works Worry about what isn’t going rightMeetings where progress to written goals Meetings where information is readis discussedDescribing your vision of a better future Long complaints about obstaclesAsking for support of that future Hoping support will come alongTime to recharge and learn new things Most perfectionism
  47. 47. Stop talking about the work. Do the work.
  48. 48. Recommend ReadingsRead This Before Our Next Meeting • Al PittampalliNow, Discover Your Strengths • Marcus BuckinghamSwitch • Chip and Dan HeathRework • Jason Fried
  49. 49. ContactKari