Research reveals 92% of fundraising event participants would consider supporting the same charity again
25 November 2015
New research report examines the state of event fundraising in 2015 and shows the importance of post-event communications.
Conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Fundraising, everydayhero™, a Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB) company and innovative crowdfundraising platform, today released a new event fundraising research report, Closing the Loop, based on a survey of more than 1,000 event participants and 600 charities. The report provides charities with insight and practical guidance on the state of event fundraising in 2015, and shows the importance of communications when creating active and engaged life-long supporters.
The report shows the continuing popularity of event fundraising and the opportunities it presents as it revealed an overwhelming majority of organisations (84%) have seen income from events rising or staying the same. The biggest proportion saw income rising (56%) with 12% saying that income has risen significantly. For a quarter (25%) of organisations surveyed, events account for 25 – 50% of overall annual income and 67% are planning to do more events in future.
The report also revealed that 83% of fundraising event participants would consider taking part in another event for the same charity, while 92% would consider supporting the same charity again but in other ways. However, 44% of fundraising event participants had not been asked to take part in another event and nearly a quarter (23%) reported no further contact was made since being thanked for their support.
“It’s certainly encouraging to see that the majority of fundraisers who have taken part in this research are reporting that income from events is increasing,” commented Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and Research at the Institute of Fundraising. “However, we know that the best fundraising is not about a ‘one off’ - whether that’s a single donation or participation in one event - it’s about developing and maintaining a relationship, engaging people with a cause that they care about and offering them opportunities to support that cause in different ways and at different times.”
Additional key findings:
- The most common challenge cited by event participants was that the fundraising target set was too high (27.1%) followed by not knowing how to start fundraising (21.2%)
- 59.8% of participants want to know how much total money was raised, 44.5% want to know how the money raised will be used
- The majority of participants preferred to be contacted by email (40.5%) and direct mail (29.8%), while phone was the least popular form of wanted contact (46.7%).
- Although 67.3% of charities are considering putting on more events in the future, most organisations (64.1%) are not looking to grow their events team. A lack of resources is cited as one of the main challenges in communicating with event participants.
“We know from this and previous research that event participants are a particularly motivated audience so there is a real opportunity here for engaging them even further through concerted and tailored communications,” said John Bird, general manager, Peer-to-Peer Fundraising at Blackbaud. “Clearly resourcing is an issue for many charities, but even simple steps such as getting feedback after an event, putting in place a post-event communications plan or some basic email segmentation and personalisation can support your fundraisers in raising more money and encourage them to support your charity in other ways too.”
As well as discussing the results of the research, the report provides examples of what various charities are doing to offer the best communications support to their event participants:
- “Know your audiences and have the data you need in order to personalise your communications. With diverse means now of contacting people and having to send your brand out in so many different ways, you need to get on top of people’s preferences rather than using a ‘one size fits all’ approach. But at a more basic level, make sure you make an ask after the event – sometimes people just need to be asked.” Scotty Dixon, Business Systems Manager for Challenge Events, Macmillan Cancer Support
- “Make sure you get feedback after the event to check you’re doing the right things and take advantage of the different ways of communicating with people – for example, we find that using text messages is really effective at getting quick responses.” Emily Roff, Sports Events Manager, Children with Cancer UK
- “Personalise communications as much as you can, make it fun and let your fundraisers know how much money was raised and the difference they have made to the work that you do.” Claire Dibben, Community & Events Fundraising Officer, National Osteoporosis Society