Mar/Apr 2009

A New Report: How Can You Raise More Money With Your Run-Walk-Ride Event?

by James Young, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Convio

Along with colleagues from Convio, Event 360 and the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council, we attempted to do some research that answered the question: How can you raise more money with your event? We approached the research with this question in mind, and several key trends and best practices emerged on managing a successful fundraising event.

Event fundraisers should be watching and gathering metrics on these three things to judge the success of their event:

  1. Participation growth that leads to fundraising success. How many more participants are you recruiting each year, and more importantly, how many more participants who also fundraise are you recruiting each year?
  2. Growth in individual fundraising success. Once you have participants who are fundraising, how effective are they and are they getting better?
  3. Healthy trends in participant retention. How many of your past participant fundraisers are current participant fundraisers and is that percentage growing?

With these three metrics in mind, we found the strategies that drove the metrics in the right direction. These are the five success strategies you should consider:

  1. Recruit effectively, meaning know who you are going after and why they participate in the first place. Begin by recruiting the people you know will become fundraisers.
  2. Charge a registration fee and employ a fundraising minimum, because it sets the expectation that fundraising is a key activity to participation. Clients that do this tend to have higher fundraising growth.
  3. Create several points of entry into your event. This is analogous to using multi-channel marketing. Leverage the opportunities available to you to recruit participant fundraisers, including third-party sites and social networks.
  4. Encourage team participation and love your team captains. Participants who are a part of a team have a higher propensity to be fundraisers. Team captains have a lot to do with that because they are a more committed group that can be effective communication relays.
  5. Craft your participant center message templates carefully and encourage participants to send them. The organizations that invested time and energy into creating excellent messages, particularly subject lines, reaped the rewards with higher growth in open and click-through rates.

As many of you are in the midst of the spring event season, evaluate the results based on these metrics, and consider these strategies when planning your next event. Click here to read the full data analysis and report. And as always, if you have ideas, please add them to the comments at the Connection Café blog.

A New Report: How Can You Raise More Money With Your Run-Walk-Ride Event? | Convio