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Getting your event participants to raise more: Fundraising Goals

Last month, I wrote a post about streamlining your event registration process to reduce drop offs and increase registrations. Over the next week, I’ll be posting a series of tips that focus on what happens after a participant has registered for your event and how to get them to fundraise more.

Before getting started you should ask yourself these questions:
• What is your fundraising goal for the event?
• How much are you asking each participant to raise?
• What percentage of event participants are fundraising?
• How easy is it to fundraise online?
• What is the incentive to fundraise online?
• Are you using a fundraising portal or your own site? What online fundraising tools can you provide?
• Do your participants know how to fundraise online? What level of support can you give them?

Some of your answers may surprise you and will help you choose the right online tools for your event!

1. Fundraising Goals

Most charity runs, walks, cycle rides in the marketplace are fundraising events. Event participants are asked to pay a registration fee and/or raise money in support of the organising charity. Many of our clients struggle with asking their event participants to hit a pre-determined fundraising goal. We frequently hear the same thing over and over again “it’s a family-friendly event, we don’t want to alienate participants” or “we don’t want to turn off participants with a high fundraising goal”.

Setting a fundraising goal for event participants is a tricky balance. Individual fundraising goals need to exceed the event registration fee (if any), but also need to match the challenge participants are putting themselves through. It’s probably not really realistic to ask 5km runners to raise the same amount as marathon runners.

The trouble is that setting a ‘token’ fundraising goal is just as counterproductive as setting ‘an over the top’ fundraising goal. You need to challenge your event participants to raise money for your organisation – after all the biggest reason for doing these events is fundraising.

If your event is in its second or third year, have a look at the average amount raised in previous years and use this as a benchmark for setting new fundraising goals. Speak to top fundraisers from previous years or from other events and ask them how much they can raise. Your top fundraisers will raise about 80% of the total funds raised, so striking a balance between aspirational and achievable is key to success. You should also speak to other charities and organisations to find out how much they are asking participants in similar events to raise.

And don’t forget about team participants. If your online fundraising tools offer team fundraising pages, make sure you consider how much you want teams to raise. Teams or fundraising groups almost always raise a higher average amount per participant than individuals fundraising on their own so factor this in when you set your fundraising goal. Corporate and school teams often raise much more than other types of teams so consider setting a range of fundraising goals for different groups of participants.

Check back tomorrow for another tip on increasing online event fundraising!

Posted by Scott Gray on 26/04/2010 within Fundraising
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