Data-Driven Fundraising Event Strategies
You’ve already got data. Are you using it?
It’s been said those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it. These are highly relevant words in the fundraising event world! No matter how successful last year’s fundraiser was, there’s ALWAYS room for improvement. Use your data to make THIS year’s benefit event even more successful than last year’s! It may be a little labor-intensive as you’ll be looking back through many years of data, but this information is too valuable not to use. So let’s use it! Here’s how.
Take a look at gross profit from all revenue streams from last year, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, and more. Look for trends – maybe you had a very successful wine wall 3 years ago, but last year’s sales were disappointing. What needs to change? Could you display it differently? There are so many different ways to do this. Or maybe your guests just don’t care to spend money on wine at this particular event. In that case, scrap the wine wall and replace it with a more lucrative revenue stream. How did your raffle do last year? The year before? Eliminate what doesn’t make money. Improve upon what does. Ask us for ideas! We have loads of suggestions and many happy, long-term clients who put our fundraising chops to the test year after year with excellent results.
Again, data is your trusted friend when it comes to targeting donors. Who gave big last year? What compelled them to give big? The more you learn about what moves people, the more you’ll be able to move them! Did you see our blog on what to do post-event, to ensure next year’s success? You always want to thank your donors personally – research shows when you do, they’re MUCH more likely to give next time.
You can also learn a lot by polling them on what they liked and didn’t like. Break it down even further by researching what percentage of guests participated in each revenue stream. Be sure to take a very close look at your special appeal numbers! What percentage of your guests gave during the appeal? If it’s fewer than 60%, you can do better by clarifying your mission and crafting better mission stories. We can help!
All this research will help you maximize your ROI, also known as…
Return On Investment
You’re no doubt familiar with the term ROI – for now, let’s define it simply as what you GET out of the effort you GIVE. We’ll use the revenue stream of wine walls as an example. How much time did your team spend procuring the bottles? Compare that to how much money the wall raised. Let’s just say your team spent 100 total hours seeking wine donations and procuring the bottles, and you raised a mere $1,500. Is that an acceptable ROI? You could definitely do better, and may want to redirect your workforce toward another revenue stream. Let’s look at a Golden Ticket raffle for another example. It’s a great way to raise money without much effort or expense, and when sold out will gross $10,000. That being said, it’s IMPERATIVE you have the right people selling tickets – they need to be outgoing, friendly, charming, and assertive – and they need to be in the right location! Is it easy for guests to spot them? Are there big beautiful signs identifying where they are? That is a great use of your salespeople’s time and could be lucrative for you. Consider all of these things, but let data be your decision maker.