Income from fundraising events on the rise - research

Fundraising events continue to be a popular and effective means of generating income, according to new research.

A survey by the Institute of Fundraising and Blackbaud has found 84 per cent of the 600 charities polled have seen income from events rising or staying the same. Income was rising for 56 per cent of participants.

Fundraising income accounted for between a quarter and half of annual income for 25 per cent of organisations surveyed, and 67 per cent are planning to do more events in future.

The report also revealed 83 per cent of the 1,000 fundraising event participants surveyed would consider taking part in another event for the same charity. Further, 92 per cent would consider supporting the same charity again but in other ways.

However, 44 per cent of fundraising event participants had not been asked to take part in another event and nearly a quarter 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,” IoF head of policy and research Daniel Fluskey said. “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.”

Just over 27 per cent of participants highlighted the level of the fundraising target as the most common challenge, while 21.2 per cent highlighted not knowing how to start fundraising.

Almost 60 per cent of participants want to know how much total money was raised by an event, and 44.5 per cent want to know how the money raised will be used.

The majority of participants preferred to be contacted by email and direct mail, while phone was the least popular form of wanted contact.

John Bird, general manager peer-to-peer fundraising at Blackbaud, said the research echoes previous work showing event participants are a “particularly motivated audience”

“There is a real opportunity here for engaging them even further through concerted and tailored communications,” Bird said. “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.”

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