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Focus on Reporting to Improve Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Results

This article was originally posted on NonProfit PRO’s blog.

When you’re a busy nonprofit professional, it can be tempting to jump right in to planning your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or event. You might even want to take a “copy and paste” approach — simply re-doing what you did with your last campaign — to save time.

But before you start, I encourage you to take time for data analysis. It can help you uncover trends, understand what’s working and what’s not, and find new opportunities to improve your fundraising results.

Of course, to analyze your data, you need to access it from your peer-to-peer fundraising platform. The first step in setting up reports and performing analysis is to think through your specific reporting needs and scenarios: What are your data analysis goals? What data will inform your analysis? How do you access that data and put it to use?

Here are three perspectives to consider as you determine your approach to data analysis and reporting:

  • Campaign/event focus — Think about what metrics are most important to your specific campaign or event. Then, set up your peer-to-peer fundraising platform to track year-over-year results for these metrics based on number of weeks out from the event. This will allow you to compare your progress at each point in this year’s campaign compared with the same point in last year’s campaign and make any needed changes as the campaign progresses.For example, if the number of registered participants is down one week compared with the same time the previous year, consider offering a discount code for a few weeks to encourage participants to register. If total funds raised is down, then offer participants tips and examples from participants who have been successful in the past.For this approach, some important data might include:
      • Number of participants
      • Number of donors
      • Total funds raised
      • Number of teams
      • Average team size
      • Average donation size
      • Average number of donations per participant
      • Number of $0 donation participants
    • Sponsor focus — Provide potential sponsors with data that demonstrates the value of the campaign or event from their perspective. For example, showing them demographic data such as gender, age, income level, and interests of your past participants can go a long way toward showing them that their sponsorship will get their name in front of the audience they want to reach.Gathering demographic data can be tricky, though. Asking for too much information in the initial registration process can turn off participants. Instead, send follow-up surveys to gather additional information after your participants have registered, or consider purchasing data enhancement services from a third party. Then, pull the data into reports that can easily be shared with potential sponsors.
    • Organizational focus — Take a step back from the campaign and look at how your participants are (or are not) engaged in other ways with your organization to find opportunities to engage them even more. For example, identify participants who are involved with your organization in at least one other way (such as volunteering, activism, or making a general donation). Since these are your most involved supporters, consider asking them for additional support in ways they have not engaged yet.

    Once you’ve determined what data you want to access and what you will do with it, it’s time to access it from your peer-to-peer fundraising platform. Setting up dashboards in your software provides information as a visual representation that can help you see trends quickly and effectively. In addition, standard tabular reports of information can be helpful for more detailed analysis.

    Taking the next step with reporting and data analysis

    Here are a few resources to help you determine your reporting needs and access the information that’s important to you, your staff, your board, and your sponsors:

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