Rejoice! The latest Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study is now available. As a life-long peer-to-peer fundraiser – well it seems like a lifetime anyway – I look forward to this report every year! It’s a P2P staffer’s guilty pleasure. If your campaign is beating the benchmarks, it gives you the tools you need to show off to your boss! And it allows you the ability to assess your P2P performance and identify area to focus on for growth.
There are pages upon pages (43 to be exact) of data and insights to help you set goals and shape your fundraising strategy. Here’s just a small sampling of the goodness you’ll find in this year’s Study.
Participant fundraising performance is improving, and overall fundraising is holding steady despite some declines in participation.
Competition in the P2P space has never been greater. Those passionate enough to fundraise for a cause have many options, and some of those options don’t require actual day of event participation. On the brighter side, those most passionate about a cause or an organization are fundraising more.
The percentage of participants fundraising remains steady, and in the case of endurance events have increased 12%. Fundraising averages are also on the upswing, with walks posting a steady gain over the past three years and a more than 8% increase year-over-year. Although all event categories saw a decline in participation last year, fundraising revenue did not decrease at the same rate because of the strong showing in fundraising performance by those who did participate.
Returning participants continue to raise significantly more than new participants. Although participant loyalty is declining, participants are showing a different kind of loyalty by returning to another P2P campaign within the same organization.
It’s no surprise that participants returning to an event send more fundraising emails, receive more gifts, and raise more money than participants who are new. Returning 5K participants raise more than twice what a new participant raises, while returning walkers raise nearly three times that of a new walker. However, the Study does show some challenges for organizations in retaining participants from one year to the next, with all event types except for cycle showing a drop in participant loyalty.
With an eye towards retention, organizations are doubling down on mission messaging to ensure participants understand the positive outcomes their fundraising dollars are making possible. To address the more fickle nature of today’s fundraiser, organizations are reinvesting in their traditional events while also experimenting with new p2p campaign concepts, such as do-it-yourself (DIY) fundraising and non-traditional types of events.
New this year, the Study reports on DIY campaigns. In general, the participants taking part in these campaigns show fundraising performance better than 5K and walk participants, but not as strong as endurance and cycling participants.
Cycling participants, team captains, and women lead the fundraising pack.
In fundraiser stats, cycling events outperform all other event types. Cyclists raise more money, attract more and larger gifts, and use online tools more often and more effectively. Cycling events tend to have fundraiser minimums so there is a clear expectation and agreement by the participant to fundraise online. Even in events without minimums, organizations could do better in highlighting the expectation to fundraise based on this success.
Team captains are the foundation of P2P events. In walk events, team captains raise six times more than team members or individuals. In 5Ks, they receive four times more gifts than other event participants. Though team captains generally outperform other participants, they are also responsible for between 75% and 90% of all donation revenue across all event types except for endurance when you consider that team captains both fundraise and recruit participants.
New to this year’s Study, we analyze how gender relates to participation and fundraising behavior. We found that women sign up in greater numbers, lead more teams, and raise more money than men in every event category except cycling. Expect to see five women for every two men in your walks and 5Ks.