Nonprofit Fundraising Events: New Research on Planning the Most Successful

Jul 21, 2015

A recent report took a look at how nonprofits are approaching fundraising events, including how they are leveraging software to help maximize return on investment for events. Among the key findings, survey participants indicated that fundraising and event management software improves the overall experience for both staff and attendees in a variety of ways.

The report from Software Advice also took an interesting look at the types of events that are most successful amongst Nonprofit Research Collaborative, special events are a part of the fundraising strategy for 82% of organizations. However, the types of events vary widely which naturally leads to adaptable software needs to manage those events.

Types of Nonprofit Fundraising Events

“Nonprofits tend to have limited staff capacity for doing event planning, so many are turning to software to help improve fundraising planning/organization,” says Janna Finch of Software Advice, a company that provides online reviews and comparisons of fundraising software.

Although the types of events varied widely across the nonprofits participating in the survey, one key performance indicator for measuring the success of events surfaced as the most frequently used: Cost Per Dollar Raised (CPDR).
Nonprofit Event Cost Per Dollar Raised (CPDR)

Top Metrics for Measuring Nonprofit Fundraising Event Performance


Among the other findings, respondents indicated that they frequently rely on spreadsheets or similar methods to track event data. Somewhat surprisingly, we at Omatic have often found that to be the case as well – even among organizations that have invested in the Events module for Raiser’s Edge™ (RE).

For those organizations that are managing events in RE, EventOmatic provides an easy way to organize participant records and analyze responses all in one place. EventOmatic gives a one-screen view of the participant tab for the event. Furthermore, integrating data in RE from other event-related applications like bidrCvent, and others can easily be accomplished with ImportOmatic.

The report stated that “For large events with many moving parts, or for recurring events that an organization wants to continually improve on year over year, performance analysis demands more data. That’s where fundraising and event management software—more specifically, the reporting tools and dashboards these products typically include—can make a fundraiser’s life easier.” This point was reinforced by Janna who added that “using software can drastically improve event performance analysis, and help capture donor contact info, helping turn one-time event attendees into ongoing supporters of the cause.”

To check out the full report, head over to Software Advice and review “Which Fundraising Event Is Best for Your Nonprofit?”

Raiser’s Edge™ is a registered trademark of Blackbaud, Inc.