Study Reveals Nonprofits Lose 75 Percent of Event Fundraisers Each Year

March 7, 2012

Blackbaud reports trends and releases next generation Friends Asking Friends

CHARLESTON, SC – March 7, 2012 – Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) released two new reports focused on peer-to-peer event fundraising at the 2012 Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference. The company also announced a limited release of next generation Friends Asking Friends®, ideal for top-tier event organizations like those represented in the Run Walk Ride 30

Blackbaud released two reports at the Conference, featuring trends in peer-to-peer fundraising. The 2012 donorCentrics Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Benchmarking Insights report features findings from a group of six forward-thinking nonprofitorganizations that collaborate to help establish industry-standardbenchmarking. The second report, the Blackbaud & Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey, focuses on peer-to-peer fundraising from the participant perspective.

Blackbaud is a sponsor of this year’s Conference, whichis being held today in Atlanta, and will also partner with Event360,Charity Dynamics and the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council to host threeregional events later this year.

“We are excited to present the second annual jointPeer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey, which provides newinsights into the relationship between motivation and fundraisingperformance,” said Mark Davis, Blackbaud’s director of enterpriseInternet solutions. “We appreciate the opportunity to continue topartner with the Council for this report and its annual conference,along with extending the learning and networking opportunities throughan ongoing event-focused series this year.”

Key findings from the reports include: 

  • Most organizations only retain 25 percent of fundraisingparticipants each year, yet multi-year participants raise twice that ofa new participant.
  • 45 percent of participants do not raise money for events without a fundraising minimum.
  • 47 percent of participants reported that they didn’tfundraise because they weren’t asked to. Another 17 percent didn’t knowthey were supposed to fundraise.

“These are compelling findings that clearly show theevent fundraising industry needs to do more to engage participants tofundraise and to keep them coming back,” said Amy Braiterman,Blackbaud’s principal strategy consultant. “Organizations often make theassumption that signing up to participate equates to signing up tofundraise, which isn’t the case.” 

To download the reports, visit

The Next Generation of Friends Asking Friends

Blackbaud also announced that its new next generationFriends Asking Friends application has been successfully used by aselect group of nonprofits in an early adopter program.

The Salvation Army is an early adopter of next generation Friends Asking Friends and recently used the solution to power the 2011 Online Red Kettle campaign. “Our goal as the first user of Blackbaud’s next generationFriends Asking Friends was to provide supporters with new and innovativetools to help them become better fundraisers,” said Jason Wood,director of Digital Communication Services at The Salvation ArmyNational Headquarters. “We not only reached that goal, but surpassed ourprevious year’s campaign total by 18 percent, raising nearly $2million.” 

In developing the next generation solution, Blackbaudconducted in-depth interviews and evaluated data from more than 45million online fundraising participants and nearly 40,000 nonprofitevents to understand key trends and best practices shared by the mostsuccessful event fundraisers.

“Just a few years ago, the tool for online fundraisingwas email and event directors focused on maximizing fundraisingevent-by-event,” said Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud’s director ofInternet solutions. “After watching our customers and their fundraisers,Blackbaud developed our next generation Friends Asking Friends tocombine the latest tools with proven strategies to boost fundraisingperformance.”

Built on Blackbaud’s Infinity platform, next generationFriends Asking Friends was designed to help event organizers increaseparticipant and donor retention, improve integration of event data withBlackbaud CRM, incorporate online best practices to turnparticipants into more successful fundraisers, and better leveragenative social media tools to expand fundraisers’ reach. The initialphase of this limited release is ideal for organizations runninglarger-scale, single peer-to-peer fundraising events such as a walk,challenge, bike ride, or other endurance event. Future releases willsupport events run as a national series.

  • Watch a video featuring Mark Davis talking about the key elements of next generation Friends Asking Friends

Best Buddies International participated in Blackbaud’s early adopterprogram by using next generation Friends Asking Friend to run its Team Best Buddies for the 2012 Boston Marathon event. “With next generation Friends Asking Friends, we’ve been able toprovide our runners with a much richer fundraising experience whilehelping them improve communication with their supporters,” said MelissaUribe, director, State Walks and Endurance Programs. “The fundraisingpages are highly customizable, incorporating social networking toolslike never before.”

To learn more about the next generation Friends Asking Friends solution, visit

Nonprofits that hold national events interested in participating in the early adopter program can contact [email protected].

About Blackbaud
Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years,Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to helporganizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than25,000 customers in more than 60 countries that support highereducation, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, theenvironment, independent education, animal welfare, and other charitablecauses. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based andon-premise software solutions, and related services for organizations ofall sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, social media, advocacy,constituent relationship management (CRM), analytics, financialmanagement, and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology,these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognizedas a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine andhonored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered inCharleston, South Carolina and has employees throughout the US, and inAustralia, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the UnitedKingdom.