Supporting Independent Event Fundraisers Using Online Tools - LIVESTRONG Day 2009

Mark Davis - 10.05.2009

As an extension to Frank’s post on LIVESTRONG Day, I’d like to discuss another aspect of Lance Armstrong Foundation’s grassroots efforts. Over the past few years, LAF has cultivated a successful program for independent fundraisers called Grassroots Fundraising. This program has become an important extension of the LIVESTRONG Day program.


Grassroots Fundraising is designed for individuals, groups, businesses, schools and clubs (anyone who is interested in raising funds for the LAF) to host their own fundraising events. Due to the success of this program and others like it (e.g., Heifer’s Team Heifer and Michael J. Fox’s Team Fox), many other organizations have begun to use Friends Asking Friends to manage their own “Independent Fundraising Event” or IFE programs. Recently I wrote an article to in September/October 2009 edition of Advancing Philanthropy. Feel free to download that article and read more about LAF’s program and how organizations can benefit from cultivating their independent fundraisers.


As a quick summary of that article, I found that by building on-line tools to support independent fundraising event programs, organizations can:


1. Attract more independent events. From 2006 to 2008, Lance Armstrong Foundation’s independent fundraisers raised approximately $8 million. In 2008, the organization accepted 1,078 event applications to be a part of the program. By July 2009, with LIVESTRONG Day three months away, they already had over 1,200 approved event applications. Much of the growth in the number of events benefiting the organization has come directly through the use of online tools, like Friends Asking Friends®.


2. Raise more money through independent fundraisers.  The average LIVESTRONG Challenge (their signature annual fundraising event) supporter raised about $500 in 2008. The average independent fundraiser raised over $3200.


3. Receive instant gift and donor information. Before they had access to online tools, most event organizers simply wrote a single check after the event and sent that check to the organization. With online donation processing, the funds are deposited electronically and data from each donor is available immediately. The average event organizer collects over 16 donors during the course of the event.


Wanna learn more? Come join me at the 2009 Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits in Charleston to hear my session on “Raising More Money Online with Independent Fundraising Events”.


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