Much of what makes peer-to-peer fundraising so appealing is the chance for participants to personalize the causes they support. Their personal fundraising page serves as the vehicle to share their story, and using photos is a proven way to add more power to that message and, in turn, help participants raise more money.

Participants who upload a photo to their fundraising page raise more by an average of 26 percent, but unfortunately, only 45 percent of fundraisers make the effort to personalize their page. But when more than 70 percent of the U.S. population owns a smartphone — most now with built-in cameras that rival good digital cameras — it should be pretty easy to upload photos to a fundraising page. So, why aren’t more people doing so?

One major barrier facing Blackbaud TeamRaiser users is the file size and formatting requirements that must be followed to successfully upload an image. When a participant receives an error message due to file size restrictions, for instance, there are several possible outcomes:

  • Most will quit the page in frustration and decide not to upload a photo or otherwise personalize their page
  • Some will keep trying hoping to finally get it right
  • Some will try a different photo or take a new one hoping this time it will work
  • A few will search online for a free photo resizing solution — which may require a certain level of technical skill — and may finally achieve success…or not

Your organization should seek out a workable solution if it fits the following indicators: 1) raises a minimum of $250,000 annually through P2P programs, 2) experiences less than 40 percent of participants updating their personal fundraising pages and 3) experiences mid- to high support traffic related to photo upload issues (file size restrictions, functionality or usability problems).

Such a solution should remove the file sizing frustrations by automatically re-sizing images to the correct specifications, so your participants don’t have to cross their fingers every time they upload an image. We developed an image editor plug-in for Blackbaud TeamRaiser that does just that. We used the same functionality as the for profit sector to create a cost-effective plug-in that streamlines the photo upload process by auto-adjusting the image size to fit the system’s specs.

We also included a “fun factor” to provide photo customization, so participants can edit their images by adding text or other design elements to further personalize their message. The image editor plug-in helps encourage greater engagement by participants, who will finally be able to upload images worry-free, and that in turn will lead to greater return from donors.