The Independent Fundraising Event (IFE) Study is first-of-its-kind research which has provided insights into IFE program execution, adoption and growth. Overall, the study found that IFE programs, also known as DIY fundraising or third-party events, are emerging as a core strategy within peer-to-peer fundraising in large part to meet the wishes of donors. These programs are not replacing traditional peer-to-peer events, but supplementing them by allowing donors to fundraise on their own.
Of the 239 study respondents, 42% report that they currently operate an IFE program. Of those, 63% expect at least 10% growth within their IFE program during the next year and 25% of nonprofit organizations expect their IFE program to increase by greater than 20% annual growth. This expected growth is vastly higher than the expected growth of most peer-to-peer events. Not only is growth expected to be strong, first year revenue goals are also impressive with 29% expecting to raise more than $100,000 and 6% expect to raise more than $1 million.
With such great expectations, nonprofits of all sizes and for all causes are launching or growing IFE programs. Though donor-driven, the best IFEs are a purposeful part of a nonprofit’s peer-to-peer fundraising program. Here are three recommendations for successfully incorporating an IFE into your fundraising program.
- Have a strategy. A necessity when launching any new initiative, conceptual development was listed as the primary skill required to launch an IFE program. Proper time and energy should be invested to ensure that a strong strategy is in place.
- Choose the appropriate IFE model. There are three basic IFE program models: all-in-one/open, hub and campaign. A hub model may be a great place to start, but once experience is gained an organization may choose to move to the open model.
- Listen to your donors. If you are having doubts about launching an IFE program, consider sending out a poll to your donors or organizing a focus group with your target audience to see if there is demand for one. Many respondents listed donor-driven demand as the primary reason for launching their program.
To learn more about the current state of IFE programs or for other recommendations for a successful program, download the Independent Fundraising Events (IFE) Study from Charity Dynamics.
Originally published on Fundraising Success on March 10, 2014.