Blackbaud Releases New Research Highlighting Important Trends in Nonprofit Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

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Presents two groundbreaking research studies at the Run Walk Ride 2011 Fundraising Conference in Atlanta

Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) today announced the release of two groundbreaking research studies at the Run Walk Ride 2011 Fundraising Conference at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.

The first study—delivered by Amy Braiterman, Blackbaud principal strategy consultant, and David Hessekiel, founder and president of the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council and Cause Marketing Forum in Rye, NY—revealed the results of their first annual “Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey.” Blackbaud and the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council conducted the Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey to gain a better understanding of what motivates individuals to devote their personal time and energies to fundraising events and what online tools and methods they use to raise funds.

The second study reported on the findings of Blackbaud’s first annual “donorCentrics Event Benchmarking Summary,” a study based on in-depth analysis of fundraising performance data from six top nonprofit organizations from 2007 through 2009. Spearheaded by Target Analytics, a Blackbaud company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the study uncovered valuable insight about the importance of team captains and team members as well as effective online marketing support to a nonprofit organization’s bottom line fundraising efforts.

Harnessing the Power of Motivated Individuals
“The results of our first-ever Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey surprised us in many ways and enriched our understanding of the peer-to-peer fundraising process,” said Hessekiel. “The study highlights the important contribution that motivated team captains make to realizing a nonprofit’s fundraising goals.”

Through an online survey of individuals who actively participated in peer-to-peer fundraising activities, the survey discovered the following insights:

  • 69% were motivated by a personal affinity or connection to a cause.
  • 72% were motivated to exceed their fundraising goals because of a personal commitment to the cause.
  • 73% liked being part of a team either as captain (23%) or a team member (50%).
  • 95% of team members were likely to set fundraising goals compared to only 77% of non-team members.
  • 40% of team members exceeded their fundraising goals compared to only 29% of non-team participants.

The importance of personal connections carried over to their use of online tools and fundraising methods. Requests for donations were primarily made in person, followed by personal emails, phone calls, and social media networking.    

“Many studies have shown that the effective use of online, social media, and mobile technology is critical to a successful fundraising effort,” said Amy Braiterman. “But one factor that is often overlooked is the importance of enlisting the help of individuals who are driven to invest their personal time and recruit the help of family, friends, and others in their social sphere. Based on this research, peer-to-peer fundraising staff would be wise to treat team captains in the same manner as major gift donors with an eye to engaging them more deeply in the organization, for example as event committee members or organization board members.”

Sharing competitive data benefits the industry
The donorCentrics Event Benchmarking Summary illuminated similar revelations about the importance of team captains to fundraising success. In a spirit of collaboration, six self-selected nonprofit organizations agreed to contribute their fundraising performance data from 2007 through 2009, including: Alzheimer’s Association, Arthritis Foundation, Autism Speaks, LIVESTRONG, March of Dimes, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. High-level executives from these nonprofits then met at Target Analytics’ Cambridge office from December 9-10, 2010 to discuss the study results and share ideas for more effective Run Walk Ride event strategies.

“Until this study, these organizations did not know how their fundraising performance compared to that of their peers,” said Braiterman. The report revealed on average 41% of participants who raised funds are retained from one year to the next. Across the group, retained participants account for about 53% of the current year revenue. 

“We tend to beat ourselves up over our retention rate, because we haven’t been able to measure ourselves to an industry standard,” said Betty Ross, associate vice president for campaign development at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “It was nice to see that we are on par with our peers. Having the data to show the connection between retention and revenue will help when communicating with National Multiple Sclerosis Society staff on why retention is a game changer for events.”

As a leading provider of fundraising software—such as the Blackbaud Friends Asking Friends peer-to-peer online fundraising events management solution—Blackbaud was a major sponsor of the annual conference, which gives nonprofit professionals nationwide the opportunity to learn the latest in peer-to-peer fundraising strategies and share ideas with colleagues.

For more information, visit

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud is the leading global provider of software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, build strong relationships, and raise more money to support their missions. Approximately 24,000 organizations — including The American Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, Earthjustice, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Lincoln Center, The Salvation Army, The Taft School, Tulsa Community Foundation, Ursinus College, the WGBH Educational Foundation, and Yale University — use one or more Blackbaud products and services for fundraising, constituent relationship management, financial management, website management, direct marketing, education administration, ticketing, business intelligence, prospect research, consulting, and analytics. Since 1981, Blackbaud’s sole focus and expertise has been partnering with nonprofits and providing them the solutions they need to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Blackbaud also has operations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Robin Hoffman
Pipeline Communications
PR for Blackbaud, Inc.
843.216.6200 x3307

Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or upon request from Blackbaud's investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.


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Robin Hoffman