In-Memory Fundraising – Key Numbers and Statistics

Blog Data Insights General P2PIn-Memory Fundraising – Key Numbers and Statistics

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In-Memory Fundraising – Key Numbers and Statistics In-Memory Fundraising – Key Numbers and Statistics
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  • June 11, 2020
  • 4 min read

In-memory fundraising has the highest average and median results of any type of P2P fundraising, and it is growing fast. We have collected some key statistics and metrics for in-memory fundraising here.

In-memory fundraising is when relatives or friends honor a person that has passed away, by fundraising in their name. They create a fundraising page and collect donations from other relatives and friends in memory of this person. We call these pages tribute funds.

This is in no way a new thing. In many western countries there is a long standing tradition for donating to a cause close to a person’s heart, instead of bringing flowers to that person’s funeral. The difference is that today most of this is done online. This area is probably one of the least digitised areas of P2P fundraising, as we have had to wait for older generations to become more familiar with digital tools, but we are getting there now, which is probably why we see the growth in this area that we do.

The growth of in-memory fundraising

The number of in-memory fundraisers created has been growing faster than any other type of P2P fundraising. We have calculated the below numbers based on all fundraisers created through BetterNow, which gives a broad representative view of P2P fundraising in Scandinavia and Spain.

Interestingly, while they only make up around 5% of all fundraisers created, they account for 10% of the total amount fundraised.

The metrics of in-memory fundraising

This leads us to the next key statistic, namely that these fundraisers have a very high fundraising average, more than double the average of other P2P fundraisers made on BetterNow.

The distribution is less skewed than for normal P2P fundraisers. We can see this by noting that the median fundraised is more than five times that for normal P2P fundraisers.

average of in-memory fundraising is 1037€, compared to 419€ for all P2P fundraising

The distribution is less skewed than for normal P2P fundraisers. We can see this by noting that the median fundraised is more than five times that for normal P2P fundraisers.

median of in-memory fundraising is 250€, compared to 46€ for all P2P fundraising

The median is the middle number, meaning that half of the fundraisers have raised more than 250 €, and half below that number. When we compare this with the average, we can see that the relative difference between the median and the average is way less for in-memory fundraisers than overall for other P2P fundraising. This is, among other things, driven by a higher activation rate for in-memory fundraisers.

activation rate of in-memory fundraising is 75%, compared to 64% for all P2P fundraising

We do also see that more fundraisers receive at least one donation than for any other type of P2P fundraisers. Based on these numbers we are not afraid to conclude in-memory fundraiser is the best performing type of P2P fundraising.

Which causes benefit the most from in-memory fundraising?

Now, there is no doubt that health related charities are especially well suited to this form of P2P fundraising. It is generally the case that health related causes benefit the most from P2P fundraising in general, but it is more extreme for in-memory fundraising, with these causes receiving 75% of all fundraisers.

This doesn’t mean other causes can’t get decent income from in-memory fundraising. We do have especially large emergency aid charities and (non health related) children’s charities who run large numbers of in-memory fundraisers.

health charities receive the most in-memory fundraising (78%!)

We have bundled all causes below 1% into ‘other’.

How does a tribute fund differ from an ordinary P2P fundraiser?

Anyone creating an in-memory fundraiser is at a sensitive moment in their life. The person fundraising, especially if the tribute fund is created before the funeral, is in a place where the person is both stressed and emotionally vulnerable.

This makes this type of fundraising stand out compared to e.g. sports fundraising. Here the focus is on gamification, challenging yourself and having fun. Obviously, the same solution doesn’t work for both tribute funds and sports fundraising.

This is why the BetterNow solution for in-memory fundraising doesn’t have gamification as part of the solution. So, no goal for the fundraiser and no progress bar to measure yourself against. We also skip the emails reminding them to share the fundraiser on Facebook if they haven’t received any new donations for ten days.

Another change is that we don’t ask the fundraiser to set an end date. This simplifies the sign-up process for a person who probably doesn’t want to make yet another decision. Instead we imply the end date based on other pieces of information, and use this in helping and guiding them.

How to grow the number of in-memory fundraisers?

In-memory fundraising is without a doubt a great channel. Especially for health charities, but other cause types should consider it too, especially larger emergency aid and children charities.

But it has one big downside, and that is recruitment. It just doesn’t work to do e.g. paid social ads for this. Even if you could target the right segment on Facebook, we are pretty sure you shouldn’t do that. This puts a natural limit on what you can do to grow the number of in-memory fundraisers created for you.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. First and foremost you should make sure that the option to create a Tribute Fund is visible to any website visitor for whom it might be relevant. A good indicator is if the person is looking for information on how to give a one-off in-memory donation. Make sure that the Tribute Fund option is promoted and visible to these visitors.

Going one step further, you should ask everyone who makes an in-memory donation if they want to create a tribute fund after donating. This is exactly what happens on the full BetterNow in-memory fundraising solution, where we also try to match all in-memory donations to existing tribute funds, so that we avoid several tribute funds being created for the same person.

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Jesper Juul Jensen

Jesper is the CEO of BetterNow and has been a part of BetterNow since it was founded in early 2011. He graduated in economics and management from Aarhus University in 2012 and wrote his masters about economic theories of the third sector. His goal is to make private giving and generosity a much larger part of our personal lives.

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