Birthday Fundraisers

Jesper Juul Jensen
Min to read

Birthday fundraisers as a concept have already shown their worth in P2P fundraising. Here we present some key metrics relating to explain why they are valuable. But why has BetterNow launched a whole new, updated experience for birthday fundraisers when we all know they live primarily on Facebook today?    

BetterNow has just launched a set of new features especially for birthday- and other celebration fundraisers. Our goal has been to create a better experience for the fundraiser by acknowledging their special occasion. In the sign-up they are asked about relevant information which is then used to send them a highly targeted email stewardship journey.

Birthday fundraisers and Facebook

In recent years it has been no secret among charities that Facebook has increased their number of birthday fundraisers tremendously. To some extent we have stopped bothering with birthday fundraisers, as they live on Facebook.  

But Facebook has one big downside: It’s Facebook (and therefore a third party). That means you don’t get donor data, you don’t own the donor relationship, and you don’t even own the relationship with the fundraiser.  

Hjärnfonden (The Swedish Brain Foundation) knows this, and this is one reason they requested this feature from BetterNow. As Emelie Bäckelin from Hjärnfonden puts it: “We prefer fundraisers to use our own platform, it gives us donor leads and we build a stronger relationship with the donor from day one.

Why use birthday fundraisers in the first place?

Birthday fundraisers are great for many different reasons. First of all, they are a great entry in to the world of P2P fundraising. In mainland Europe the majority of the population has never created their own personal fundraiser, and many don’t even know what it is. Birthday fundraisers are very clearly defined, and can thus be less daunting. The task is simple: replace your material birthday wishes with one of generosity. Wish for donations and a better world and have them replace bottles of wine and new dinner plates.  

Emelie Bäcklin captures this: “Birthday fundraisers are successful because they offer an easy solution for someone who doesn’t know what present to buy. Very few people will say no when your friend asks you for a donation to their fundraiser instead of a physical gift."

How do celebration fundraisers compare with other type of P2P fundraisers?

Let's look at some data for how they compare to other types of P2P fundraising. In the below we lump birthday fundraisers together with weddings, anniversaries and the like. Wedding fundraisers and other big celebration events in general do a bit better than birthday fundraisers, but only by small margin, and conceptually they are ver alike.  

The median fundraised amount for celebration and birthday fundraisers is 347€

The average amount fundraised is 347€ per fundraiser. If we break this down into birthdays vs other celebration events, then it is 399€ for other celebration events and 332€ birthday fundraisers.  

The median fundraised amount for celebration and birthday fundraisers is 39€

The median is the middle number, meaning that half of the fundraisers have raised more than 39 €, and half below that number. The activation rate is 60%, meaning that 40% don’t get started fundraising at all.  

60% of celebration and birthday fundraisers are activated

Compared to P2P fundraisers as a whole, all of these are lower than when calculated across all P2P fundraisers. But, they often have relatively low costs of recruitment and don’t require much work besides that. Therefore they still constitute a very attractive segment.  

Celebration fundraisers are especially popular for emergency aid charities. We think this is driven by emergency aid charities having identified birthdays as the easiest path into P2P fundraising for them, and therefore have strategically worked in this area. In other words, other causes could do that just as well.  

Celebration and birthday P2P fundraisers by charitable cause

Interest in more data? Get the same metrics on in-memory fundraising and tribute funds here.

Taken in as a whole

Birthday fundraisers should be a staple of any P2P fundraising strategy. They are easy to communicate and understand and therefore provide a stable flow of fundraisers.

When you use your own platform they also become strong generators of new donor leads. That is why we decided to build a better fundraiser experience for birthdays and other celebration fundraisers.
Read more about the new feature set here.

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