US online fundraising company Kintera has reported that volunteer fundraisers using its “Friends Asking Friends®” (FAF) solicitation service raised more than four times as much in the year to 31 March 2004 as they did in the year to 31 March 2003.
Friends Asking Friends is used by volunteer fundraisers, such as donors and those taking part in sponsored events. It offers personalized websites and email services that the volunteer fundraiser can use to encourage donations from friends and family.
Volunteers can find out at any time how their campaign is progressing, with real-time tracking of donations, and email response rates.
Kintera’s FAF study was based on transactional data, including funds raised from donations and registrations, for two consecutive 12-month periods – the year to 31 March 2003, and the year to 31 March 2004.
In the first period, Kintera serviced 1,559 campaigns including 1,139 that used FAF; the second period had 4,713 campaigns including 3,352 that used FAF. The amounts given in the study are not the total amounts raised by these campaigns, but rather the amounts raised, both online and offline, using Kintera’s services.
In the year to 31 March 2004, campaigns using Kintera’s FAF services raised $192 million, of which $48 million (25%) was donated online. In the year to 31 March 2003, the figures were $93 million total and $12 million (12.6%) online.
The amount raised both online and offline by volunteers who used FAF to solicit increased from $14 million 2003 to $61 million in 2004. Of these, the amounts donated online were $8 million in the first period and $32 million in the second period.
Volunteers using FAF received on average one donation for every 4.2 FAF solicitation emails sent during 2003, and increased to one per 3.5 emails sent during 2004.
The success of Friends Asking Friends underpins a steep rise in the amount raised using Kintera services. All nonprofit campaigns using Kintera services for the year to 31 March 2004 raised $230 million, compared to $101 million in the same period a year earlier.