Guest Blogger: Welcome Ed!

Today, the most amazing thing happened to me. I was sent an unsolicited guest post.  I love this!  I’m always asking folks to be guest bloggers. To share their stories and ides, but so far only a few of my friends have taken me up on my offer.  Today, when the 99 characters in the outlook preview read “Guest blog post for Friends Asking Amy” I immediately stopped what I was doing and went to read this very enticing email.

Below is the guest blog post from my good friend Ed Doolittle.  Thank you Ed for your kind words,  I’m blushing.  Take it away Ed….


As we started to design our AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run FAF website for 2012, looked at a lot of different thon sites around the country to see what others were doing.  Well, when it came down to it, all we needed to do was to ask Amy!  First a little bit of our story:

Over the past 3 years since we have been using the Friends Asking Friends platform we have had an increase in fundraising revenue, even though we have had a decrease in corporate cash support.  Our fundraising increases have averaged 8.7% year over year.  This has been accomplished several different ways:

Our first year on FAF was a great improvement over the platform we were using before. The second year we instituted a registration fee, which not only brought in extra income but we had a lot more participants that actually fundraised.  This enabled our team coordinators to really focus on those that were serious about fundraising for the cause and also conserved resources by not having to focus so much on the “zeros.”   The third year we refreshed our FAF site and did some minor design changes, which made it easier for the end user.  We also purchased a social media component to use.

Now we have upgraded to the essentials design and this year, I will say, our site is poppin’ hot!  So far in our soft launch our top fundraisers have loved it.   Making it easier for our fundraisers is definitely one of the keys to success.

Now, Amy, we have taken a lot of your advice.  We have done a lot of metrics based on last years’ numbers; (thanks Anna Leary) we pulled the mean, median and mode of giving. (Number geeks are good!)  We implemented a suggested giving level on all our donation pages.  We upped our median gift (the middle value of all gifts) by $10.00.  We also increased the suggested fundraising goal by $25.00.

One of our biggest challenges was to get fundraising participants to personalize their page and tell their story of why they are involved in our cause.  So instead of a mostly blank participant page, we have put a call to action and a thank you on every page so each donor gets solid information and can feel good about why they are donating to the cause even if the participant doesn’t personalize.

Thank you, Amy, for some great tips and thought-provoking ideas over the past year.  We felt confident enough that this year we could up our game just a bit.  We are pushing for a 12.5% increase in all fundraising and we hope to raise $1.125 M in the fight against HIV/AIDS, fight the stigma of it through prevention and education programs, HIV testing and counseling, emotional wellness, primary care and case management.

I loved the 2 Amy’s yesterday and your reference to the 2 Ed’s, 2 of each are better than one! My last thought of today and it was a takeaway from yesterday’s teleconference, I’ve heard it before but you should always remember that you need to find your focus.  My big three:

  • What’s my purpose?
  • Who’s my audience?
  • What’s my goal?

Registration opens 5/1 at