How the American Diabetes Association Measures Event Fundraising Results

If you’re in New York next week, you’ll want to attend a free Event Fundraising Roundtable sponsored by Event360 and Blackbaud.

My good friend Shana Masterson of the American Diabetes Association will be on the panel, so bring your notepad and pent!

Shana is the National Associate Director of Interactive Fundraising and Engagement for the ADA, which is another way of saying that she probably knows more about event fundraising than you do.

I recently asked her a couple of questions about how the ADA measures their event fundraising results. Here’s Shana’s response:

How are you measuring online and offline event fundraising results?

In addition to the usual fan growth and engagement stats, we measure outcomes and results of different channels very closely – with an eye towards achieving our aggressive fundraising goals.

  • Conversions sourced through social media sites: Blackbaud’s TeamRaiser provides some source information in reporting. We also build URL parameters into links shared on social media so we can track registrations and donations back to specific posts. One of our most recent successes was a strategically planned Facebook promoted post about Red Striders.
  • Website traffic and where efforts should lie: Facebook is currently #4 in driving traffic to our sites and #1 overall for external referrers, even surpassing We’re also starting to see that participants who register through Facebook tend to raise more than average.
  • Donations and registrations through Facebook applications: We utilize Charity Dynamics’ Boundless Fundraising application, which allows participants to easily share and schedule posts on Facebook. Facebook fundraising brings in lots of new donations from people you generally wouldn’t feel comfortable asking. For example, I received a donation from someone I met at a conference a few years back and haven’t seen in person since – all as a result of posting a message to Facebook!
  • Social sharing: We use ShareThis on all of our pages, have integrated Facebook comments onto personal and team pages and after someone makes a donation to one of our events, the donor gets a pop-up (similar to eventbrite) that allows them to share that activity to Facebook or Twitter. We track our most popular content and participant pages and monitor social chatter involving our brand.

What’s your best-kept secret for having amazing events?

When I started out as an event fundraiser, I didn’t have a computer at my desk, our events didn’t have an online component and social media wasn’t a part of daily life.

So I learned how to fundraise the old-fashioned way – by paying visits to supporters, hand-delivering gifts, making a lot of phone calls and mailing actual letters.

Find out what the ADA does on Facebook by liking their Page below:

Learn how one nonprofit increased their online fundraising by 1,400%!


Learn the tools, tactics, messaging, and website tweaks that created thier explosive result!


  1. John, you are too kind! Many of our special event social media tactics were found on this very blog. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge!

    The answers above reflect some ways we measure our social media results, not necessarily how we measure all online and offline results. Between what I track and analyze specifically for our online fundraising and engagement, and what we track organizationally to ensure event success, we could probably fill your blog for days to come!

    Social media and the metrics outlined above are critically important to achieving our aggressive goals, but they are only part of a multi-faceted strategy to continue growing our special events.

    Thanks again for being such an amazing resource to the nonprofit community!