Special Olympics Logo

For a great cause

understanding the Donation Base

the challenge

Special Olympics wanted to understand the distribution of participant sign ups and donations up until an event by key event dimensions Ultimately they wanted like to forecast sign ups and donations so that they could optimally change marketing activities to meet their desired event targets

the strategy

The analysis  focused on a foundational exploratory analysis to understand sign up and donation patterns. Over 50,000 records were analyzed containing participant signups and donations. In addition the following fields were provided:



Gift amount

Online vs offline donation

Group vs Individual

Repeat donor vs one-time donation

The distribution of sign-ups and donations were examined by Days to Event.

the solution

Our analysis determined that the  average donation had increased each year and the average gift was higher if an individual belongs to a team, donates offline and is a repeat donor. Participant sign up and donation contributions are very predictable by week so we were able to provide an excellent opportunity for forecasting total event dollars. We also found that online donations represent 69% of total donation dollars and occur at a faster pace presumably due to the ease of making an online donatio

We helped the client understand It maked sense to market to past participants and donors using social and email marketing to increase engagement, to look at donations by city and focus marketing in those high donation areas to “pick the low hanging fruit”

Event data was available for 50,873 individual leads including participants and donors

Number of participants and donations have dropped in the past 3 years

94% of participants and 73% of donations are from Virginia

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