However strong you consider your online fundraising strategy to be, it’s almost certain that the internet has allowed your nonprofit to reach more donors in more innovative ways over the past few years. Whether you’re interacting with your supporters over social media or accepting donations through your website, connecting with your donors has never been more convenient.
Your organization is sure to boost online giving when you incorporate a few creative fundraising strategies that show your donors just how easy and fun these giving methods are. Today, we’ll show you how your organization can maximize the benefits of two popular internet-based fundraising methods: peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and mobile fundraising. Let’s discuss how you can:
- Choose the right peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising tools.
- Identify enthusiastic volunteer fundraisers for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
- Promote your peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising initiatives online.
- Make your website visitors aware of your peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising methods.
- Encourage supporters to keep giving after your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign ends.
Both peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and mobile fundraising are strategies that make giving convenient and fun for donors, provided that your organization has selected the right software to facilitate these methods. We’ll begin with the foundation of successful peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising strategies: choosing the right tools.
1. Choose the right peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising tools.
If your organization is relatively new to the world of online fundraising beyond the basic donation page on your website, you’ve probably heard of peer-to-peer fundraising but may not have had a chance to start one of these campaigns yet yourself. In a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your supporters take the lead, serving as volunteer fundraisers by sharing personalized donation pages with their networks of family, friends, and followers online.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are structured similarly to crowdfunding campaigns; they both place an emphasis on individuals sharing donation pages over social media. Before your organization can select the perfect volunteer fundraisers from among your current donors, however, you’ll need to choose online fundraising software that features peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities.
Every organization has unique needs, so be sure that your fundraising team identifies those and keeps them in mind as you research peer-to-peer fundraising campaign platforms. However, there are a few features to look for from which almost every nonprofit can benefit, including:
- Customization. Peer-to-peer fundraising works best when your volunteer fundraisers can personalize their pages to express to their friends and followers their individual reasons for supporting your cause. A platform that allows for significant customization is thus more effective as a fundraising tool.
- Gamification. Motivate your volunteer fundraisers with your peer-to-peer fundraising software’s gamification elements. Fundraising thermometers show fundraisers and donors how close or far away your organization is from its goal, while badges, leaderboards, and trophies reward active fundraisers and encourage them to rise in the rankings!
- Mobile-responsive display. As our smartphones become more and more indispensable in our daily lives, donors are more likely than ever to run across their friends’ peer-to-peer fundraising pages on their phones. Don’t make them wait to get to a computer to donate! Ensure that your peer-to-peer fundraising software produces donation pages that are as easy to navigate and use on mobile as they are on desktop screens.
Want to expand your organization’s mobile giving capabilities as well as incorporate peer-to-peer fundraising into your next fundraising push? Visit Snowball Fundraising to learn more about how a comprehensive online fundraising platform can help you reach more donors and build stronger relationships with them.
2. Identify enthusiastic volunteer fundraisers for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are unique in that they transform your most dedicated supporters into volunteer fundraisers, allowing them to take the lead in promoting your campaign and encouraging their networks to donate. Ensure that your campaign is effective by choosing volunteer fundraisers who will be enthusiastic and proactive about sharing your campaign.
When your organization chooses volunteer fundraisers, you’re looking for individuals who share your mission and have demonstrated their support for your cause in the past. Searching for the right people to reach out to? Try:
- Significant or recurring donors. Supporters who have given significant donations to your organization or who make regular contributions are strong potential volunteer fundraisers because they understand the importance of supporting your organization.
- Volunteers. Your volunteers are dedicated to your cause and eager to spread the word about the good work you do. They’re great to reach out to when you’re looking for volunteer fundraisers.
- Social media supporters. Especially if your organization already has a strong social media presence, consider asking your most active social media followers for their help in your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. They’re committed to your cause and already savvy when it comes to online communication.
Wherever you find your volunteer fundraisers, don’t forget to communicate with them and thank them just as you would permanent members of your fundraising staff. Their hard work is essential to the success of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign! Your organization may wish to provide your volunteer fundraisers with rewards upon the conclusion of the campaign, especially the individual who raises the most for your cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a top effective fundraising idea because it engages your current donors and new supporters where they already are—on social media! To ensure your campaign’s success, you’ll need to ensure that you’re promoting the campaign on your donors’ favorite platforms and making it easy for them to give online and via mobile.
3. Promote your peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising initiatives online.
Getting your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign up and running is only the first step toward your fundraising success. The most effective peer-to-peer campaigns are those that are shared widely across social media and encourage genuine engagement with your cause.
Your volunteer fundraisers should promote your fundraiser as they would a crowdfunding campaign, focusing on the social media sites where they know their friends, families, and other potential supporters are most likely to see their donation pages. Additionally, they should remember to:
- Emphasize the time-sensitive nature of the campaign. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns often culminate in an anchor event or the start of your organization’s newest project. Whether or not this is the case for your peer-to-peer campaign, your volunteer fundraisers should update potential supporters with your fundraising progress and encourage them to help you reach your goal.
- Tell a memorable story. Focusing on your organization’s cause or project is always an excellent strategy. Encourage your volunteer fundraisers to share their individual reasons for investing themselves in your organization’s mission on their personalized donation pages.
- Encourage campaign supporters to keep giving using other methods. One of the best aspects of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is how easily they can lead supporters to become more regular online or mobile donors! Ensure that your volunteer fundraisers share such important resources as your organization’s online donation page and any text giving information you may have so that campaign supporters can continue to give.
Want to encourage mobile giving following the conclusion of a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign? Consider a comprehensive fundraising software solution that offers text-to-give service, a convenient giving method that allows your supporters to donate just by sending a text to a designated number assigned to your organization.
To encourage text-to-give and other mobile and online donation methods after the conclusion of your peer-to-peer campaign, ensure that your volunteer fundraisers direct interested supporters to your website, where they can continue giving and learn more about the good work your organization does. At the same time, your website visitors should be aware of your peer-to-peer campaign and all of the ways they can contribute to your organization.
4. Make your website visitors aware of your peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising methods.
For many if not most of your supporters, your website is their primary destination for updates on your organization’s progress and information on how to support your work. When you’re in the middle of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or want to promote mobile giving during and after the campaign, be sure to direct your website visitors to the appropriate locations and resources as soon as they arrive on your site.
The best nonprofit websites are easy to navigate, modern looking, and prominently feature the information your visitors are most likely to be looking for when they arrive. Want to ensure that your website visitors are aware of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign? Provide a progress update, perhaps in the form of a fundraising thermometer, on your website and ensure that potential donors know where they can access donation pages to make their contributions.
After your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign concludes, many supporters who may have been relatively unfamiliar with your organization prior to the campaign are likely to visit your website in search of additional ways they can get involved. This is a great opportunity to promote mobile giving!
Ensure that you provide a link to your mobile-responsive online giving page as well as any text giving information you may have. Additionally, you can encourage your volunteer fundraisers to share this information after supporters give to their campaigns.
Having an engaging website is one of the most important ways in which you can steward newer donors early in your relationship with them. Especially if your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign was one of their first experiences with making online or mobile donations, you can encourage them to maintain their support by providing future giving opportunities that are easy to navigate and use.
5. Encourage supporters to keep giving after your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign ends.
Your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is a great way to illustrate to both current and new donors just how easy online and mobile giving can be. Whether they’re dedicated supporters who served as volunteer fundraisers or new donors who arrived via your peer-to-peer campaign, ensure that you provide several easy-to-use giving tools so that they can maintain their support for your cause.
Looking for ways to build on the strength of your peer-to-peer campaign? Don’t forget about strategies you can use all year round, including:
- Mobile giving. Among all possible donation methods, mobile giving is perhaps the most convenient. Many of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign supporters will already have made their contributions via mobile. If they didn’t but would like to do so in the future, ensure that they have the right link or information so that they can complete a donation from their phone in seconds. You can provide this on your website, on social media, or through your volunteer fundraisers.
- Multiple donation methods. Motivated to refresh your organization’s giving strategy? Check out re:Charity’s list of the best online donation tools to help you choose the right giving platform for your organization. A software solution that facilitates text-to-give in addition to traditional mobile giving makes it even easier for your supporters to give and can come in handy at a variety of fundraising events in addition to routine donation.
- Thanking your donors. As you evaluate the success of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and encourage participants to maintain their support via mobile and online giving, don’t forget to show your gratitude to all of your supporters. Your volunteer fundraisers deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work, while your newest donors will appreciate your organization thanking them for their individual contributions.
Mobile and online fundraising are here to stay, and they’re only becoming more popular. Take advantage of these methods to motivate donors and strengthen your relationships with them. Through this process, you’re sure to become more connected to the individuals on whom your organization’s future success depends.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are a fun and exciting way to introduce current and new supporters to your organization’s mobile and other online donation capabilities. Encourage them to initiate and maintain their support by emphasizing the convenience of these methods.
Guest author: John Killoran
John Killoran is CEO of Snowball, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites. John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past 5 years. When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.