In an ideal situation, donors would allocate support for your nonprofit by giving time and funds without provocation. However, have you considered that more donors may step forward if they were approached by friends and family instead of a faceless organization?
Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) puts this exact concept to work by using personal connections to inspire donors from all backgrounds to invest in your nonprofit’s cause.
These modern fundraising campaigns allow your supporters to build personal donation pages and set their own fundraising goals. These teams then appeal to their social circle for online donations and fundraising event support.
To make the most of your P2P campaign, we’ll explore the top five best practices your nonprofit can take to the bank:
- Optimize your peer-to-peer fundraising team.
- Choose the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
- Own all of your peer-to-peer marketing outlets.
- Spark competition with peer-to-peer gamification tools.
- Tie in a fabulous peer-to-peer fundraising event.
With these foolproof strategies, your nonprofit will not only join in the fun of peer-to-peer fundraising, but also blow everyone away with your master campaign!
Let’s get started with how to assemble your peer-to-peer fundraising dream team!
1. Optimize Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Team
Like all great successes, the key to your peer-to-peer fundraiser’s triumph is rooted in a dynamic team coming together to give their all for your cause.
Start rallying your fundraising troops by noting above-and-beyond philanthropic traits in your existing donor base such as:
- Past giving to your nonprofit or a like-minded organization.
- A history of volunteer work at your nonprofit or a similar organization.
- Previous experience with fundraising, marketing, or online donations.
- Frequent fundraising event attendees or merchandise buyers.
Narrow down these top qualities more efficiently by segmenting donor data beforehand in your donor management software. In this way, your fundraising staff can more easily pinpoint desirable factors in your top P2P fundraising team candidates.
You can also consult your donors and staff for recommendations on who they think would be an excellent member of your peer-to-peer fundraising team.
After analyzing prospects, recruit your P2P fundraising team by sending out tailored communications via email, phone call, or handwritten letter. Build up each candidate by stressing how their unique talents and social connections can advance your campaign.
Once your team is assembled, have a training system in place for preparing your P2P fundraisers with tactics guaranteed to make their fundraising efforts fun and lucrative.
You should also provide print and online fundraising resources for your team to reference during the campaign like:
- Fundraising videos, downloadable resources, and print guides for P2P solicitation.
- Routine in-person training workshops lead by your development director.
- Remote training workshops that offer two-way communication.
It’s likely that your P2P team will have a range of fundraising backgrounds, so it’s important for your nonprofit to ensure everyone is on the same page with your game plan by making yourself available for training and questions.
Takeaway: Manage an effective peer-to-peer fundraising team by researching your recruits and providing extensive training.
2. Choose the Right Peer-to-Peer Platform
A huge fundraising challenge that nonprofits commonly face while organizing a peer-to-peer fundraiser is selecting the right platform to evolve with your ever-changing needs.
The truth is your peer-to-peer fundraising platform is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle because it will determine how your nonprofit:
- Communicates with your fundraising team.
- Manages the flow of online donations.
- Tracks your campaign and individual fundraiser’s progress.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled the key fundraising essentials your P2P platform must have, including:
- Simple setup process that doesn’t eat up time and energy.
- Customizable features to give personal flair to your team’s individual campaign pages.
- Scalable design to keep up with your growing P2P initiatives.
- Social sharing options across a variety of online channels.
- Gamification features to foster a fun and competitive climate.
In addition to checking off these beneficial functions, make sure to clarify with your peer-to-peer platform provider that their system will integrate fluidly with your current fundraising software.
This simple request can save you a world of time and hassle because it will allow you to easily transition new donor data into your nonprofit CRM, thus ensuring a seamless donor database.
Compare and contrast top-of-the-line peer-to-peer fundraising platforms today by reviewing Qgiv’s essential roundup.
Takeaway: Invest in a lasting peer-to-peer platform by shopping around for these vital software qualities for coordinating a winning campaign.
3. Own All Your Peer-to-Peer Marketing Outlets
Part of the brilliance of peer-to-peer fundraising is that it calls on your team to reach out to friends and family through a variety of communication forms.
This holds particularly true for online channels considering nonprofits have an average 285 Facebook fans and 112 Twitter followers for every 1,000 email subscribers.
Social media and email are both excellent marketing resources because they allow you to succinctly explain your P2P campaign and send helpful links and visual aids for donors to share with others.
Furthermore, many of your donors are likely already active on email and social media, which guarantees they can quickly use those avenues to spread the word to crowds of people in a short amount of time.
On the other hand, direct mail in the form of letters, thank-you cards, and pamphlets can add a tangible element to your P2P marketing that captures and retains a donor’s attention.
While online and offline marketing both have pros and cons, nonprofits can agree that there are definite actions you can take to better promote your P2P campaign.
Some of these verified best practices include:
- Telling Stories — Your nonprofit and P2P team members can provide sentimental depth to your mission by sharing personal stories on campaign pages and fundraising materials.
- Using Visual Aids — Add creative flair to your promotions by incorporating eye-catching visuals like photos, videos, and infographics both on and offline.
- Recognizing Donor and Fundraiser Accomplishments — Take the time to give individual shout-outs to exceptional donors and fundraising team members on social media or your nonprofit newsletter.
Take it one step further by tailoring your communications to your donors’ preferences. For example, an on-the-go donor may appreciate the speed and convenience of social media versus a more traditional donor who may find more value in a handwritten letter.
You can discover which promotional method a donor responds to best simply by examining their donor data in your donor management software.
Takeaway: By taking note of the advantages of multiple marketing channels, your peer-to-peer fundraising team can develop personalized promotions that best target prime donors.
4. Spark Competition with Peer-to-Peer Gamification Tools
Fundraising is by no means all work and no play; in fact, there are several measures your nonprofit can take to induce a fun and competitive peer-to-peer atmosphere.
The most handy of these is incorporating gamification tools into your peer-to-peer platform for team members to strive for and achieve notable incentives.
Below you’ll find some of the biggest crowd pleasers when it comes to P2P gamification:
- Fundraising Thermometers — Showcase this branded virtual tool on your nonprofit’s peer-to-peer donation page and watch the “temperature” rise as your team gets closer to your fundraising goal.
- Fundraising Badges — Some P2P platforms offer online badges to fundraiser’s who pass significant milestones in their fundraising goal. These badges can then be featured on personal donation pages.
- Leaderboards — Inspire competition among your peer-to-peer fundraisers by displaying top-performing participants on your nonprofit’s main donation page. You can also offer prizes and honorable mentions as fundraising incentives.
What’s more, your P2P fundraisers can establish team fundraising pages to enhance their overall efforts and inspire rich camaraderie. Peer-to-peer gamification is a stellar motivator for keeping participants interested throughout your entire campaign.
Takeaway: By bringing playful elements to your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your team members can have memorable experiences that can make them more likely to sign up for future fundraisers.
5. Tie in a Fabulous Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Event
A peer-to-peer fundraising campaign will often culminate in a grand finale in the form of a celebratory fundraising event.
Adding a fundraising event to your P2P campaign provides a wonderful opportunity for your nonprofit to connect with donors in-person who share personal ties with your fundraising team members.
Fundraising events will usually reflect the accomplishments of one of three peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns such as:
- Time-based campaigns — This strategy takes place within a limited timeframe that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year and usually features an event.
- Rolling campaigns — This initiative goes all-year-round and usually aims to generate money for a nonprofit’s annual fund.
- Giving days — A relatively new idea, giving days inspire donors to raise a specific goal within 24 hours or less.
The type of campaign your nonprofit hosts can provide significant direction to which fundraising event will best complement your peer-to-peer fundraiser and how to market it.
As a general rule of thumb however, peer-to-peer fundraising events tend to pair best with active activities that harness the power of teamwork — much like the campaign itself!
Here are a few nonprofit fundraising events proven to be hits time and again:
- Marathons (walkathons, cycling, etc.)
- Themed races (The Color Run, murder mystery 5Ks, etc.)
- Team sports (basketball, football, etc.)
- Obstacle courses (zombie mud run, egg-and-spoon race, etc.)
To manage all the finer details of your fundraising event, it’s always a good call to invest in a well-rounded and easy-to-navigate fundraising event software.
In particular, Fonteva’s Assemble Events software is perfect for managing event planning, registration, and payment processing for large-scale or multi-day events all while integrating smoothly with Salesforce.
Takeaway: After running the majority of your P2P campaign online, a corresponding fundraising event allows your nonprofit to interact with donors and team members face-to-face in a relaxed environment.
There you have it; all the tools your nonprofit needs to coordinate a killer peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that intimately draws in (and retains) donors. All that’s left is for you to go out and make it happen; good luck!
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry-leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.