It’s no secret to nonprofit execs that your volunteers are some of your most important assets. And with the rising growth in personalized support systems like peer-to-peer fundraising, your nonprofit can utilize their involvement to create a much-needed avenue for donations.
The trend has grown rapidly in the last five years, but some staffers are still unaware — or wary — of peer-to-peer fundraising’s function and effectiveness. They might not be convinced of its ROI, or don’t even know where to start.
The good news is that Click & Pledge’s peer-to-peer feature makes this strategy easy to set up, implement, and track. Best of all, it’s included in every Click & Pledge account.
1) Know Your Demographic
The term “slacktivism” is thrown around a lot more these days to describe one’s minimal effort to become involved in political and social issues. And while some Baby Boomers love to throw around this portmanteau to describe my generation (It’s right up there alongside “Kids these days with their avocados,” and “Get off my lawn, hippie!”), the facts suggest otherwise.
Consistent data shows us that most peer-to-peer fundraisers are young (The term “Millennials” is such an exhausted cliché, but more on that in a later post.) Rather than investing money we (don’t) have, we’d much rather invest our time. That’s not to say we can’t be some of your most useful assets when it comes time for another charity drive.
How To Start
If you haven’t already cleaned up your donor management system, now’s the perfect time. Our integration with Salesforce® is one of the top-rated plugins on the AppExchange (it’s free, too). A good donor management system with a clean contact database will help you organize donors based on multiple criteria.
2) Expand Your Network
Recurring donations are great. Nobody’s arguing against that. But every garden needs routine watering, and your contact database needs refreshing, too. That’s why peer-to-peer fundraising is such a great avenue for enlisting recurring donors. It creates an awareness cycle for leads who haven’t heard of your organization, and creates the opportunity for you to reach out to one-time donors on a regular basis.
Your fundraising audience is not limited to today’s young professionals, but they do have some of the strongest social networks.
The point is that your volunteers, young or old, likely have friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, who reach far beyond the boundaries of your database. That includes a wide variety of demographics: friends, family members, colleagues, and other connections who might have a strong interest in getting involved with their respective causes.
How To Start
If you’ve got flexibility, then flaunt its ability. A good peer-to-peer fundraising solution will let you track all donations from each donor. At the very least, you should know how much they gave, to what campaign, and which fundraiser was the most directly influential.
Our peer-to-peer fundraising platform has that flexibility, and more. With Patron Value analytics in our Salesforce® Donor Management app, track your most influential donors and fundraisers based on networked donations logged within our system.
3) Make It Personal
The likelihood of receiving donations greatly increases once you involve your volunteers. Research shows that these individuals are twice as likely to donate than non-volunteers. If you enlist their aid in your next peer-to-peer campaign, they’re even more likely to get behind your efforts.
We’ve mentioned in earlier posts that storytelling is one of the most critical things you can do to gain someone’s attention. And without it, your nonprofit will capture neither hearts, nor minds.
Peer-to-peer networks expand when people feel compelled to give. Your best fundraisers will share their story over social media, explain why they’re supporting your organization, and ask their entire network to contribute to your cause.
How To Start
We designed our platform to be flexible for you to include as much (or as little) information you want in your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. We’ve simplified the campaign creation process for your organization to create as many as it needs. Here’s how you do it:
From the Connect dashboard, click on “Campaigns.”
Create a new Campaign, or modify an existing one using the “Edit” pencil icon in the Action section.
Now use the dropdown fields to make edits to your peer-to-peer Campaign page. Include images, text description, social network links, and more. You can even customize SEO to boost your campaign’s presence on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Head back to “Campaigns,” then click on the “View” eye icon. Now you can check on your progress and send the link to your friends, family, and social networks.
We also give you the ability to assign unlimited individual fundraisers to unlimited peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. This allows you to maintain flexibility for assigning fundraisers to either general fund campaigns, or to more specific initiatives within your organization.
We make it easy for you to involve fundraisers quickly with your campaign. All they need to do is go to the peer-to-peer campaign’s webpage, then click “Become a fundraiser.”
After filling out some profile information, you should receive an email asking whether to accept or reject this fundraiser. You also have the option of automatically accepting fundraisers within Connect.
After accepting the fundraiser, they’ll receive a welcome email. Then they can log in to Connect to customize their fundraising page, before sharing it with their networks.
4) Coordinate With Your Events Team To Include Volunteers In Peer-To-Peer Fundraising
As with any aspect of your fundraising mix, peer-to-peer campaigns shouldn’t be your only resource. But it helps to consider creative ways to tie your peer-to-peer campaign with upcoming events your staff may coordinate. Here are some good examples:
- The Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara recently coupled a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with its 2017 Green Gala as a ticketing solution. They even have an option to donate for those who wish to attend, but are unable.
- Frederick, Maryland’s Student Homeless Initiative Partnership (SHIP) set up a peer-to-peer campaign alongside a Lip Sync battle event (If you’re unfamiliar with Lip Sync battles, Jimmy Fallon’s got you covered.) Check out the comments section to see the love and support.
- The ARK in South Carolina used a similar tactic to use donations as votes for a Dancing With The Stars-esque fundraiser.
- KBUT in Crested Butte, Colorado, coupled its 2017 Summer Drive with a peer-to-peer fundraiser. They labeled each donation with a corresponding gift each donor will receive in turn.
Including your volunteers in peer-to-peer fundraising can be daunting at first. But it only takes a little bit of setup to get going and expand your opportunities. So whether you have a pretty savvy fundraising coordinator or are a little on the beginner side of the technology spectrum, there’s no need for a lengthy software implementation or onboarding processes.
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