[GUEST POST] 3 Best Practices for Peer-to-Peer Messaging to Engage Fundraisers

Peer-to-Peer event coordinators often struggle with frequency and relevance when it comes to campaign messaging. It’s no surprise! Social Donors and Social Fundraisers have different motivators and behaviors and engage in campaigns for different reasons.

To effectively reach and activate different supporters, nonprofits can leverage automated messaging and platform communications to motivate and connect people to peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.

Most peer-to-peer platforms have some form of messaging capabilities built in. It’s an effective tool to create reach, communicate to your base, and increase overall fundraising effectiveness. Common peer-to-peer message types include:

  • Transactional
  • Milestone and incentive
  • Social listening

Getting the most out of transactional messages

Transactional messages are automated messages (texts or emails) sent to donors or participants when they perform a transaction, such as completing a registration, donating, or in the case of participants, when a donation is made by someone in their network.

Transactional messages are used for functional communication, to let supporters know that an action has been completed. Pure and simple, they communicate the business functions of your campaign.

Many peer-to-peer fundraisers overlook the opportunity to turn transactional communications into engagement.

TIP: Getting the most from transactional messages means expecting more from your peer-to-peer software. Look for ways to go beyond simple supporter communications to messages that empower and engage!

A best practice is to turn transaction messages into engagement notifications. Look for tools that notify participants via email and text of donations made on their behalf and allow them to quickly message donors. Using built-in features not only streamlines communications but also creates donor touchpoints that motivate and build momentum.

This empowers participants to engage donors directly and take communications best practices to a new level.

Harnessing momentum through motivational messages

Motivational messages encourage supporters to keep fundraising! They trigger when fundraising amounts or milestones are reached, and they fuel positive fundraising behaviors.

Examples of motivational messages:

  • “Great job on fundraising! You’re halfway to your goal! Keep going!”
  • “Congratulations on reaching the Rockstar Level! You’ve qualified to receive your own hoodie! Click here to confirm your address and size.”

Motivational messages are even more effective when combined with milestone incentives. Milestone-based automated messages generate based on fundraising and recruitment accomplishments. They provide timely messaging that fuels the competitive nature of peer-to-peer participants. By tying messaging with milestones, you can inspire participants to reach fundraising goals.

After all, peer-to-peer fundraising is not a “one and done” communication strategy. The key is to encourage more fundraising. Motivational messages push participants to reach the next level.

A motivational message that congratulates someone for their achievement and tells them that they qualify for a special event day experience (think VIP parking or a special shirt or hat) is more motivating that simply bridging the gap between where you are now and your goal.

TIP: Automated messaging through text is very effective for driving secondary actions from donations. Notifying participants via automated text about donations provides instant gratification and real-time encouragement they need to keep going. Find ways to use text-based messaging strategically throughout your campaign to drive increased fundraising.

Harness social listening to enhance messaging

The power of peer-to-peer fundraising depends on the reach and impact of social networks. Nonprofits can use social listening tools, combined with automated messaging, to empower supporters to spread the word, creating more effective social reach for campaign success.

Hashtags are regularly used in peer-to-peer fundraising to drive awareness and online engagement. They help campaigns trend in social media and are effective promotional strategies to reach new supporters.

There is another level to hashtag strategy. Nonprofits have an opportunity to leverage hashtags to drive more reach and social proof. If your system supports actively listening for your hashtag, you can set up auto-reply messages to encourage people to join or donate to the campaign. This magnifies social proof, drawing in new supporters and fueling campaign success!

TIP: Include your hashtag in your campaign site design, promotions, and outbound communications as well as in all built-in messages your participants use to recruit and ask for donations. Include automated social responses when specific hashtags are used with social content.

In summary, automated messages can play a significant role in increasing peer-to-peer engagement, increasing fundraising performance, and optimizing the participant experience. As we move into a world where digital communications drive more and more fundraising, nonprofits can use simple best practices to grow fundraising effectiveness.

Learn more
Setting up custom, automated messages requires the right peer-to-peer fundraising software. Learn about important functionality to look for in your peer-to-peer software: Read The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platform Integrations with Salesforce.

by Amy Van Wyngarden, VP Peer-to-Peer Client Experience, OneCause®

Amy Van Wyngarden brings over 13 years of nonprofit fundraising technology experience and 14 years of high tech experience in product, sales, marketing and client success to her role as VP of Peer-to-Peer Client Experience for OneCause. Amy works directly with clients and cross-functionality within OneCause to continually improve the experience we provide. Once Amy began working in nonprofit technology, she got hooked on serving nonprofits and helping them engage supporters. This passion eventually led her to co-create the OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution (formerly Great Feats) to enable innovative social engagement and fundraising approaches as well as reimagine traditional peer-to-peer fundraising.

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