9 Things Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Should be Doing to Support a Great Participant Experience
If your nonprofit is like many today, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are critically important to your overall fundraising program. In our work with nonprofits, we at Cathexis Partners also find that it’s critically important to regularly evaluate if your peer-to-peer fundraising software is meeting your nonprofit’s needs. One important area to consider is how your software supports a great experience for your participants.
Here’s why: People expect a lot today from their online experience. As they participate in your campaigns, they’ll be comparing the experience with those of other online experiences, including those of Amazon, Facebook, and other familiar websites. It’s time to make sure your peer-to-peer software and strategy support the experience your participants expect.
While you may not need (or want) every one of the following features, consider them as you evaluate peer-to-peer fundraising software platforms for your nonprofit:
- Event registration — Does the platform offer the ability to have participants pay a registration fee, ask additional questions during registration, and electronically review and accept a waiver before completing registration?
- Ability to re-join campaign — Does the platform allow you to make returning participants’ lives easier by giving them the ability to “reclaim” their team from last year, or allow individual participants to look at who they sent emails to and who supported them last year? (In some cases, they can even reclaim their previous year’s personal fundraising page with text and images/videos and a list of who supported them previously. If this is an important capability to your organization, be sure to ask to see this in a product demo, as this is a nuanced feature that evolves often.)
- Gamification — Does the platform provide visual ways, such as engagement badges, to show competition and achievements throughout a campaign? (Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their work, and this type of recognition helps ensure that people who earn it get recognition.)
- Multi-registration — Does the platform give participants the convenience of registering multiple people in a single transaction?
- Credit card guarantee — Does the platform allow you to securely capture credit card information to hold for later charging if a participant does not meet an agreed upon minimum fundraising goal? (This functionality is popular for endurance or destination campaigns in which there are extra expenses by the organization to produce the event or get participants to the event. The participant commits to raise a minimum amount to cover these expenses, and their credit card is charged only if they fail to meet this minimum commitment.)
- Offline gift recording — Does the platform allow participants to enter offline (cash or check) gifts that they can then send in to the organization or hand in on the day of the event? (This also may allow participants’ progress meters to reflect donations even if the donations haven’t been processed by the organization yet.)
- Transaction fee coverage — Does the platform offer the donor and/or participant an option to cover credit card fees within their transaction?
- Personal pages — Does the platform allow participants to have personal fundraising pages?
- Progress meters — Does the platform have campaign, personal, and/or team progress meters, and/or a top fundraisers / top donors list.
You can learn more about essential software capabilities (as well as which software platforms offer each capability) in The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Technology Landscape. The Cathexis Partners team wrote this free guide to help you understand the platforms available and narrow the list so you can find the one that best supports your nonprofit.