[GUEST POST] FundRAGING with Friends

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in the FREE industry paper, The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Technology Landscape: An Overview of Leading Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Platforms and Their Functionality, by Cathexis Partners. 

The nonprofit sector has been busy lately with national campaigns, days of action, large-scale fundraising, and online petitions. As the political climates nationally and locally influence your programs, services, and the policies you want to advance, your community may want to join you in taking action. For many people, the driving force for action is anger — anger that funding may decrease, anger that more people need support services, anger that the intentions of policy makers are in conflict with the mission of the organization.

Ultimately, that anger is good. If your community is mad, it means they are ready to take action. And, you need to be prepared to direct that energy toward productive actions for your organization. What does that mean? Rage fundraising: Supporters starting campaigns to raise funds from their friends and family as a means of taking action and feeling like they are contributing to the change they want to see.

Your supporters believe in your mission and want to be part of it. You already know that you need to keep them informed of all that you are doing; but you should also keep them up to date about threats to your work. When your supporters know what you do, how you do it, and why it is successful, you’ve invested in making sure that when they watch the news and see something that could impact your community or programs, they want to step up to protect it. Having a peer-to-peer fundraising platform in place allows you to keep all the tools and messaging at the ready for your community to start campaigns and spark action in their networks on your behalf.

To successfully harness your community’s rage and direct it into fundraising, you’ll need:

  1. Peer-to-peer platform in place: You don’t want to be slowed down by finding and launching a peer-to-peer platform when your community is ready for action; you’ll miss your opportunity!
  2. Toolkits: Hopefully, you have too many community members joining the campaign for you to assist each one individually, so build basic toolkits for how to start fundraising that they can find and follow on their own.
  3. Compelling content: Your community wants to have all the right things to say, so be ready to draft content that is relevant to the news and issues most important to them that they can use in building their fundraising campaign and sharing it across the web.

Remember, you have a big role to play in all of this, but the power comes from your community getting to be in the spotlight. Build the momentum with strong and frequent messages across channels — email, your website, social media — to help distill the news into relevant updates. Position your organization as the translator, informer, and community organizer, with your supporters the ones you are actually supporting.

By Amy Sample Ward, CEO, NTEN

Amy Sample Ward is the CEO of NTEN as well as a frequent speaker and author focused on the use of technology for social impact, from digital inclusion to social innovation.

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