How to Optimize Your Nonprofit’s Efforts Throughout the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Lifecycle

When peer-to-peer fundraising is part of your nonprofit organization’s fundraising strategy, it can be easy to become focused on one aspect – such as recruiting participants or getting participants to return for the next event or campaign. But long-term success requires an ongoing effort to optimize the full peer-to-peer fundraising lifecycle – from recruiting, activating, and motivating participants to supporting and retaining them.

Let’s look at some tips for how you can optimize each phase of the peer-to-peer fundraising lifecycle:

Recruiting peer-to-peer fundraising participants

One of the first things to focus on when you’re thinking about recruiting peer-to-peer fundraising participants is being very clear about who you’re trying to attract. Make sure you articulate why different people might care about your program, event, or cause. Once you have targeted audience groups in mind, create demographic and psychographic profiles for each group to help you visualize who you are reaching out to in your marketing.

Activating and motivating your peer-to-peer participants

How do you get more of your peer-to-peer participants to fundraise? Believe it or not, some participants don’t realize they’re supposed to help your organization raise funds. They sometimes view their registration for your event as their contribution and stop there.

Getting over this obstacle starts with helping participants to understand that you are asking them to help your organization raise funds. That helps to get them activated.

Then, motivate them to fundraise by helping them understand the impact their efforts will have on your organization’s mission. Give them specific examples of what fundraising dollars help your organization to achieve and let them know about the impact of their efforts on the community you serve. Continue to remind them of their impact on your mission throughout your event or campaign and beyond.

Learn how a thoughtful email strategy can help you recruit peer-to-peer participants, coach your fundraisers, and build long-term relationships: Get the guide and workbook, Building Powerful Email Communications for Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns and Events

Supporting peer-to-peer participants

Peer-to-peer participants are not necessarily experienced fundraisers. Help them raise funds by providing them with support in every aspect of fundraising, including:

  • Providing them with easy-to-use technology for registering, for sending emails to friends and family, and for people in their network to make online donations
  • Giving them tools and messaging to help with their fundraising, including email templates, tips, and best practices
  • Having an appropriate level of staffing to help answer participant questions, and providing participants with contact information so they know where to go for answers

Find the right peer-to-peer fundraising software for your nonprofit. Get the guide and online tool in The Nonprofit Toolkit for Selecting Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software

Retaining peer-to-peer participants

Keeping peer-to-peer participants coming back year after year is critically important for your peer-to-peer fundraising program. It requires building an ongoing relationship with participants. Some ideas:

  • Be sure to acknowledge participants’ contributions through personal thank you messages and public recognition.
  • Ask for their feedback during and after the event or campaign.
  • Keep in touch with them throughout the year by letting them know what your organization is doing and how their efforts have helped.

Discover more tips for optimizing the peer-to-peer fundraising lifecycle

This article only scratches the surface of all that you can do to optimize your nonprofit’s efforts throughout the peer-to-peer fundraising lifecycle.

You can learn more in the on-demand session, How to Optimize the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Lifecycle. In this session from the recent It’s a Peer-to-Peer World virtual conference, Kari Bodell from Susan G. Komen joins me to share expert tips and resources for getting more out of your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts.

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