[GUEST POST] 6 Ways to Motivate Your Peer-to-Peer Participants to Raise More

As you design your next peer-to-peer social fundraising challenge, campaign, or event, consider how you can add elements that will motivate and encourage your participants to fundraise more and start fundraising earlier. At OneCause, we believe this means going beyond simply using leaderboards.

Fundraising leaderboards certainly have a place, but if this is your only form of recognition, it can be motivating for the few at the top and de-motivating for the rest!

“I used to think that losing made you hungrier and determined, but after my success at the Olympics and the U.S. Open, I realize that winning is the biggest motivation.” — Andy Murray

Here are few top ideas to motivate and encourage your peer-to-peer fundraising participants:

1. Leaderboards for more than just fundraising

The success of your peer-to-peer campaign or event relies on more than fundraising. It’s important to focus on participation and awareness, too.

That’s why it’s important to include leaderboards to recognize participants for recruiting and social sharing, not just for fundraising totals. Some people may be effective recruiters, and others may have large social networks. Let them contribute however they can, and be sure to recognize and reward them for it!

2. Peer-to-peer contests

Time-sensitive, short-term contests are a great way to engage your volunteer fundraisers, build excitement, and create urgency to take action. Contests let you give more participants the chance to make a leaderboard and be recognized as contributing members of the team.

Since many peer-to-peer fundraising participants register well in advance, this is a fun way to keep them engaged before the grand finale event or end of the campaign. Plus, it gives them more opportunities to “win” and be recognized!

Consider creating contests for individual fundraiser, teams, or both. You can run multiple contests and exclude winners of earlier contests to give even more participants opportunities to win. For those who cannot physically participate, contests are a great way to help them feel included and create new opportunities to be recognized.

3. Matching gifts

Create more urgency and boost your fundraising by announcing a matching gift day or week!

Secure a matching gift agreement from one or more sponsors or major donors. If they will be making a large donation anyway, ask them if it could be used as a matching gift. They will feel great knowing their donation will inspire more fundraising.

As donations get matched during your drive, these generous donors will receive recognition with a timeline entry each time. This gives your volunteers a powerful reason to fundraise, and donors will feel especially motivated knowing their donations will be multiplied.

Seeing their matching gifts instantly increase their fundraising total will further fuel everyone’s fundraising efforts.

TIP: Use a matching gift during a fundraising contest to spur friendly competition!

4. Milestone or achievement badges and emails

Milestones are achievement levels or thresholds that you can define for your participants: a completed percentage of your total fundraising goal, a specific dollar amount raised, or total points earned.

Milestones are an effective way to motivate participants to stay engaged while recognizing and rewarding them for their efforts. For each milestone you define, you create an associated badge to be displayed on the participant and/or team page to provide additional motivation!

5. Interim goals

Interim goals are specific, time-bound goals within any challenge, campaign, or fundraising event. They are essentially mini-goals to boost involvement and create urgency. This can be particularly helpful for year-round or multi-year peer-to-peer campaigns or other events that take place over an extended period. Create interim goals for registrations, new teams, or donations.

6. Participant dashboard to display progress

We all perform better when we have clear goals and know where we stand. Giving your participants a dashboard of how they are performing can be an excellent motivator. Seeing their progress displayed in a visual way is powerful, plus it gives them a reason to interact with their participant page more frequently.

We hope this article gives you some ideas. What are some new elements you can add to your next peer-to-peer campaign or event to motivate your participants?

by Amy Van Wyngarden, Sr. Director, Peer-to-Peer Client Experience, OneCause®

Amy Van Wyngarden spent many years in corporate high tech before she began working in nonprofit technology in 2005 and got hooked on helping nonprofits use technology to engage supporters. She co-created the OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution (formerly Great Feats) to serve the nonprofit space with a social and mobile-first platform to support innovative types of engagement and fundraising campaigns as well as reimagine traditional peer-to-peer fundraising.

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