Proven Tips for Every Stage in Your Nonprofit’s Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Journey

This article was originally posted on NonProfit PRO’s blog.

It can take a lot of work for a nonprofit to pull off a great peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or event. And, the truth is that not everyone is in the same place. You may be just getting started, or you may be looking to take your peer-to-peer program to the next level.

But no matter where you are in your peer-to-peer journey, you’re not alone. Others have been in your place, tried new approaches, learned what worked and what didn’t, and improved their campaigns. The great news is that you can learn from those who’ve gone before you.

Based on my work with hundreds of nonprofits at various levels of sophistication, here are some tips and resources for peer-to-peer fundraising success:

The basics

Whether you’re just starting a peer-to-peer program or you’re launching a new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, it’s important to have these basics in place.

  • Set goals.
    Make sure all stakeholders in your organization agree on the goals of your campaign. You may start simply, with goals for number of participants and number of dollars raised overall. But at the very least, make sure you know why you’re launching a campaign, what success looks like, and that everyone is on the same page.
  • Focus on your mission.
    Make sure the theme and details of your campaign tie to your organization’s mission, and let participants and donors know what their time and money is going to support. For example, associate the donation levels for your campaign or event with what the funds will provide for your mission. Letting supporters know that their donation will help feed a family of four or send a child to school for a year is more impactful than simply asking for a specific amount of money.
  • Set the tone.
    Think about how you want people to feel about your campaign. Do you want them to feel emotionally touched? Inspired? Outraged? Decide on your direction, and make sure your communications, promotions, and experience convey your tone through text and images.
  • Help your participants succeed.
    Provide participants with the information and tools they need to be a part of your campaign or event. Provide them with basic details: how the campaign or event works, when it starts and ends, and what they need to do to participate. Also, provide them with sample emails and suggestions about how to raise funds from their friends and family.
  • Select a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
    You need technology to support your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. To get started, take a look at this article about choosing a peer-to-peer fundraising platform as well as this guide about peer-to-peer fundraising platforms that integrate with Salesforce.

For more fundamentals on running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or event, read the guide, The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.

The next level

Once you have a few peer-to-peer campaigns or events under your belt, there are several things you can do to go a step further. Here are some proven tips for taking your peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level.

  • Enhance your participant toolkit.
    Up-level the tools you provide participants by adding FAQs, success stories, and other content and examples to help them raise more funds for your organization. Put in place regular communications to encourage them. And be sure to congratulate and recognize them when they reach fundraising milestones.
  • Follow up.
    Make sure you have standard processes for communications after someone commits to your cause. Some of these can be automatic while others may require action from a staff member. Some things to consider:
    • Create a process for communicating with team captains.
    • Have a plan for reaching out to top fundraisers (on the phone or in-person, if possible!).
    • Develop a clear thank you program to ensure fundraisers and donors feel appreciated.
  • Analyze your data.
    Take time to gather, analyze, and use data from your past peer-to-peer campaigns or events to uncover trends and find new opportunities to improve your results. For example:
    • Review funds raised based on your top fundraisers’ connection to your organization. In many cases, those who raise the most are a small percentage of your participants. Understanding more about them can help you target recruitment efforts with greater precision.
    • Use source codes in all digital recruitment efforts so you can attribute registrants to specific marketing channels. This will help you determine which strategies are worth keeping (and even putting more resources toward), and which to leave behind.
    • Use data from previous campaigns or events to add personalized notes to your recruiting emails. This approach can help you tap into the loyalty of past participants. For example, look up your previous years’ results, and add a personal note to your recruiting email, such as: “Thank you for raising $X last year.” or “Thank you for being one of our top 50 fundraisers last year.”

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, there’s always room to take your peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level.

Learn more about how to take your peer-to-peer campaigns to new heights: Watch the on-demand webinar, Crawl, Walk, Run Your Way to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Success

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