The following is a guest post from Donately.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is an excellent technique for any nonprofit looking to make the most of their online presence. It gives your organization the capacity to connect with prospects, engage current donors, and ultimately reach new fundraising heights.
If you’ve never experimented with peer-to-peer fundraising, there’s no time like the present! With more fundraising efforts being shifted online, now is the optimal time to explore digital methods. In short, peer-to-peer campaigns involve you inviting your dedicated supporters to take on the role of fundraisers themselves. They’ll create personalized campaign pages and share them with their friends, families, and social media networks. Together, they’ll work to secure crucial fundraising dollars in order to meet your aspirational revenue goals.
Here are some actionable tips for making the most of your peer-to-peer campaigns:
- Train your peer-to-peer participants »
- Conduct multi-channel outreach »
- Prioritize the giving experience »
- Maintain an open line of communication »
1. Train Your Peer-To-Peer Participants
Sometimes, your volunteer fundraisers need a bit of guidance so that they’re equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to be successful. By taking the time to train them before the campaign, you’ll see greater results later. Plus, they’ll be much more eager and motivated if they’re effectively gathering donations!
With current social distancing guidelines and shelter-in-place orders in full effect, it simply isn’t feasible to hold in-person training sessions. However, there are plenty of digital alternatives for arming your participants with powerful best practices, such as the following:
- Create “how-to” guides and resources. Your volunteer fundraising team may consist of supporters who are entirely new to campaigning so provide them with all the information you can. With these informational resources, you’ll want to explain your campaign, the need for it, its potential impact, and your revenue goals. From here, include FAQs and offer some tips for successful fundraising.
- Make a short video. For participants with busy schedules, offer webinars that outline the peer-to-peer basics, from setting up their campaign pages to implementing best practices. They can reference these at any point during the campaign. Plus, you can archive them and use them again for future peer-to-peer campaigns!
- Set up an online “how-to” session. Digital sessions invite participants to interact with your team and ask any burning questions. These tailored sessions allow you to answer questions directly instead of relying on your team to accurately predict what questions they might have. Plus, they’re a great way to spark engagement!
- Create templates. You know all the nuances that go into creating a compelling narrative and composing a dynamite social media post that captures prospects’ attention. Your volunteer fundraisers don’t! While you can’t necessarily write your participants’ fundraising asks, you can give them resources that will help. Offer templates and encourage them to customize them to express their personal connection to your cause.
- Designate a point of contact for questions. Questions and challenges may arise once the campaign kicks off. Ensure you’ve designated a point of contact to help participants the moment they need it so fundraisers won’t be left to navigate challenges on their own.
The main idea here is that you’ll set yourself up for success by setting your participants up for success. Remember, fundraising can be intimidating, especially for newcomers. By providing them with all the resources they need to be successful up front, they’ll be much more confident in their efforts. Stay hands-on with them from the start, and it will show as you make steady progress towards your fundraising goals.
To ensure you’re armed with accurate knowledge before training your fundraising team, explore Donately’s peer-to-peer fundraising best practices guide. By doing so, you’ll be able to instantly answer volunteers’ questions and give them every opportunity to succeed.
2. Conduct Multi-Channel Outreach
Once you’ve recruited a team of passionate fundraisers, you’ll need to spread the word about your campaign. Whether you do this through traditional methods or digital methods is entirely up to your organization, but you’ll find the most success in employing multiple, diverse communication channels.
This technique is known as multi-channel fundraising and allows you to connect with more prospects than if you were to only use one platform. However, multi-channel marketing doesn’t mean using every single platform possible and running wild. In fact, this may hurt your campaign rather than help it. Not to mention, it’s highly inefficient and will waste time that could be used raising funds. Instead, you’ll need to coordinate various marketing platforms based on which ones are most effective for your organization.
If you’re not already tracking which communication platforms drive results for your organization, now’s a great time to start! Experiment with the following and find the combination that works best for your team:
- Email newsletters
- Social media posts
- Text messaging
- Your website
- Direct mail
These are only a handful of the main marketing outlets at your disposal today. Employ modern, digital communication channels, but don’t neglect tried-and-true methods such as direct mail. While social media and email are certainly among the more common marketing channels used for peer-to-peer fundraising, traditional methods can also be incredibly effective. Remember, the more you cross channels, the more likely you are to appeal to a wide range of prospects.
3. Prioritize The Giving Experience
You’ve armed your participants with the tools and resources they need for a pleasant (and successful) experience, but what about your donors?
If your donation experience is extensive, unengaging, and downright complicated, you risk losing peer-to-peer funds due to confusion, or worse, frustration! So that you don’t miss out on crucial donations, you’ll want to streamline the process from start to finish.
To do this, choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that prioritizes customizability with your campaign pages. That way, you can effectively convey your organization’s unique identity while giving volunteer fundraisers the tools they need to add their own personal touch.
To take full advantage of the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising and drive donations to completion, proactively implement these donation page best practices as you build your fundraising pages:
- Lead with an inspirational call-to-action. Make your first impression count by using active, compelling language that conveys urgency and inspires people to act. Briefly explain your cause and why it’s important that people donate now. By kicking off your appeals with a strong and emotional call-to-action, you’ll instantly engage prospects.
- Keep the form simple. The more fields that prospects have to fill out, the less likely they are to complete the process. Ask only for the information you need, such as payment details and contact information. Get them through the process as quickly as possible so that they don’t lose motivation and abandon the process altogether.
- Ensure your pages are mobile-friendly. More than half of all donations are completed on mobile devices, according to this nonprofit fundraising page. Because of this, you’ll need to ensure the entire process is mobile-friendly. By prioritizing mobile usability, more supporters will be able to donate when it’s most convenient for them instead of having to wait until they can get to a desktop computer.
- Incorporate impactful imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use compelling images as the face of your campaign pages. This way, you can effectively convey your brand and instill a desire to give in prospects. For optimal results, showcase those you serve and you’ll be much more likely to emotionally connect with potential supporters.
Remember, donor engagement is at its peak when making a gift, and the last thing you want is to interrupt the process and drive prospects away. By using the above best practices and providing donors with the best tools to complete their gifts, you’ll maximize donations and potentially gain long-term support.
4. Maintain An Open Line Of Communication
Your fundraisers lead busy lives. To keep your campaign top of mind, stay in touch with them before, during, and after the campaign. This enables you to build powerful relationships with your passionate supporters so that you can effectively encourage them to continue fundraising on your behalf.
Let’s take a closer look at practices for maintaining an open line of communication with your fundraising team.
The only way to gain supporters’ trust is to be upfront and entirely transparent. If you fall behind on your fundraising goals, tell them as soon as possible. They’ll respect your honesty and will know to step up their efforts in order to get back on track.
Even if you don’t always have great news to share with your fundraising team, you can still frame your messages in a positive light. That way, fundraisers will feel motivated to step up to the plate rather than be discouraged. After all, people want to be part of a winning team, not a sinking ship.
Whether you exceeded your goals beyond your wildest dreams or didn’t quite make the cut, your fundraisers spent their valuable time spreading the word about your cause. Because of this, you should follow up with fundraising totals.
Beyond letting your fundraisers know the end results, request their feedback, and give them the opportunity to voice their opinions on their experience. Once you gather their feedback, don’t just let it sit there; do something with it! Whether it’s improving your outreach or upgrading your fundraising tools, it’s important to take their opinions into account.
When you’re straightforward and take action based on supporters’ feedback, you’re telling them their experience matters to you. Otherwise, they’ll feel like you don’t truly care about what they say, and you likely won’t improve your future peer-to-peer campaigns.
Thank Your Fundraising Team And Donors
Don’t let your participants’ hard work and your donors’ generous contributions go unrecognized. Congratulate them on their victories and let them know their efforts are greatly appreciated. For fundraisers who did exceptionally well, consider giving them a social media shoutout or even rewarding them with some sort of prize!
Every supporter is different. Do they prefer a personal phone call, a handwritten letter, or an email? By taking their preferred line of communication into account, you can effectively convey your gratitude and also avoid any uncomfortable situations.
It’s also important to note that personalized follow-up communication is especially great for donor retention. While personally contacting each and every one of your donors and fundraisers may not be feasible, segmentation can certainly aid in the process.
In short, segmentation involves separating your donors into smaller groups based on their values, passions, and other common characteristics. This enables you to send personalized outreach and communicate with supporters in an effective way. Check out Doubleknot’s donor segmentation guide for more context so you can effectively follow up with donors in a meaningful way.
Even if you’re brand new to the social fundraising sphere, peer-to-peer campaigning doesn’t have to be daunting—for you or for your supporters! Start planning now, and arm your passionate fundraising team with the tools it needs to thrive. Implement the actionable tips covered in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to peer-to-peer fundraising success!
Ready for more resources on launching your best peer-to-peer fundraising campaign? Check out our peer-to-peer and crowdfunding resources.
Schedule a live demo with our team, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.