Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as social fundraising, has become one of the most effective ways for nonprofits to strengthen relationships with existing donors, form connections with new supporters, and raise more money for their cause.
But when it comes down to it, peer-to-peer fundraising can be a challenge. Your nonprofit’s staff is likely trained in fundraising (or at least has a lot of experience!), whereas your supporters may have never asked for donations from anyone before.
It can seem like an uphill battle when you have to train and advise supporters while hurtling toward your deadline.
If you need some help with your peer-to-peer fundraiser, we’ve got the tips you’re looking for!
We’re going to cover 5 best practices that will help you and your supporters cross the fundraising finish line in style.
- Encourage supporters to personalize your cause.
- Give your fundraisers the tools they need to succeed.
- Make your peer-to-peer fundraiser a “game.”
- Check-in with your fundraisers on a regular basis.
- Create a branded peer-to-peer fundraising page.
1. Encourage supporters to personalize your cause.
When you select your peer-to-peer fundraisers, you’re likely going to choose people who have demonstrated loyalty to your nonprofit’s cause.
These supporters might include:
- Monthly (or regular) donors.
- Established volunteers.
- Business leaders with corporate partnerships.
- People who have benefitted from your nonprofit’s services.
Many of these people support your nonprofit because they have some kind of personal connection to your cause.
For instance, if your nonprofit supports cancer research, you likely have some cancer survivors within your donor/volunteer pool.
To increase the chances that your supporters receive donations, encourage them to tell their personal stories when asking for contributions.
A donation appeal is much more effective when the person asking can say “This is a cause that I care about!” rather than “This is a great cause.”
Here are a few ways your fundraisers can personalize your cause:
- They can tell their story on their individual peer-to-peer fundraising pages. These pages are the fundraising hub of your campaign; when people land on them, they are more likely to give if they are immediately greeted with a story of how the fundraiser is connected to the cause they’re raising money for.
- They can use social media and emails to talk about their connection to your cause. Email and sites like Facebook and Twitter are the primary communication avenues for peer-to-peer fundraisers. Your supporters can use these messages to talk about their personal connections to your nonprofit and your cause.
- You can invite a supporter to speak at an event. If you have an event before your peer-to-peer campaign ends, you should ask one of your peer-to-peer supporters to speak about their personal connection to your cause (if they’re comfortable doing so).
Pro Tip: Encourage your supporters to talk about their connections to your cause from the very beginning of your peer-to-peer campaign. That way, their message is consistent from start to finish!
2. Give your fundraisers the tools they need to succeed.
Like we said before, most of your peer-to-peer fundraisers will have never asked for donations before. They will have minimal fundraising experience, and you can’t expect them to become experts without a little assistance.
Giving your fundraisers the tools they need to succeed means:
- Putting together packets and templates. Before your peer-to-peer fundraising officially starts, prepare your supporters by giving them packets of information and templates they can use when reaching out to friends and family via social media and email. These info packets can contain details about how and when to ask for donations, as well as helpful tips and instructions for setting up a peer-to-peer fundraising page.
- Hosting webinars or in-person info sessions. If your supporters live in close proximity to your nonprofit, you can host info sessions that take them through the peer-to-peer fundraising process. If they are scattered across the country, invite them to webinars instead.
- Being available for questions or problems. This point should be obvious, but your nonprofit should answer questions and help fundraisers solve problems as they occur. Make sure that supporters know how to get in touch with your nonprofit (whether it’s by email, phone, or another way).
Pro Tip: You should create a tangible information packet with templates, but don’t forget to post the documents on your website and send them to supporters via email!
3. Make your peer-to-peer fundraiser a “game.”
As a nonprofit professional, you know that, sometimes, fundraising isn’t exactly fun. You don’t want your peer-to-peer fundraisers to feel worn out halfway through your campaign, though.
To prevent the “peer-to-peer slump,” turn your fundraiser into a game or competition!
Here are some easy ways you can gamify your peer-to-peer campaign:
- Use leaderboards. Leaderboards show who your top fundraisers are and how much money they’ve raised. This can create friendly competition amongst your supporters.
- Display a fundraising thermometer. Fundraising thermometers update your supporters’ fundraising efforts in real time. As people donate to your campaign, the thermometer rises.
- Offer incentives or prizes. Offer prizes to your top fundraisers to encourage them to raise more money! These prizes can be something as small as a social media shout out to as grand as a VIP ticket to an event. It’s up to you!
You can use one or all of these gamification ideas. Keep your budget and the capabilities of your peer-to-peer software in mind when planning, though.
Pro Tip: Turning your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign into a game can be fun, but don’t forget why you and your supporters are raising money!
4. Check-in with your fundraisers on a regular basis.
After you’ve prepared your supporters to go out and raise money on your nonprofit’s behalf, you’ll want to make sure you stay in touch.
Depending on the level of help your fundraisers need, you might need to check-in on a weekly or monthly basis.
Additionally, you may need to do more than send a quick check-up email. You might need to call your supporters or meet them in-person to see how their fundraising efforts are going.
Once your campaign starts to wind down, you should send your supporters a short survey that collects their feedback about their fundraising experiences.
This survey can include questions such as:
- Were you comfortable asking people for donations?
- Did you use the info packet and templates we provided?
- How helpful were the packet and templates?
- Was this your first time fundraising?
- Would you be willing to participate in a peer-to-peer campaign in the future?
Of course, you can tailor these questions to fit your nonprofit’s specific needs.
Pro Tip: Don’t wait too long to check-in with your supporters. You’ll want them to hit the ground running with their fundraising, and that’s hard to do if they don’t have the support they need.
5. Create a branded peer-to-peer fundraising page.
One of the best ways to ensure that people give to your peer-to-peer campaign is to create a branded and separate peer-to-peer fundraising page.
Of course, if you’re using peer-to-peer software, this will be a given. But make sure that your supporters’ pages are branded as well.
If your supporters’ individual fundraising pages share the same branding as your nonprofit’s main peer-to-peer fundraising page, donors are more likely to make contributions. Studies have shown that on average, branded donation forms receive bigger donations (up to 7 times larger!) than generic forms.
Branding your supporters’ forms means:
- Including your logo somewhere on the form.
- Using similar copy in the introductory text as you do on your website.
- Incorporating the same colors that you use on your website.
- Including any images that your nonprofit consistently uses in your communications.
- Incorporating the theme and name of your peer-to-peer fundraising event.
Pro Tip: Even though your supporters’ peer-to-peer fundraising pages should be branded to your nonprofit, don’t forget to let them personalize their pages with their own stories and photos.
When you launch your next peer-to-peer campaign, keep these 5 tips in mind. Your nonprofit needs your supporters to fundraise on your behalf, but your supporters also need you to help guide them through their fundraising journey.