Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and seen a birthday fundraising event from one of your friends; a personal message encouraging you to bypass posting “Happy Birthday” on their wall or getting them a gift, and instead donate $10 to a fundraising campaign for a cause they support? Simply put, that is peer-to-peer fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising enables your organization’s donors and supporters to raise funds and reach out to their own personal and professional networks of individuals and encourage them to donate to your cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising can impact your organization in several ways. It can help drive new donors, it can help elevate and increase fundraising results, and ultimately, it is a great marketing tool for your organization. To have a donor or someone who cares about your cause and mission, personally raising funds for your organization is truly impactful. Individuals that may not have known about your cause, or never thought to donate to your cause, often will respond positively to a “please donate for my birthday” post from their sister-in-law.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is easy to do because it is digital, which makes it accessible anywhere online, and with the right strategy, tools and, platform you can easily start to raise more money and further your cause. As an organization, it is important to be able to offer many ways for donors and volunteers to raise money and contribute. You never know if one of your supporters prefer to donate or if they prefer to volunteer their time and/or create a campaign and encourage their friends and family to donate. By implementing a peer-to-peer fundraising solution you are giving those who care about your cause multiple chances to make an impact. Have you selected a peer-to-peer fundraising solution yet? For a free fundraising demo and consultation click here.
Once you have selected your peer-to-peer fundraising solution it’s time to get started. This blog will cover 6 key steps used to successfully get started with your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign platforms.
Step #1 Easy Campaign Set Up
This step is the foundation to getting started with peer-to-peer fundraising. At this point, you know you have the platform in place, but no one has created a campaign yet. The first step is to make sure the campaign is accessible. To drive engagement with your peer-to-peer fundraisers, you must ensure that it is extremely easy for someone to visit your website and create a personal fundraiser for your cause. A few ways to do so: add a donate button to your site; showcase the campaigns on your home page and highlight the campaigns that are leading the pack; allow the campaigns to be easily shared on social media, and via email; create an entire page on the website dedicated to explaining your organization’s story, mission and provide ideas on occasions or themes around which supporters can start a peer-to-peer fundraiser.
Ronald McDonald House Charities® of South Florida had a birthday campaign this past year hosted by their Executive Director. She successfully exceeded her goal, in just a matter of days, by simply creating a campaign, adding a picture, and writing a clear and concise message that encouraged her friends and family to support the RMHC of South Florida for her birthday. She shared this campaign across her social media platforms and just like that, her network was able to donate and contribute to the cause. This is a great example of how organizations, like yours, can create a peer-to-peer campaign, and also enlist your leadership team and Board of Directors to fundraise through a peer-to-peer campaign.
Step #2 Branding
This next step is all about branding. Your admin team should easily be able to customize your campaign platform to meet your organization’s brand guidelines. Your peer-to-peer fundraising webpages should match the look and feel of your website, showcase your logo, pictures, and message, and include a domain attached to your organization. This helps with brand consistency and ensures that a donor doesn’t feel uncomfortable or wonder if they are donating on some third party or outside vendor site. Donors want to feel secure when putting their personal payment information online and into your donation form. The key here is consistency, credibility, and making sure that your donors feel comfortable.
Step #3 Promotion
Once you have set up your peer-to-peer campaign sign-up page, and customized it to match your brand guidelines, you can move on to step 3. Step 3 is promotion. Promoting to your supporters, on your website and on social media, that they now can create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign on your website (and really showcasing how easy it is to create one) will help to boost engagement with these campaigns. By promoting the finished campaigns on social media and recognizing the leaders/hosts of those campaigns, you are showing your network, donors, and potential donors, how easy it to contribute and sharing real-life examples and ideas of how others raised money.
Another creative way to promote the peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is by sharing their campaign thermometers, which show how much they’ve raised so far, as well as their goal. This visual representation of what the campaign has received so far really helps because your supporters and visitors to your site truly care about your mission and, ultimately, they want to see the thermometer rise to and surpass the goal at the top. This organizational support shows your peer-to-peer campaign hosts and potential hosts, that even though they are managing these fundraising efforts, you are right there by their side, promoting their hard work.
Step #4 Notifications and Communications
The next step of an optimal peer-to-peer fundraising campaign set up is making sure your fundraising platform has efficient and effective communication capabilities, and that they are turned on. You want to ensure that your donors receive an automatic notification any time they donate to one of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, thanking them for their donation, as well as including tax deductible information in their receipt. By using a platform that can send automatic and immediate notifications right after a donation is made, with tax information included, you are really setting your organization up for success. You’re reducing the time it takes to send a physical letter (which you can send as well) and ensuring the donors receive the instant recognition and thank you that has been proven to be impactful when it comes to retaining your existing donors and increasing donor engagement and communication.
An instant notification is also sent to the host of the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. This is important because it shows the host that their campaign is working and that they are contributing. It also allows your organization to send a customized thank you and encouraging message to them as they continue to promote and manage their peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Another best practice is to send internal notifications to your team whenever someone donates. This allows you to stay organized and prompts your team to follow-up in a timely manner with an automated or customized individual email, or a phone call to the donor to personally thank them.
Step #5 Gift Data
Once your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is up and running, you move to real-time and post-campaign analysis. Was it successful? To optimize your peer-to-peer campaign platform and really show the return on investment, you need quality data. To easily accomplish an analysis of your data, your peer-to-peer campaign should be fully integrated with your donor relationship management database. With complete integration you can ensure that you are accurately recording the donor information, for future reach outs, and campaigns. The integration will also provide you with valuable data and insights on which donors started peer-to-peer campaigns, how many they’ve done, how much they’ve raised, and this information can be used in your communication with them. If they are a recurring donor and recurring campaign creator you can acknowledge their contribution and show them that their efforts are seen, appreciated and impactful. The integration will also allow for a seamless export of gifts from your peer-to-peer platform directly into your database, which in turn, will save you and your team time, and reduce chances for data entry errors – since the gift information is immediately flowing directly into your donor database.
Step #6 Managing Gift Deposits
The last step is having a nice, expedited process for managing your gift deposits. By setting up an easy way for donations to get added instantly to your database you are saving lots of time and energy on managing this campaign in your donor database. To optimize your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and platform, you should set up your campaign to feed directly and immediately into your database. You shouldn’t have to wait until the end of a campaign to use the donations to further your cause.
For more information on peer-to-peer fundraising, download the Guide: Essential Ten Steps to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Success Now and the Guide: Getting Started with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.
Are you ready to incorporate peer-to-peer campaigns into your organization’s ways to give? Click here for a free peer-to-peer fundraising demo and consultation now!