Today’s nonprofits have discovered the power of their donors’ ability to advocate on their behalf through peer-to-peer fundraising. We’re all influenced by our family, friends, and wider communities. We trust people we know and like. And we’re more likely to act when they ask us to join them in supporting something they care about.
Peer-to-peer fundraising empowers your supporters with their own customizable donation pages, which they share with their contacts via social media, email, and other methods. Your fundraising partners “recruit” others, telling the story of why they are personally passionate about your mission.
If you’re new to peer-to-peer fundraising, incorporate these best practices to help boost the results you see from your campaigns.
1) Pick a Creative Theme
Your fundraising partners and their friends and family will be more excited about your campaign if it has a creative theme that they can connect with. Brainstorm ideas by thinking from the perspective of your donors. What do they care about most? Center your ideas on the community you serve, the cause you’re promoting, or the future you’re working toward.
Consider the following to get your creativity flowing:
- What aspect of the community you serve do donors empathize with? Create a theme based on one of these aspects or characteristics.
- What gets donors motivated to help the community overcome their challenges? Create a campaign that reflects one of your community’s challenges.
- What solution do you and your donors provide for your community? Develop a concrete way to picture this solution as your theme.
- Will you be starting a special project that donors will want to get behind? What about a theme that supports this project?
2) Choose a Concrete Goal and Time Frame
Clearly-defined goals and time frames will give you a target to aim for. They’ll also help motivate your fundraising partners and their donors by generating a sense of urgency.
Set a specific fundraising goal for either the total amount you’d like to raise or the total number of donors you’d like to contribute. Then, put your goal in context. For example, if you want to create a campaign to provide a year’s worth of engaging reading material for 200 children, and it takes $35 to cover the costs of the books and magazines for each child, then you’ll need to raise a total of $7,000. Breaking your goal down this way will also help you clearly communicate how each donor can help. Seeing how they can make a tangible difference will further motivate them to give.
Defined timelines are important because people are more likely to act when there’s a sense of urgency. A clearly-specified timeline also makes it easier to create an action plan. If your campaign is naturally tied to a specific date (such as #GivingTuesday), use that as your target date. If your campaign is open-ended (such as those revolving around your supporters’ birthdays), come up with a different sense of urgency (matching funds, risks of inaction, etc.) to keep fundraising partners and donors motivated.
3) Develop a Toolkit for Your Fundraisers
To make your campaign as successful as possible, provide your fundraisers with the tools they’ll need. A “Peer Fundraising Toolkit” will give your supporters confidence and make it easy for them to participate. Consider including the following:
- Campaign page instructions: Share step-by-step how to create their online donation page and email templates. A video like Network for Good’s tutorial video makes it simple.
- Messages to share: Craft motivating messages that tell how the money will be used, what impact the donation will have, and how your organization has helped others in the past with similar challenges. Give your donors the confidence to speak on your behalf.
- Graphics: Create a variety of graphics peer fundraisers can share on social media.
- Templates: Generate email templates for the initial appeal and a follow up thank you.
- FAQ: Create a timeline for peer fundraisers to follow, including instructions on who to reach out to for help if they need it.
Nonprofits are now taking advantage of all that this unique type of fundraising has to offer. our organization can benefit from peer-to-peer fundraising as well. These best practices will get you off to a strong start.
Download The Secrets of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Success to learn more about how to create and run effective peer-to-peer campaigns.