10 Principles for Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a two-part series. Check back next week for part 2.]
No matter if you're talking about buying a toaster, renting a movie or supporting a charity, people always trust personal recommendations more than information they get from corporations or organizations. That's why peer-to-peer fundraising can be such a powerful tool for any nonprofit, especially in this social-media age.
At the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference held last month in Washington, D.C., three fundraising experts tackled peer-to-peer fundraising. In their session, "Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: 10 Principles for Success," Mike Quinzio, director of operations at Change for Kids, and CauseVox co-founders Jeff Chang and Rob Wu shared those 10 principles to run successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
1. Set SMART campaign objectives
A campaign is useless if there aren't any goals to measure its success. Fundraisers should use the SMART framework to outline campaign objectives:
- Specific. Objectives should be focused, clear and unambiguous.
- Measurable. Objectives that are measurable allow you to track and report progress.
- Attainable. Objectives should be realistic yet require a stretch or effort to reach them.
- Relevant. Relevance means that objectives are aligned with your mission and cause.
- Timely. Campaigns must have a start and end date.
Examples of SMART objectives include:
- Raise $10,000 for the Uganda microfinance initiative from July 1 - July 31.
- By Sept. 20, raise $50,000 (from new donors) toward building a safe house for sex-trafficking victims.
- Obtain 50 new contacts and raise $5,000 for the scholarship program from Oct. 15 - Oct. 20.
2. Understand your supporters
To have meaningful relationships with your donors you must understand them. One way to do that is to create supporter personas, summarizing the personal and giving histories of your donors. Include data such as name, age, occupation, location, personal interests, engagement level with your organization (high, medium, low), preferred communication (Twitter, mobile, e-mail, phone, direct mail, etc.) and giving characteristics, e.g., gives when asked by friends, all online; needs to see direct impact of donations.