10 Principles for Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, Part 2
[Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a two-part series on the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference session “Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: 10 Principles for Success” by Mike Quinzio, director of operations at Change for Kids, and CauseVox co-founders Jeff Chang and Rob Wu. View part 1 here.]
6. Jump-start your campaign
Key to peer-to-peer fundraising success is creating momentum for the campaign so people will share it with others. And momentum equals mass times velocity. In the case of fundraising, mass is the number of supporters you have, and velocity can be several variables — the rate that supporters create fundraising pages, conversion rate, rate of donations, etc. Increasing either one has a direct effect of increasing momentum.
Typically, a campaign starts strong, hits a lull and then picks up again near the end. So it’s crucial to start strong. Momentum builds on momentum. Get better results by beginning with a bang:
- Hold a kick-off event for the campaign.
- Get your board to create fundraising pages first.
- Find partner organizations to help fundraise.
- Leverage offline events.
- Build anticipation through newsletters.
- Encourage fundraisers to be the first to donate.
7. Empower your fundraisers
Peer-to-peer fundraising turns your community into fundraisers, but they need coaching on how to fundraise to the best of their abilities. Here are ways to help them along:
- Provide talking points and standard text.
- Encourage fundraisers to continue to take action themselves.
- Highlight effective fundraisers, and share what they’re doing.
- Provide best practices in fundraising.
- Give regular updates on progress so they see where they stand.
8. Communicate regularly
Communication equals updating plus appreciation plus encouragement. These are the three purposes of communication. In peer-to-peer fundraising, all communications should be defined with one or more of these purposes.
Communication should occur regularly and at a personal level if possible. Update your fundraisers by giving them regular weekly progress updates and alerting them to when big events happen. Show appreciation to donors and fundraisers as well. Personal messages to high-performing fundraisers are very effective, as well as thank-yous to donors. And encourage fundraisers to take action. Motivate them to spread the message to as many people as they can.
9. Promote and integrate
For optimal results, integrate your campaign into all aspects and channels of promotion:
- Website and social media.
- Campaign link-in e-mail signature.
- Campaign link=in marketing materials.
- Bloggers and influencers.
- Offline events.
10. Choose the right technology
Technology amplifies the impact of peer-to-peer fundraising, so selecting the right technology for your campaign is important. You want your fundraisers to be able to use it easily and share the message quickly. Use these factors to select the proper technology:
- Budget. How much can I spend on fundraising? Is there a risk in making this purchase?
- Branding. Are my branding and messaging preserved? Will they be lost in the technology?
- Resources. Will the technology take expertise to operate? How much time can we spare?
- Support base. Do we have a support base that can be engaged in fundraising? Are our supporters communicating and comfortable online?
- Fundraising culture. How do we generate our revenues? Do we focus on individuals?
Again, the keys are ease of use and proper functionality, balanced against your budget. You want technology that allows your fundraisers to garner donations easily on your behalf and a way to track that. The easier it is for people to use and share, the more money they'll raise on your behalf.