5 Nonprofit Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Crowdfunding Trends for 2015
To get a handle on what’s in store for 2015, NonProfit PRO rounded up some of the nonprofit industry’s finest, who were kind enough to share their nonprofit trends for 2015. Here are five trends on peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding.
Miriam Kagan, senior fundraising principal, Kimbia
1. While this is the darling of the day, crowdfunding speaks to a large trend of donors grabbing the drivers’ seat in the fundraising process. Whether crowdfunding or an evolution of this, nonprofits have to plan for a fundraising status quo that offers donors increasing control in the giving relationship. At the same time, nonprofits will have to learn to focus limited resources where they are most worth it and understand how channels influence relationships. For example, for most, Facebook and Twitter are not large drivers of donations, but are huge influencers and build other interaction relationships.
Jeff Shuck, CEO, Plenty
2. Organizations must recognize that peer-to-peer fundraising is here and full of untapped potential. One thing that became clear to us in 2014 is that we live in a peer-to-peer world. We get our news from Facebook, decide where to eat based on Yelp, share our lives on Instagram and experience parental inadequacy through Pinterest. The dramatic success of the Ice Bucket Challenge was the exclamation point on the end of a long sentence: Peer-to-peer is now mainstream.
That means that peer-to-peer fundraising leaders will increasingly find that their constituents expect sophisticated sharing, social and networking tools. We’re a long way past “ask three of your friends for a gift” — our constituents are often more aware of peer-to-peer tools than we are. In 2015, nonprofits will need to be more deliberate and more strategic in their efforts.
A few simple but powerful questions will get you on your way to leveraging your networks. What does our audience look like? Why are they engaging with our organization? How can we better inspire them to engage their friends on our behalf? These questions will form the core of successful programs in 2015.
3. Stop trying to re-create the Ice Bucket Challenge. Your constituents’ inboxes, walls and news feeds are flooded with solicitations. As a result, they have developed finely tuned authenticity radars. It is impossible to replicate, manufacture or plan authenticity ahead of time. The Ice Bucket Challenge was a truly bottom-up fundraising phenomenon, and everyone wanted a piece of the peer-to-peer golden child in 2014. Imitation Ice Buckets floundered then and will flounder in 2015 because they are, by definition, contrived. They will set off your constituents’ authenticity alarms.
2015 is the time to let Ice Bucket Challenge lottery dreams go. Turn the microscope around, focus on your mission, tell a compelling story and focus on building long-term relationships instead of quick-fix money.
Katrina VanHuss, CEO, Turnkey Promotions
4. Online platforms do not equal peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Many nonprofits are now attempting to use the peer-to-peer income channel. Technology enhancements have made online giving in the P2P channel available to every organization, and the misconception is that “if I have a platform live, I have a peer-to-peer program.” The misperception is that peer-to-peer is a marketing program, delivered online. The reality is that most programs built in this manner die. Peer-to-peer fundraising starts with peer-to-peer recruitment to that process. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a messy, human business, the kind of business that many people avoid studiously. An online platform and online communications are handy tools that can increase efficiency in this channel, but are not in and of themselves a peer-to-peer program. Without talent and expertise to set up strategy, manage volunteers and execute complex operations successfully, a peer-to-peer program exists in name only.
Wayne Luke, managing partner, nonprofit practice, Witt/Kieffer
5. Embrace new energy behind philanthropy and the role of crowdfunding. Philanthropy is becoming more and more a global initiative. With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going viral in 2014 and the integral role of crowdfunding in new initiatives, not-for-profits should be prepared to harness new energy to complete specific forms of outreach that lead to quantifiable results and impact.