Online Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising is NOT About Technology
Spring fundraising event season is upon us once again. Many of you have been setting up event registrations and getting peer-to-peer fundraising pages set up for your supporters. A few may even have used some mobile apps in place for your event fundraising. With all this, it’s important to remember that the people and how you engage with them — not the technology — determine the success of your event.
Regardless of what technology you make available, it’s important to recognize how difficult fundraising is for some volunteers. It’s easy to lose sight of this simple fact as fundraising professionals. Going out and soliciting donations is a hard task that is not natural for many volunteers. This is where you, as a professional fundraiser, can help! Recognize that your volunteer fundraisers may be first-timers, nervous, daunted and/or reluctant. If you empower your fundraisers with technology, it allows them to have much more efficient access to more people online and raise more. However, the way that you work with these volunteer fundraisers has a dramatic impact on their performance and your event’s results.
Segment them — all fundraisers are not equal
It’s important to divide your volunteer fundraisers into different segments or groups and have a plan for each group during both the recruitment and fundraising processes. For example, as supporters register for your event you may segment them as 1) team captains, 2) VIPs (board members, major donors, local celebs, etc.) and 3) general participants. You should have a different communication plan for targeted messages specific to each group, mode of communication and even who delivers the message. For example, you may invite all team captains to a kickoff meeting or lunch, or you may contact each by phone. At the same time, the general supporters may only be contacted via e-mail, or you may host a virtual meeting (conference call or webinar).