P2P Fundraising: Lessons From a Nonprofit's First Attempts
Project HOPE was founded in 1958. In those 57 years, the human services nonprofit has provided health care and education to people in need across the globe. It also knows a thing or two about fundraising—according to Charity Navigator, the organization generated more than $280 million in contributions in 2014 alone, while spending less than 10 percent of its expended resources on management and fundraising costs. It's a model of fundraising success.
But it had never done peer to peer.
So, last year, Project HOPE set out to implement its first P2P fundraising program. We were intrigued—here was this respected, well-established nonprofit with five decades of fundraising experience and a reputation for efficiency, and it had never invested in P2P until now. How would it go? Does experience in traditional fundraising methods translate to P2P success? We wanted to find out.
That's why we asked Project HOPE's Rich Rumsey, vice president of development and communications, and Lynn Jennings, director of special projects, to deliver the keynote at the NonProfit PRO P2P: Redefining Peer to Peer Conference, coming Oct. 1 in Baltimore. Rumsey and Jennings were tasked with building the nonprofit's P2P program from the ground up, and to hear Rumsey tell it, it was ... well, challenging. “This was not a leisurely joy ride on a winding country road," said Rumsey. "It was more like a trip on the Autobahn at 160 miles an hour!"
How did they fare? You'll have to come to the conference to find out. But Rumsey believes Project HOPE's struggles and successes can provide valuable insight for other nonprofits, especially those looking to expand their fundraising repertoire to include the latest P2P tactics and programs. "Lynn and I, along with our partners, had 12 months to build the entire program and get it up to speed," noted Rumsey. "We will share what went right and what we would do differently—and hopefully our journey helps you have a smoother ride.”
So, join us Oct. 1 in Baltimore as Rumsey and Jennings—alongside special guest presenter and P2P maven Rachel Armbruster of Armbruster Consulting Group—kickstart the single-day conference with their Starting Off In P2P Keynote session. And stick around for presentations from the ALS Association's Lance Slaughter, MD Anderson Cancer Center's Robyn Mendez, Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults' Brock Yetso and more.