9 Ways Using Data Can Take Your Next Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign to New Heights
Taking your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to the next level is easier than you might think. By gathering, analyzing and using data from your past campaigns and events, you can uncover trends and find new opportunities to improve your fundraising results.
Here are some effective ways to use data to improve your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns:
1. Decide When Recruiting Should Start
Dig into past years’ campaign or event data to find out when your top performers registered. Your strongest fundraisers typically register earlier than others. Consider timing a multichannel recruitment approach to coincide with when your biggest supporters typically register, so you can use their enthusiasm as a launching point for registration.
2. Determine Where to Focus Your Resources
When possible, use source codes in your online recruiting efforts, so you can attribute registrants to specific marketing channels. This will help you decide which strategies are worth keeping (and possibly putting more resources toward), and which you should leave behind.
3. Target Your Recruiting Efforts
Review your funds raised based on your top fundraisers’ connection to you. In many cases, those who raise the most are a small percentage of your participants. Understanding more about them can help you target your recruitment efforts with greater precision.
4. Make Your Recruiting Efforts More Personal
Use data from previous campaigns or events to add personalized notes to your recruiting emails. This approach can help you tap into the loyalty of past participants. For example, look up your previous years’ results, and add a personal note to your recruiting email, such as:
“Thank you for raising $X last year.”
“Thank you for being one of our top 50 fundraisers last year.”
“Last year you ran X:XX in our 5K and took Xth place. Are you ready to do it again?”
5. Make Your Campaign More Compelling
Organizations often include basic messages about past campaigns in their recruiting emails, such as, “Last year, we had X participants and raised $X.” Take this a step further by adding more compelling data from your past campaign to motivate more people to participate and raise even more funds. For example, “Last year we raised $X million dollars. With that money we were able to fund XX research grants. So far, those grants have produced XXX hours in the lab, which resulted in X new clinical trials set to launch in Q1 2019.”
6. Motivate Participants to Raise More.
Once someone has registered, use data to personalize their experience and improve the likelihood that they’ll raise funds for your organization. For example, team captains are often more engaged than other participants. Use your data to segment team captains and communicate with them in special ways, such as a phone call or personal email. Consider asking them to help in other ways, too, such as recruiting more participants.
7. Rethink Your Fundraising Incentives
If you offer fundraising incentives or use milestone badges, look up your levels and see how many participants are reaching them. If many people are falling short of your lowest tier, you might want to lower it. Or you might test more effective communications to encourage participants to reach the goals. On the other hand, if it seems that too many people are quickly reaching your lowest tier, consider raising it.
8. Improve the Event Day Experience
If an event is at the heart of your peer-to-peer campaign, collect and record data from your event day to improve future event day experiences. For example, did you have a photo booth that was booked solid? If so, consider adding another photo booth next year. Did your post-event silent auction raise significant funds last time? If so, consider adding more items this time.
9. Decide If Your Campaign or Event Is Still Working for You
Define what success means to your organization. For example, number of people, fundraising dollars or net revenue; then review data from your peer-to-peer campaigns to ensure you want to continue them. You just might find that it’s time to try a new campaign.
Evaluating your data is important, but you can spend weeks analyzing it and not actually get anything done. So be sure to identify the metrics that are most relevant to your peer-to-peer program, and focus on improving a few areas at a time.
And be sure to test things in isolation. If you identify specific changes you’d like to make, do just one or two at a time, so you get a true idea of the impact of the change.
Mark founded Cathexis Partners in 2008 to help nonprofit organizations get the most from their existing technology tools, implement new technology to address gaps and find the best overall approach to using technology to support their missions. He previously served as director of IT consulting at a fundraising event production company focused on nonprofits.
Mark also serves on the editorial advisory board for NonProfit PRO, where he contributes monthly to his blog, “Nonprofit Tech Matters.”