Families and Friends and Peers ... Oh My!!!
KD: The telemarketing channel was the primary choice for participant recruitment and performed exponentially better than other offline channels for many years. Unfortunately, the universe is relatively finite and the demographic targets are older audiences. This flourished for many years until we reached a saturation point where we did start to see diminishing returns. I believe that the telemarketing channel will still be the primary driver for the more traditional participants. But the industry is also focused on grooming the millennials, who are comfortable with both using online tools and asking peers for support, to pick up the next generation of peer-to-peer growth through online.
NON: What advice do you have for an organization that is considering peer to peer as a new strategy?
KH: I think it’s important that they understand programs such as Mothers March aren’t one dimensional. Investing in a P2P campaign is a way to accomplish many goals: revenue generation, new donor acquisition and multi-channel involvement. It’s definitely a way to bring new donors on the file. As mentioned above, almost 100,000 Mothers March donors who came onto the file 15+ years ago gave $2.6 million just last year. We have a lot of rich history surrounding our Mothers March campaign, so for smaller organizations without as much brand identity, I would say to have a more long term tolerance for success.
KD: Here are the items that are on my list for organizations thinking about this strategy.
- The key is to think of this as a way to acquire and engage donors for future involvement with the brand. The long-term value of these constituents and their impact cannot be measured in silo.
- Don't expect a commitment to fulfill without a well-conceived touch strategy to keep them on track and motivated. Just because someone says "I will volunteer" on the phone or online doesn't mean they won't be distracted through everyday life. A successful P2P program has a well-thought-out and planned strategy to stay in touch with their volunteers through the process.
- This program is unique, and the strategy is unique. Make sure you don't repurpose other creative and messaging and expect it to resonate with prospective donors. This is a no-no with so many strategies.
- It is imperative to understand you are running a complex marketing program that includes full integration of all channels. This applies not only to the recruitment of a volunteer but then also crafting a completely different campaign within that environment to solicit funds from the peer group. You are truly running a multilevel campaign within a campaign.
NON: What do you predict for the future of this strategy for fundraisers?
KH: I wish we had a crystal ball! With all fundraising events that have a long history, there are always new challenges, but the priorities remain the same: maximizing volunteer donations, driving multichannel involvement and increasing overall lifetime value. We need to be smart about how we budget with this strategy (as with all strategies) and how we reach our volunteers. I do believe we will see even greater synergies with digital and mobile strategies in the future.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.