The Heart of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Operations: The Website
As peer-to-peer fundraising continues to establish itself as a major pillar in the nonprofit sector, fundraisers must make sure they provide the best experience for their participants and volunteer fundraisers.
At the 2014 Bridge Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sharon Kessler, interim director of special events at Children's National Medical Center Foundation; Hossein Noshirvani, executive VP and co-founder of Motionsoft; and Philip Schmitz, partner and CEO of CharityEngine, shared their insights on peer-to-peer fundraising events in the session, "From Zero to 5K in 10 Months: The ABCs of Launching a Peer-to-Peer Based Run/Walk or Bike Ride."
Last week, we shared their 10-point checklist for a run/walk/ride peer-to-peer fundraising event. Here is a technology primer Schmitz shared during the presentation.
The heart of operations
"Your website is the heart of all operations," Schmitz said. "It gives the opportunity for people to sign up and pay, to engage both registrants and the community — participant's peers."
Schmitz provided the following musts for a peer-to-peer fundraising website:
- Show real-time goals.
- Reward top individuals and teams.
- Make it easy to find the calls to action.
- Help people find their peers by making it easy to find people, teams and events.
- Use real-time tabulation.
- Push donations, and prominently display donations from others.
- Minimize the choices for individual and team pages.
- Easily direct the user to a task.
- Minimize the steps for creating pages/teams.
- Make it simple to follow.
- Make it easy and clear to process a payment in one step.
- Focus on responsive/adaptive design so your website works no matter the device — one screen for all devices.
- Don't forget tech support — Who will support your participants? How? Phone? Chat? Don't forget that you'll need tech support both during the workday and after hours.
- Include gamification. "This is a virtual incentive," Schmitz said. Provide badges for achievements such as starting a team as a captain, raising a certain amount of money, hitting your goal, bringing in team members, etc. "The psychology of giving recognition creates more engagement," Schmitz said.
Schmitz also said gauging success is vital on the website, both for the organization and participants. He suggested showing the overall goal of the event on the homepage as well as the goal for participants. Then you can see it build as it goes on.
Beyond the website, nonprofits should have mobile payment swipers on hand the day of the event to accept credit cards and directly integrate those payments with your software. This has two benefits: eliminates paper and eliminates post-event manual work of inputting that data.
It's also key to have a post-event back office that fully integrates with your website and data. This helps to identify participants who didn't reach their fundraising/registration goals and automatically charges them for the difference in what they were responsible for. That takes more legwork off fundraisers' table and automates the process.
And of course, to tie it all together, your reporting platform should be able to provide all the data points that matter to your organization — dollars raised, participants, donors, etc.
While we're talking peer-to-peer fundraising, check out FundRaising Success' newest event, Engage P2P: Redefining Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. The event takes place Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C., and will take a holistic view of peer-to-peer fundraising. You can get more information here and register here. We look forward to seeing you there!