What Are You Trying to Achieve With Your Nonprofit’s Peer-to-Peer Campaign?
Hold yourself accountable.
Develop your peer-to-peer plan no differently than you would any other business plan or strategy where you have something to gain or lose.
It can be helpful to reframe the campaign or event planning in a similar light as applying for, awarding and monitoring grants. It might not be as easily defined a process, but reframing this way will keep you in a mindset of accountability.
Yes, this takes work and deep thinking.
Yes, we might not think we have enough time.
However, that’s not the world’s problem.
That is our duty.
Working in the social sector, we voluntarily accept responsibility for social good, whether it is verbalized or unstated. Accordingly, we need to hold ourselves accountable for how we spend those resources, even if not beholden to corporate shareholders.
- Make sure success is defined and not an arbitrary dollar target.
- What might appear to be a win might be net neutral or even a significant loss.
- Create well-defined parameters for your project.
- Predetermine what markers signify it is time to cut bait.
If your peer-to-peer goal is advocacy, awareness, and consequently, more difficult to measure, that is even more reason to set strict accurate budgets, outputs, outcomes and parameters for success before beginning an event or campaign.
As with anything else, your fundraising will always involve more effort and resources than anticipated.
- Is a net neutral or a monetary loss acceptable to the organization?
- What are the tradeoffs for your time?
- What program areas will receive less attention because of your campaign?
- What is the actual price tag of turning your team’s attention to this campaign? (Total team hours spent, corresponding salaries, benefits and utilized operating costs need to be factored in your calculations. Leaving them out is a disservice to those we serve.)
- Will spending these resources elsewhere yield a higher return on investment (ROI)?
This is a place where some nonprofit organizations go astray because they are not held accountable in the same way corporations are to their shareholders.
Profit, loss, growth and ROI are standard measurements to determine for-profit corporate success.
How do you know if your campaign or event was a success?
Storytelling and emotions, in many ways, drive the engine of nonprofit success.
These are the “whys” of why people choose to give to our organizations rather than investing and expecting a tangible spendable ROI that will buy them the evening out, the vacation to Machu Picchu, the new set of wheels or the secure retirement.
The lack of the same financial scrutiny that is present in the market economy does not mean that these decisions are any less critical or less impactful. Hold yourself to a higher standard.
Create your own benchmarks of success. Evaluate when you fall short and when you hit your mark.
Include your peer-to-peer fundraising plan in your overall fundraising business plan.
You might think of it as a strategic plan, but it is a business plan.
You need to know what success is for your team before a campaign. Otherwise, it is easy to lose sight of whether we are advancing our mission or have stepped in front of the mission.
In the social sector, there are lives on the line that depend on us to deliver the goods. There is no room for winging the planning process.
Although there are many factors and outcomes beyond our control, it is essential to define true success and real costs.
As representatives of nonprofit organizations in the social sector, we have a voluntary fiduciary and ethical responsibility to look at all resources and funds as sacred regardless of their designation.