For more than a decade, Mark has used his deep experience with many of the top online fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraising, CRM, CMS, and other software for nonprofits to help 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.
The peer-to-peer fundraising model is a great way to engage supporters to raise funds from their networks on your nonprofit’s behalf — allowing you to reach far more donors than you would otherwise. But what happens when your peer-to-peer fundraising results start to flatten out? Or, when you want to get ahead to make sure they don’t start to lag in the first place?
Here are three ways to breath new life into your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns:
1. Re-think your strategy
You may feel like you’re always scrambling to ramp up the next campaign and don’t have time to re-think your approach. But, taking a step back and evaluating your campaigns gives you a chance to find opportunities for improvement. Here are a few exercises that can help:
- Define what success means to your organization. For example: number of people, fundraising dollars, or net revenue. Review your peer-to-peer campaigns to ensure they’re meeting these goals. If not, it may be time to try something new.
- Read up on best practices. Take time to read about best practices for peer-to-peer fundraising. You’ll find tips, tricks, techniques, examples, and inspiration for your next campaign.
- Test changes one at a time. If you identify changes you’d like to make to your campaign, do just one or two at a time so you get a true idea of the impact of the change.
2. Make system integration a priority
Getting an overall picture of how your constituents interact with your organization and how your organization interacts with your constituents is vitally important to the success of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. So it’s important to consider how (and if) your peer-to-peer fundraising software platform shares data with your constituent relationship management (CRM) system, donor database, and/or database of record. Here are some areas of integration to think about:
- Donor management system — Does your per-to-peer platform integrate with your CRM system, donor database, and/or database of record?
- Enterprise toolset — Is the platform part of a larger enterprise toolset, or is it part of a self-contained, all-in-one solution fundraising solution?
- Merchant services — What merchant services / payment gateways does the platform support?
- APIs — Does the platform offer application programming interfaces (APIs), which can make it easier to develop custom programs that interact with the peer-to-peer platform?
Once you take these considerations into account, it may be time to integrate your systems or even find a new peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
3. Use your data
Taking time to gather, analyze, and use data from your past campaigns or events can help you uncover trends and find new opportunities to improve your peer-to-peer fundraising results. Here are some simple ways you can use data from your constituent relationship management (CRM) and/or peer-to-peer fundraising system to boost your results:
- Decide when to start recruiting. Use your system reports to dig into past years’ campaign or event data and find out when your top performers registered. While it’s usually a good idea to open registration as early as possible, consider waiting to focus on a multi-channel recruitment approach around the time when your biggest supporters typically register so you can use their enthusiasm as a launching point.
- Focus your efforts. If possible, use source codes in all digital recruitment efforts so you can attribute registrants to specific marketing channels. This will help you determine which strategies are worth keeping (and even putting more resources toward), and which aren’t.
- Make recruiting more personal. Use data from previous campaigns or events to add personalized notes to your recruiting emails and tap into the loyalty of past participants. For example, look up previous years’ results, and add a 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?"
- Make your campaign more compelling. Often, organizations include basic messages about past campaigns in their recruiting emails, such as “Last year, we had X participants and raised $X.” Consider 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."
- Motivate participants to raise more. Once someone has registered, use data to personalize their experience and improve the likelihood that they'll fundraise. For example, team captains often are more engaged than other participants, so use your data to segment them 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.
- Reconsider your fundraising incentives. If you have fundraising incentives or use milestone badges, look up your levels to see how many participants are reaching them. If you find many people are falling short of your lowest tier, you might want to lower it or test more effective communications to encourage participants to reach the goals. Alternatively, if too many people are quickly reaching your lowest tier, consider raising it.
These are just a few ways to boost your peer-to-peer fundraising. If you need more help, check out our affordable services to help you raise more funds and spread the word about your mission.