Guest Post: 8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

by Mark Becker, Founding Partner, Cathexis Partners

Peer-to-peer campaigns are a key part of many nonprofits’ fundraising strategies. If you’re running peer-to-peer campaigns, it’s important to strike a balance between growing your peer-to-peer fundraising programs and working with limited resources. 

With this in mind, here are eight simple yet impactful ways to improve your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events: 

    1. Make things easier for your website visitors.
      Pretend you’re new to your fundraising program and visit the home page of your website. Go through the online process. Ask yourself these questions, take notes, and work with your website manager to make improvements:

      • Is it clear what I should do if I want to learn more, register, or donate?
      • How many clicks does it take to sign up or donate?
      • How many questions am I asked during the registration or donation process (and do we really need to ask all of them)?
      • If I’m donating, is it easy to find the person or team I want to donate on behalf of?
      • If I’m registering as a fundraiser, how easy is it for me to sign up and then start fundraising? 
    2. Make sure your messaging is impactful.
      To get your supporters excited about helping you raise funds, you need an engaging story to tell them, and for them to share with friends and family. As you build your story and write communications for your fundraising campaign or event, answer these questions:

      • What makes our organization unique?
      • What impact are we having on our mission?
      • What problem does this peer-to-peer fundraising campaign solve?
      • How do we want people to feel about our campaign (emotionally touched, inspired, outraged)? 
    3. Get your participants even more involved.
      The supporters who register to fundraise on behalf of your organization can be your biggest cheerleaders. Ask them how else they want to help, and be sure to ask them to recruit other participants. You’ll be likely to get more fundraisers on board. 
    4. Tie money to real items.
      Associate the donation levels for your campaign or event with what the funds will provide for your organization. Letting supporters know that their donation will help feed a family of four or send a child to school for a year is more impactful than asking for a specified amount of money. This also helps make raising money fun — a win for all! 
    5. Add matching gifts to your registration forms.
      Adding a corporate matching tool to your peer-to-peer fundraising registration forms helps your peer-to-peer event participants maximize their fundraising and their impact. This, in turn, means more dollars for your mission. Everyone wins. 
    6. Use clear calls-to-action.
      Every communication — whether it’s an email, text, or social media post — should have one clear purpose. When creating content, make sure you identify the action you want your reader to take and clearly communicate it (without adding several other asks!). 
    7. Have strategic follow-up procedures.
      Once someone registers, how do you communicate with them? Make sure there are standard processes on communications used after someone commits to your cause. Some of these can be automatic while others may require action from a staff member. Some things to consider:

      • Create a process for communicating with team captains.
      • Have a plan for reaching out to top fundraisers, your VIPs.
      • Develop a clear thank you program to ensure fundraisers and donors feel appreciated. 
    8. Take time for one-to-one outreach.
      Consider picking up the phone and calling your fundraisers. Ask them how things are going, and thank them for their work. Or, write a personalized note/email to thank fundraisers for their support. Also consider adding texts to the mix — they’re a great way to send a virtual high-five to fundraisers as they reach milestones.

These ideas may seem basic. In fact, they are. But they can truly improve your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events. Taking a step back to focus on fundamentals may just help you move forward!

About Mark Becker and Cathexis Partners: 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. Cathexis Partners helps nonprofits use technology to raise funds and engage supporters more effectively.