Peer-to-peer fundraising is a popular choice for nonprofits of all sizes. With some careful planning, you can get your support base directly involved and connecting you to their social networks.
Plus, peer-to-peer fundraising is a great option right now, because the world is only just beginning to look normal again after the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most nonprofits are relying on hybrid or online-only campaigns like peer-to-peer fundraising, as it’s safer and convenient for people to participate from home (even if the campaign is paired with a live event, like a 5K).
When done right, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns can have three great results:
More cash for your cause
More engagement with loyal supporters
A larger community of supporters
A strong support base is the driving force of a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. So when it comes to marketing, you’ll want to plan carefully. The long and short of it is this—the more people involved, the better.
In this post, we’ll review six strategies you can rely on for recruiting peer-to-peer fundraisers:
Create a fundraising guide to reassure first-time participants.
Promote the opportunity with a multichannel communication strategy.
Using these strategies, you’ll have your peer-to-peer fundraisers spreading the word and securing donations for your mission in no time.
1. Reach out to your most dedicated supporters.
The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to the volunteers and donors you already have. This may seem obvious, but there are a few specific reasons that this step is important.
Volunteers and donors who are already invested in your cause care. That’s why they volunteer and donate. So getting them involved means you’ll be recruiting enthusiastic ambassadors for your mission who can spread the word about the good you’re doing.
Plus, regular donors and volunteers have a proven track record of supporting your cause. In other words, you can rely on them. Having people you trust to follow through with tasks and championing your cause is crucial to the success of your peer-to-peer campaign. And since you’ve already interacted with your supporters, you know who those people are.
2. Create a fundraising guide to reassure first-time participants.
Remember that some of your supporters are new to peer-to-peer fundraising. They might feel hesitant to participate if they don’t feel like they know what they’re doing.
But you can reassure them. Create a guide that walks them through what they need to know and gives them tips and best practices, like this peer-to-peer fundraising guide from Donately.
Your guide might include tips such as:
Share compelling stories and images. Encourage your fundraisers to connect with people’s emotions by sharing stories that focus on the human element of your mission. If your fundraiser can share a personal story, even better.
Raise awareness about matching gifts. Instruct your fundraisers to spread the word about matching gift programs. Many potential donors may not even know that their employers are willing to match their donations to causes they care about.
Get involved in friendly competitions. If you’re incorporating gamification strategies into your peer-to-peer campaign, let your fundraisers know about it! Prizes or awards for people who get the most donations or hit other targets can serve as great motivators.
Set individual goals. Add a personal touch to your fundraisers’ involvement. Take a moment to help each of them set an individual fundraising goal. It’s another way for them to find fulfillment in the campaign, strengthening their loyalty to your cause.
You want your fundraisers to feel confident in their roles. A best practices guide will help eliminate any uncertainty they have about participating.
3. Promote the opportunity with a multichannel communication strategy.
When it comes to communicating with your supporters, it’s always a good idea to use all your resources. And it’s especially important when telling people that you’re rolling out a peer-to-peer campaign.
Think of it this way—when you throw a single dart at a dartboard, your chances of hitting your target are low. But when you throw multiple darts, your chances of getting the dart where you want it to be are much higher. So, you’ll want to pursue a variety of outreach channels to let supporters know about the fundraiser, including:
Social media posts (on all platforms)
Phone calls and text messages
Volunteer app messages and notifications
Using these different types of communication, you’ll be able to reach the widest audience possible, meaning you’ll have a better chance at getting a higher number of fundraisers committed to your campaign.
One last tip about your multichannel marketing approach: Each method of communication requires different delivery (e.g. Instagram captions versus direct mail appeals). But all your messages should have one thing in common—they should be clear. You want your supporter to learn about your campaign and be committed, not confused.
It doesn’t make sense for you to spend your time and resources targeting your communication about your campaign to just anybody. Instead, you’ll want to aim your marketing at specific people.
You can do this by relying on data from past fundraising campaigns, events, and volunteer programs. Using information from your donor and volunteer databases, you can find:
Volunteers with long histories of engagement
Donors who haven’t yet volunteered
Supporters who are highly engaged with your online content
Past peer-to-peer fundraising participants
By knowing who you want to recruit for your peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll be able to cater your messages to specific people who are more likely to get involved and follow through with participating.
Since your goal is not only to raise money for your nonprofit but also to grow your support base, you’ll want to focus on accessibility when planning your peer-to-peer fundraiser. Everyone who wants to be involved should be able to access information about the campaign and participate in any related activities.
Your approach to accessibility should be two-fold. First, you’ll want to make sure that your website and donation pages are accessible to everyone, regardless of hearing or visual challenges. Consider taking some of these steps to improve the accessibility of your site:
Make the important information easy to find. Display donation buttons and calls-to-action prominently on the website so users can identify and use these elements quickly.
Use a short URL. Potential donors will have an easier time remembering a short URL, and if they have to type it into a search bar themselves, it’ll take less time.
Keep everything “above-the-fold.” Users shouldn’t have to scroll to see an entire donation form.
Clearly label required fields on a donation form. It’s frustrating to fill out a form when you’re not sure what you need to type in. Eliminate this problem for users and be clear about what information you need from them.
Use high-contrast colors. Users who have a hard time reading the information on your site because of wild text and background colors won’t stay on it for long. Keep it simple, such as black text on a white background.
Need more inspiration for your site? Browse Donately’s list of donation page tips.
Second, remember that the success of your peer-to-peer campaign sometimes depends on people participating in live events. Ensure that everyone who wants to can participate in any planned activities or events. For example, if you’re hosting a 5K to kick off your campaign, make sure people know that they can run, walk, ride, or roll.
By now you know how important your organization’s supporters are to a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. When all is said and done, they’ve done much of the work for you! It’s essential that you make your supporters feel noticed and appreciated.
Even better, you can make just signing up for your peer-to-peer fundraiser into a celebration by sending a thank-you letter right off the bat. Set your registration page up to email a personalized thank you to anyone who signs up to participate.
You might also do one or more of the following:
Host a special event for peer-to-peer fundraisers
Serve a thank-you breakfast
Offer a discount on ticket prices for your next event
Put fundraisers’ names in a raffle
Give all fundraisers swag like t-shirts or hats
Whatever way you decide to thank your supporters, make sure you’re personalizing the experience. This will keep them coming back to your organization when they want more opportunities to get involved with something they care about.
Your supporters are the lifeblood of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. In order to tap into that resource, you have to take the right steps to reach them and get them involved in the campaign, which leads to longer engagement and new supporters.