As part of our rollout of Neon One, we will be hearing from industry celebrated experts in a wide variety of fields and expertise. Today’s educational spotlight comes from Mark Becker at Cathexis Partners, whose expertise is Nonprofit Technology Services.
Planning a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign? You’re not alone. Peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising has been a powerful tool in the fundraiser’s toolbox for years. It’s all about engaging supporters to raise funds on your nonprofit’s behalf, and it can be associated with anything from a walk-a-thon to a memorial campaign.
At Cathexis Partners, we’ve been helping nonprofits set up and use technology to raise funds and engage supporters since 2008. One area of our expertise is peer-to-peer fundraising. We know that running a p2p fundraising campaign can be challenging, involving a great deal of time and logistics. So, whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to polish your p2p approach, we can tell you that it’s well worth it to take time for some up-front planning.
Here are four tips (and a few resources) to help you plan your next p2p fundraising campaign:
Learn from what’s already being done. Consider signing up for one or two campaigns that other nonprofits are running, and take notes on how the campaigns work from the perspective of a volunteer fundraiser. Some things to pay particular attention to:
Also, ask other organizations about their p2p fundraising campaigns. Find out what they’ve learned from past campaigns, and what advice they can offer you as you plan and execute your own organization’s campaigns.
There is a wide range of both traditional and creative approaches to peer-to-peer fundraising, so it’s worth it to think through the best format for your campaign.
Your p2p fundraising campaign can be built around a traditional event that your own organization produces, such as a walk-a-thon or gala; or a third-party event, like a city marathon. It can also go beyond traditional events to do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches in which an event is constituent-led, such as a birthday, tribute, or memorial campaign.
If you have a big event planned, your supporters already will be focused on the event, so why not leverage that existing excitement by asking them to reach out to their friends and family to extend their support further? If you don’t already have an event planned, and a third-party event is not already planned in your area, it might not be practical to create one, so consider building your p2p effort around a DIY campaign. This approach often takes less time, energy, and cost than creating a big event from scratch.
To get your supporters excited about helping you raise funds, you need a compelling story to tell them and for them to tell their friends and family. Start by brainstorming ideas for your campaign, and then review the ideas with your campaign team. Consider the following aspects of the campaign with your team:
Once you know your campaign story, summarize it, and use it as the rallying theme for your campaign.
Your supporters need a way to create their own online fundraising pages, send emails to friends and family, use social media, and accept donations online. In addition, you need to track the campaign, manage your list of fundraisers, and communicate with them. So, you’ll need the right software tool.
Some tools are built just for p2p fundraising. Others, like our partner NeonCRM’s peer-to-peer fundraising tool, are part of a complete platform for managing fundraising, members, events, and your website. Before selecting a peer-to-peer fundraising tool, make a list of the capabilities that are most important for your organization. Following are some capabilities to consider.
Be sure to select a tool that not only supports your organization now, but also can grow as your organization evolves. And, allow time in your campaign plan to get the tool up and running and to learn how to use it.
There are more aspects to planning a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign than this one article can cover, but these four tips will get you on your way. As you work through your campaigns, be sure to take notes on what works and what doesn’t so you can make your next campaigns even better.
If you’d like more information about how to design and implement a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, contact Cathexis Partners.