3 Ways to Encourage Discouraged Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers

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Brighter minds than mine have written thousands of articles about how to engage un-engaged participants. I’ve written them, too! We’ve gone over types of peer-to-peer fundraising and how to get people excited about raising money. We’ve talked about how to make fundraising a game, shared examples of how other nonprofits get their participants inspired, and talked about steps to take to get people involved.

But what about participants who are already excited about raising money but aren’t having any luck?

This is probably more common than you think! This group of participants is all about raising money for your cause, but, for some reason, their efforts are falling flat. It’s so discouraging! If you’re a professional fundraiser, you know how disappointing and disheartening it can be to have an appeal fail. At best, participants in this category are frustrated or embarrassed. At worst, they may disengage from fundraising entirely.

Don’t let that happen! Be proactive about checking in with your fundraisers to see how they’re doing. If people start expressing frustrations to you, it’s important to have a plan in place to help them! Here are some strategies you can use to encourage discouraged peer-to-peer participants.

Let them know you’re there to help

You know what’s alienating? Feeling like you’re the only one that’s failing at a task that other people can do just fine. The #1 thing you can do to encourage people who feel that way is to let them know you’re there to help. Try emailing participants struggling to get momentum to tell them you appreciate their efforts and are available for help.

One way to do this is to identify individuals who fall into this category. In Qgiv, you can look in the Email Campaigns section of your peer-to-peer control panel and email people based on the percentage of their goal they’ve reached; you can email them right from your dashboard. Choose people who have raised, say, less than 5% of their goal. If you’re using another platform, see if you can identify this group and pull their registration email addresses to reach out to.

Include these points in your email! It can be short and informal; just make sure to cover:

  • You’re proud of their efforts
  • The fact that you’re available to help them out if they want fundraising advice or ideas
  • That fundraising can be difficult, but every effort is noticed and appreciated

A simple email to a frustrated fundraiser can make a huge positive impact. Remember how you felt when you were a new fundraiser and weren’t seeing progress, then tell them what you would have wanted to hear at that stage. Your empathy will make a difference!

Qgiv tip: use the “Email Campaigns” section of your peer-to-peer control panel to reach out to participants based on their fundraising progress or other rules. You can even send emails to participants who haven’t logged in recently. It’s a great way to reach specific segments!

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Give them some tools

Your peer-to-peer participants have probably never had to raise money before. At this point, they’re in a delicate spot: they’re unfamiliar with fundraising best practices, and the things they’ve tried haven’t worked. That’s not a good feeling!

Come to their rescue by giving them some tools. Consider providing your participants with:

  • Templates for social posts
  • Email appeal templates
  • A couple good stories they can share (or prompts they can use to tell their own stories)
  • Interesting facts they can use to show others the impact donations will make
  • Some great images

As you’re gathering these resources, you might also want to put together a participant fundraising kit. This includes all the resources listed above, plus best practices, fun strategies participants can try, and examples of what past fundraisers have tried. This article breaks down what information to give your supporters, and it includes templates for toolkits for individuals and team captains.

Qgiv tip: the “Resources” section of your peer-to-peer control panel is the best place to include tools and resources like the ones mentioned in this section. You can upload photos, documents, and other resources, then organize them into categories. Those resources will appear in your participants’ fundraising dashboards, so they’re easily accessible to anyone who wants to use them.

Throw a fundraising party

If you’ve got more than a couple discouraged fundraising participants, find time to schedule a get-together for everyone. Use that time to to encourage your participants, get them started brainstorming, and offer guidance when necessary. People can help each other come up with ideas, team up to plan fundraising events, or just encourage each other. Being discouraged about lackluster fundraising results can be an isolating experience. Bringing your participants together and working to find solutions as a group makes them feel like they’re part of a team. That’s encouraging!

Qgiv tip: It’s easy to pull a list of fundraising participants from your control panel. If you’re running a relatively small event, try inviting all participants to your event. For large events, you might want to consider inviting only Team Captains; a smaller group is more manageable, and team captains can share information with their teams later.

Bonus tip: remind them that there’s more to peer-to-peer fundraising than processing donations

In a peer-to-peer fundraising event, the primary goal is to raise money. That goes without question. But there are other, secondary benefits to participating in this kind of event. If you have a participant who tries and tries to raise money without seeing lots of success, remind them that they’re achieving other things, too:

  • They’re sharing their time and energy with your nonprofit, which is also important
  • People who may never have heard of your organization are learning more about your work
  • People they’ve talked to may become donors in the future, even if they can’t give right now
  • They’re an active part of a community that’s making an impact in the world
  • Any money they raise — even if it’s not as much as they’d like — makes a difference

There are a million reasons a fundraiser might not meet their goals. They might not have the time to dedicate to launching what is, essentially, a one-man fundraising campaign. They may not have an extensive network. The people who are in their network might not have much disposable income. Whatever the case may be, let them know that you see and appreciate the effort they’ve put into spreading the word about your nonprofit and the work you do. Their contributions are valuable!

Final thoughts

We write a lot about how to get people engaged in fundraising. We’re really good at celebrating people who are successful. But we can’t neglect people who are trying to raise money and aren’t as successful as they’d like! Encourage your discouraged participants by making yourself available to them and letting them know you can help if they need it. Give your participants tools and resources to kickstart their fundraising. You might even look into throwing a fundraising party or workshop for fundraisers who want a little help.

Whatever you do, remind them that all their hard work is appreciated and that every dollar they raise is important. Not everyone can be a fundraising whiz right off the bat. But, with a little extra help and encouragement, everyone can make a difference.

Want to learn more about peer-to-peer fundraising with Qgiv?

Looking for a peer-to-peer fundraising platform? Want to know more about the “Qgiv tip” sections in this article? We’d love to talk to you! You can give us a call at 888-855-9595, or you can contact us online for a personalized tour of our fundraising tools. We’ll learn about your unique organization and show you how our tools will work for your individual events.

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