Shreya Tragad is the Digital Marketing Specialist at InitLive. She’s a creative content creator focusing on delivering information about the importance of volunteerism for nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about creating engaging content, writing, and graphic design to help viewers easily retain information. You can find her work at www.initlive.com or on Linkedin and Twitter.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising is a powerful online fundraising strategy that empowers individuals to fundraise on behalf of your cause. But without an effective volunteer recruitment strategy, finding participants for peer-to-peer fundraisers can be challenging.
To push your fundraising efforts past the finish line, you want to engage supporters who have a deep connection with your cause and a motivation to help you reach your goals.
Plenty of organizations turn to donors or social media advocates to recruit as peer-to-peer fundraising participants. You may also have an additional group of passionate supporters who can help your P2P efforts succeed: your volunteers!
Here are five volunteer recruitment tips to help with P2P fundraisers:
- Reach out to long-time, engaged volunteers.
- Use social media to connect with potential participants.
- Prepare participants with a peer-to-peer fundraising guide.
- Provide incentives for participation.
- Cheer on your volunteers to help them reach their goals.
You will need access to a variety of software tools to help make your event a success. These include peer-to-peer fundraising software as well as a volunteer management system to help engage your volunteers. With this in mind, let’s dive in!
1. Reach out to long-time, engaged volunteers.
Volunteers who have been a part of your organization for a long time are already familiar with your cause and goals. That’s why it’s a good idea to start your peer-to-peer recruitment efforts with them.
Your volunteers choose to dedicate their time to your organization because they’re passionate about your cause. Peer-to-peer fundraising pages are a great way to get volunteer fundraisers to speak passionately about your organization’s impact. They can customize the content on their pages, and many often include personal stories and experiences. This adds a layer of trust for donors and encourages them to donate knowing they’re helping a peer support a cause they’re connected to.
Another reason you should reach out to long-time engaged volunteers is because they’re experts on your nonprofit. Your volunteers know what your organization is focusing on, how you plan to achieve your goals, and the impact you’re making, which makes them the perfect advocates.
Use your volunteer database within your volunteer management system to identify long-time volunteers who may be good candidates for becoming peer-to-peer fundraisers. Your database will make it easier to determine who to contact based on their frequency and history of volunteering. You can check data points such as the number of hours worked per individual or whether they have worked within the past three months to know exactly who to reach out to.
Contact these prospective volunteers individually to see if they’d like to get involved. Be sure to use their preferred name in your messages and reference their history of involvement to personalize your outreach.
2. Use social media to connect with potential participants.
Promote your P2P opportunity on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Share why you’re raising money and what the funds will be used for.
You may wonder who exactly you should start connecting with to recruit the most successful participants. You can determine who your most engaged followers are by tracking who is actively interacting with you on social media. Keep track of the followers who comment, share, and mention your page the most. Since these individuals are already highly engaged with your organization, they’re more likely to participate in your P2P campaign. Here’s how you can get a conversation started:
- Direct message potential participants – Send personalized messages directly to your most engaged social media followers to invite them to participate. Sending a direct message will strike interest and capture attention from potential participants more effectively than if they saw a post about your cause amongst many others on their homepage. It allows you to stand out.
- Create a P2P social page – LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to create group pages to share information with all fundraising participants. You can ask your staff or volunteers to share your page to attract the interest of potential participants. It’s also an efficient way to send out important information to everyone all at once.
- Create shareable content – You want to ensure you’ve optimized your outreach content for maximum shareability. You can incorporate fun polls and surveys to engage potential participants and appeal to your advocates. Keep your content interesting and unique and remember to provide a link to your fundraising page in case your viewers want more information.
Social media is an effective, low-cost way to connect with your prospective peer-to-peer fundraising participants and get them the information they need to get started.
3. Prepare participants with a peer-to-peer fundraising guide.
Remember, since most of your volunteers probably haven’t participated in a P2P fundraiser before, they’ll need some advice and guidance to ensure they reach their personal fundraising goals. Providing them with the right tools and training will make them feel motivated and ready to start! Here’s how you can guide your participants:
- Share social media templates and training videos – Double the Donation recommends offering your participants access to resources like social media templates and online training videos to help them prepare to launch their fundraiser. You want your advocates to feel confident and encouraged, so be sure to answer any questions they have throughout the training process.
- Include a fundraising tips tab on your event page – Qgiv recommends creating a permanent tab on your peer-to-peer event page or microsite that offers fundraising tips for participants. This will ensure that your participants have a resource they can return to at any time if they have questions.
- Connect them with previous volunteers – Offer opportunities for your new volunteers to connect with previous volunteers to learn tips on how to thrive while P2P fundraising! Your experienced volunteers know best and getting guidance from them will boost confidence for first-timers. This also helps build community within your volunteer program.
Be sure to continually follow up with participants throughout the campaign. You can even connect volunteers with a mentor or more experienced P2P participant to help guide them through the process and reach their goals.
4. Provide incentives for participation.
Offering incentives increases participation, donations, and volunteer retention. Fundraising incentives are any perks offered to your supporters to encourage them to join your campaign and meet their goals. Incentives include any tangible products, special offers, or unique opportunities as your way of showing gratitude! Here are some fundraising incentives you can provide:
- Merchandise – Offering customized merchandise is a great way to raise awareness of your mission and offer your fundraisers something to be proud of. For example, you might offer a free t-shirt, hat, tote bag, or face mask. You can make it more personal and special by allowing volunteers to personalize their merch by adding their names or even pictures.
- Recognition – Recognition is a powerful incentive as well! You can create a leaderboard to track your most active participants and post updates online for everyone to see. Offering an award or a gift card at the end of the campaign is a great way to provide recognition for your fundraisers’ efforts and willingness.
- Networking opportunities – Giving your participants the opportunity to meet others is another great incentive as it allows them to network. You can facilitate connections using your volunteer Facebook group, mentoring program, or post-fundraiser volunteer recognition event.
Incentives are not only beneficial for the happiness and satisfaction of your volunteers. They boost team bonding and strengthen relationships between your volunteers. In fact, research shows that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations when employees are connected and motivated.
5. Cheer on your volunteers to help them reach their goals.
As a nonprofit professional, you want to support and encourage your volunteers from start to finish. Stay in touch with participants throughout the P2P campaign to motivate them to reach their personal goals.
Starting an email campaign is an excellent way to share fundraising tips and tricks, incentives, and mentorship opportunities for under-performing participants. It’s a great way to keep your fundraisers updated and connected throughout the process. For instance, you can set up a volunteer appreciation campaign that acknowledges and inspires volunteers through a series of emails.
You can also have virtual meetings with your volunteers and help them set goals for fundraising and guide them on how they can successfully do so. Remember to provide the proper training and take the time and effort to make them feel ready. Post clear instructions that can be easily accessed at any time to ensure volunteers feel confident.
Remind your volunteers that you’re available to answer any questions or receive feedback. The level of your volunteers’ engagement reflects your ability to listen to their suggestions, wants, and needs.
There you have it! Now that you’ve learned the best strategies to recruit volunteers to help with peer-to-peer fundraising, it’s time to plan how you want to go about starting your campaign. Remember to start with a goal in mind and ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are you trying to recruit?
- How will you approach them?
- How will you provide a sufficient amount of training and motivation to help them thrive?
Once you have a clear strategy, your volunteers will be empowered to help you make a difference.
Looking for more resources to help you build a great team of volunteers? Check out these additional resources: