This guest post was submitted by Cathexis Partners.
You know that hosting peer-to-peer campaigns and events is a great way to extend your fundraising reach. But, how do you get more people to participate, and get those participants more involved?
Here are seven tips for recruiting more participants and engaging with them more deeply for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events:
1. Evaluate your process.
Whether you’re just getting started with peer-to-peer fundraising or it’s been a part of your fundraising mix for years, take some time to re-think your process. Sometimes taking a step back to thoughtfully examine your campaign approach from start to finish can give you fresh ideas on how to recruit and engage participants. The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising is a great place to start. It includes tips, tricks, and techniques for successful peer-to-peer fundraising. As you evaluate your process, take a look at peer-to-peer fundraising examples from other nonprofits for inspiration.
2. Ask, clearly.
Many of your supporters will be happy to participate and help you raise funds — but you have to ask! In every form of communication, make sure that your call-to-action is clear, and remember, asking someone to register and asking someone to fundraise are two DIFFERENT asks. If someone hasn’t registered yet, your messaging should be about asking them to register (not “register and fundraise”). Once someone is a registered participant, then you can target them with fundraising communications.
3. Know your key participants.
Most peer-to-peer campaigns and events have a similar model in that a small percentage of participants raise the most funds. But, do you know these key fundraisers? They are usually people most impacted by or dedicated to your cause. So, how do you find more like them? That depends on your specific organization, but once you ask yourself that question, you’re on the right track to acquiring more of your biggest assets.
4. Leverage your participants.
The supporters who register to fundraise for your organization can be your biggest cheerleaders. Ask your top performers how else they may want to help, and see if they can use their story to recruit other participants. You’ll likely get more fundraisers on board and deepen your relationship with your participants.
5. Follow up.
Once someone signs up to raise funds, how are you communicating with them? Make sure there are standard processes for communications used after someone commits to your cause. Some of these can be automatic, using your peer-to-peer fundraising software, 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
- Develop a clear thank you program to ensure fundraisers and donors feel appreciated
6. Reach out directly.
Pick up the phone and call your fundraisers. Ask them how things are going, and thank them for their work. Or, write a personalized note or 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.
7. Re-think your software.
This may seem like an odd tip for getting participants more involved, but peer-to-peer software can make a big difference in your ability to recruit and engage with people around your campaigns. If you don’t have a software platform designed for peer-to-peer fundraising, or if you do but the software is difficult for participants or staffers to use, it might be time to look for a new platform. To get started, here’s a guide for choosing a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
When you need to get more participants more involved with your peer-to-peer fundraising, these approaches are a great place to start. Give them a try — you’ll be well on your way to taking your program to new heights!
Daniella Dowiak is an account manager at Cathexis Partners and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years. With a deep understanding of nonprofits’ limited resources, she is passionate about helping organizations get the most out of their technology.