How to Love Your Peer-to-Peer Donors

Donor Acquisition and Retention

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Peer-to-peer donors deserve donor love, too!

Peer-to-peer events are a tried and true way of meeting fundraising goals and engaging your supporters. Participant appreciation is easy when they’re the ones out there raising money for you. But are peer-to-peer donors also a major focus for you? They should be! Loving donors as much as your participants will help you build relationships, boost visibility, and improve donor retention!

We know you love your peer-to-peer donors! They’re invaluable to your organization. Here are a few pointers that will show them how much you love them:

Communication builds strong relationships and great retention

It goes without saying, but you must consistently communicate with your peer-to-peer donors. Effective communication builds strong relationships, and that keeps retention rates high! When you email your donors, vary your messages. Emails and updates shouldn’t be the same for every person! Segment donors and participants to keep all communication efforts relevant.

When emailing your donors, take time to make sure the communication they receive is relevant. Segment your donors so you can speak to:

  • The level of gift they made (you wouldn’t email a $10 donor the way you’d email a $1,000 donor!)
  • Any dedication information they included in their gift
  • Which program or restriction they chose to support (if applicable)
  • Their giving history (don’t talk to a regular donor they way you’d talk to a new one)

Be intentional about emailing your peer-to-peer donors. It’s easy to remember to send participants information. But donors shouldn’t be left in the dark, either!

Here are a few ways to keep peer-to-peer donors involved:
  • Update donors with impact reports. Show them the difference their contribution made with statistics and impactful images.
  • Many peer-to-peer donors want to support their friend or family member. They may not be familiar with your organization! Send a few emails introducing your mission and stories. Why does their gift matter? What else can they do to help make a difference? Give them ways to get involved with your cause.
  • Invite them to participate/volunteer in future events.
  • Let them know about your main event and invite them to attend.

If donors feel loved and valued, they are more likely to become participants either now or in the future. It also makes them more likely to donate again, either to this campaign or to a different one. Building an immediate line of communication has an incredible payoff.

Recognition goes a long way for participants AND donors

Donor love and donor retention go hand in hand. Show your donors love and they’re more likely to stick around! You probably know all about recognizing participants, but recognizing donors is often an afterthought. Donor recognition is just as important, though, and it keeps your event at the forefront of their minds.

Don’t stop celebrating donors after your event! They should feel appreciated all the time. A great participant communication plan recognizes participants after the event is over: participants should get updates, highlights, and post-event impact reports.  Donors deserve similar recognition and updates!

Some interesting ways to celebrate donors:
  • Spotlights on recurring or very involved donors show that you value them. Publicly thank them for their support in emails or on social media.
  • Feature donors and their stories in your newsletter or post-event emails.
  • Thank them publicly at the event itself.

Pro tip: make sure donors are comfortable with being addressed publicly. Get their permission before using their name or picture in any form of communication.

Donor appreciation is as important as participant recognition. Your donors make your organization’s success possible. Establish donor appreciation methods before your event begins; that way, you’ll have a plan in place to retain any new donors who come to you through your participants.

Thank your P2Peeps

Feeling valued is important for participants and donors alike. Thank them BOTH immediately after an event! Donors will be excited to receive thanks for supporting your organization and will appreciate updates.

Keep the gratitude going throughout the year. Did they help you reach your peer-to-peer goal? Tell them! Did they achieve something amazing? Show donors what they achieved! Share success stories with your donors. Tangible proof that they made a difference is powerful.

How to thank donors:
  • Send donors a donor-focused thank you letter. Don’t make any appeals here! Focus on sincerely thanking the donor for their gift, and show them that they made a difference.
  • Offer donors a way to connect. They’ve shown they care about your mission. Help them connect with the community. Invite them to like social media pages, volunteer, or get involved in other ways.
  • Send a thank you from those who benefitted from their donation. These are great to include on impact reports.

Thanking donors doesn’t have to be hard. Here is a great template to start with!

Donor love should be practiced year-round

Peer-to-peer donors often feel neglected. Sure, they supported their friend or family member — but do they get a real thank-you from you? When a peer-to-peer donor gives to you, it’s often their very first interaction with your nonprofit. Make the most of it! With a little work, brand-new peer-to-peer donors can become long-time supporters.

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