Peer-to-peer retention is important (participants who know the ropes tend to raise more money!). But it can be tough! Peer-to-peer events often take place once a year. How do you retain your peer-to-peer participants (and donors) between events?
We have some pointers!
Peer-to-peer retention is a lot like standard donor retention
Peer-to-peer retention touches two groups of people. First, you want to retain your participants. You also want to retain your peer-to-peer donors. Luckily, many of the industry’s best practices for donor retention apply here, too.
For participants, focus your communications between events on:
- How their participation made a difference
- Celebrating their successes
- Reporting the impact they made on your community
- Testimonials and stories from event participants
- Insider details on preparations for upcoming events
The key here is to remind participants how amazing they felt during your last event. Once you have them jazzed about how great their last experience was, you can build hype around your next one.
For donors, things look a little different. In your communications with peer-to-peer donors, try these strategies:
- Tell donors how much you appreciate their involvement in your last event
- Show donors the impact they made on your community
- Send a couple emails introducing your nonprofit, what you do, and how they can get involved
- Invite them to learn more about other campaigns and programs
- After you’ve thanked them and reported their impact, ask them to consider donating again
- Build excitement around your next event and invite them to participate
Donors who give to peer-to-peer events often donate to support their friends and family. They may not even know much about you! Thanking them sincerely, introducing them to your mission, and inviting them to stay involved is the key to success here. First, show them you appreciate your donors. Then, show them that their gifts make a difference. After those two steps, invite them to stay involved by donating, volunteering, or participating in future events.
Consistent communication is the #1 peer-to-peer retention tool
Your event probably only happens once a year. The rest of the year, your participants and donors aren’t thinking about it. They have jobs and families and hobbies! But consistent communication from your team will keep your event at the forefront of their minds.
Divide your post-event communications into four stages:
- Post-event hype, updates on goal achievement, and gratitude
- Impact reporting, including stories from the people who benefitted from the event
- Pre-event hype before your next one, including fond memories and highlights from last year, insider looks at planning for the event, and polls about this year’s event
- Early registration and updates as your next event date grows closer
During the months between events, work on reminding your participants how much fun they had at your event and how much of a difference they made. If you can stay top-of-mind with participants and sustain the warm-fuzzies associated with helping your nonprofit, you’ll see a boost in returning fundraisers!
Celebrating repeat participants is a great peer-to-peer retention strategy
If peer-to-peer retention is the goal, celebrating your returning fundraisers is powerful. It shows other participants that your nonprofit values your supporters, which is a huge motivator (for both the person you recognize and everyone else!).
Before you start recognizing your returning participants, make sure they’re comfortable with you talking about them! Some people like to stay out of the limelight. Also, get approval from the person you’re recognizing if you use a picture of them.
Here are some interesting ways to celebrate your repeat participants:
- Share their story on your website in the form of a blog entry – that blog entry can go into newsletters, social posts, and participant follow-up emails
- Recognize fundraisers who have gone above and beyond at your peer-to-peer event or after party
- Include testimonials from repeat participants on your website, social channels, and marketing materials for your upcoming event
- Do spotlights on amazing participants throughout the year
- Come up with neat thank-you gifts that celebrate returning fundraisers
No matter how you choose to celebrate your returning fundraisers, make sure you do it openly and with an attitude of thankfulness. Participants love seeing that they’re valued!
These three pointers will help with your peer-to-peer retention plan, but they’re not the only options! If you want more pointers on how to keep your participants engaged during AND after your event, check out our eBook called “How to Find & Engage Your P2Peeps.” It’s full of ideas!