NuPath, Inc., an organization in Woburn, Massachusetts, advocates for people with disabilities and provides an array of services to them and their families. And they’ve found the secret sauce when it comes to meeting and exceeding their peer-to-peer fundraising goals!
Want proof? From 2014-2016, NuPath’s average amount raised per fundraiser increased from $90.20 to $510.78! Their 2018 event was a record-breaker, with just over $184,000 donated or entered through Qgiv—that’s 123% of their fundraising goal!
With a little elbow grease and following best practices from NuPath, you can do it, too! Here’s how to set yourself up for peer-to-peer success.
1. For peer-to-peer success, get social
NuPath’s social channels were on fire before, during, and after their 2018 Walk the Walk event. Their Executive Director, Dan Harrison, posted frequent video updates and encouragement. A member of 2017’s top fundraising family starred in an event launch video outlining 2018’s fundraising goal and the resources NuPath offers. They also encouraged people to sign up as participants.
Their frequent video updates included some funny ones, too. One of them was an entertaining video of Dan shoveling snow in front of the facility, and he promised to ensure they’d be snow-free for the event. But it wasn’t all fun and games! They also used the opportunity to provide a fundraising update.
Another great way they shared progress was by posting screenshots of their fundraising thermometer. It’s an eye-catching way to get people to stop scrolling through their feeds to read your post!
NuPath even shared a video update from a team who held a fundraiser within the fundraiser! They hosted a “Taste of Italy” dinner to raise funds for the Walk. Their video was shared on social media to encourage other teams to host similar events. It was also a great way to foster an atmosphere of friendly competition.
They posted promotional videos on their YouTube channel and shared those, as well! This video is just 43 seconds long, but it packs a punch!
It’s important to let your event participants and donors know how they made an impact and that you appreciate them. After the event, NuPath was sure to post updates and thank-yous. Make sure you follow their example!
2. Your staff sets the example
Did you notice something about the last section? We mentioned Dan, the Executive Director, multiple times. Getting your staff and board members heavily involved in your event can have a huge impact on its success. Try pairing higher-ups on your staff or board with a handful of participants. Ask them to keep in touch to offer support, mentoring, encouragement, and tips. A little effort goes a long way!
Dan is all about accountability and getting people highly engaged. Brett Reilly, the VP of Marketing and Communications, says he has witnessed Dan’s hands-on approach:
“Dan will take somebody in an entry-level position or even someone new to the organization, and someone at the executive level and bring them together for a mission,” he said. “The newcomer to the organization may raise $4,000, while the 25-year veteran might raise $1,000—he really knows how to blur the lines of management and show everyone that they can learn from each other. He’s determined to see the organization working together for one cause. I’ve watched him, in such a strategic way, engage an employee in whom he sees maybe a faint sparkle. Dan’s goal in peer-to-peer fundraising has always been to create a competitive (but fair) playing field for all stakeholders, but he’s quick to identify those that may not rise up without his support.”
Here he is speaking to a group of Walk participants:
NuPath loves celebrating participants and top fundraisers. Rewards are offered for the top teams, and there’s an award ceremony at the event. They also host a blowout event for the top 50 fundraisers, which they call Club 50. One of NuPath’s most effective strategies is investing in Club 50 to show that they’re valued and appreciated.
“They’re raising 80% of the funds and they make up only 20% of the fundraisers – call it the perfect 80/20 rule,” Reilly said. “We realize that this dedicated group of stakeholders deserves continued support and added resources to not only rise to the next level, but be role models for those that want to join this elite group! We’re dedicated to investing both time and unrestricted donor funds to continue to elevate this important group!”
4. The secret to peer-to-peer success
Seems like the secret to peer-to-peer success is pretty simple. Be engaged! You expect engagement from your participants, but you have to set that example for them. The success of your peer-to-peer event is as much in YOUR hands as it is in those of your participants.