Fundraising Marketing

5 things to consider when choosing a peer-to-peer platform

on October 19, 2017

Peer-to-peer fundraising, or getting your supporters to fundraise on your behalf, therefore expanding your network and, ultimately, raising more money, is becoming more and more popular in the nonprofit space. And, for good reason, over 30% of Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boom donors have given to a peer-to-peer campaign in the last 12 months. Most likely because friends and family have an emotional and trusting connection to the person fundraising on your behalf and are more apt to share their story and/or donate to their cause.

So when you’re on the hunt for a platform that’ll take your peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level, you’ve got a lot of things to take into consideration. Let’s dig into the top 5 considerations when choosing a peer-to-peer platform. It’ll be so fun. Promise.

What tools does the platform provide for you and your nonprofit organization?

Social fundraising optimization

Giving your supporters, donors, fundraisers, and evangelists the opportunity to take your cause, make it their own, then share their story quickly and easily on social media, is the essence of social fundraising. And based on the impressive way social media has changed the way the world gives and shares, it’s, in our opinion, a must-have piece of functionality for any platform contender.

Fundraising, team, and DIY functionality

Does the platform you’re eyeing have the functionality to allow you to quickly and easily set-up various types of campaigns such as a single-level campaign for general fundraising needs, a two-level campaign allowing your donors to become fundraisers and start their own DIY campaigns, and an event with multiple teams? Think about what types of campaigns you’ll need now and in the future, maybe it’s just one type, or maybe you’ll see a need for all three.

Brand customization

Your brand is so important. Your supporters identify with your brand and overall mission in many ways. From colors to logo to mission statement, making sure your brand identity isn’t lost is definitely something to consider when starting with a new platform. Pro tip: choosing a platform that allows your pages to use custom branded URLs that match your domain can really make you fundraiser and donor brand experience seamless.

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Registration/ticketing

Events are a huge part of the peer-to-peer world. From galas to walk-a-thons, you’ve got people who want to register to show their support and attend your event. Make sure the platform you’re considering offers seamless registration and ticketing integrations as well as the opportunity to ask your registrants to set-up fundraisers or share on social during the post-registration flow.

Tools for your supporters

Social sharing

Integrated sharing on social is an important nonprofit feature, but potentially even more so  for your supporters. Does the platform you’re looking at give your supporters the same powerful social sharing features? Allowing them to easily engage with their personal networks and share their passion for your cause as well as encourage donations and support is key to a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

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Image and video capabilities

One key of a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is allowing your supporters to tell your story in their own words. When they share their passion for your cause using their personal narrative, they are more likely to be successful at raising money for your cause. So, make sure the platform you're considering allows your supporters to use video as well as photos on their fundraising page to help paint that picture of why they love your cause so much.

Campaign update tool

You want a frictionless environment that’s primed and ready to allow your supporters to reach out to their network of friends and family and update them on their campaign, thank their supporters, and encourage even more donations and shares. Functionality such as a campaign update tool that allow fundraisers to reach their donor network fast allows for the opportunity for more donations, shares, and visibility. Pro tip: fundraisers will want to update their campaigns in different ways. Be sure to find out what kind of content can be used in an update (text, photos, videos, etc).

Pricing

Set-up fees, subscription fees, and subsidized fees

Do you have a clear understanding of the full pricing structure of the platform you’re checking out? Do you want your donors to be able to have the option to help subsidize any payment or transaction fees? What type of wiggle room do you have on transaction fees? And, are there any set-up fees, CRM integration fees, or hidden fees you need to be aware of? These are just some of the questions that are good to think about when you’re shopping around for platforms because there are many, many ways to set up a fee structure and you definitely don’t want to have any hidden surprises.

Data

Reporting + CRM integration

One of the best parts about having a strong peer-to-peer program is collecting all of the data brought in by your fundraisers. This data is most likely something you would not have access to without your peer-to-peer fundraisers.  Before choosing a platform be sure to know what data you’ll have access to, how deep the reporting is.

Additionally, a seamless integration with your current CRM will allow you to keep it all in one place. The last thing you want to do is waste time downloading spreadsheets out of one system just to upload them to another. Have an efficient way of seeing all your supporter data in one place can be crucial to creating successful outreach plans. Just something else to think about.

Who owns your data?

You’ll want to control your data and use it however you want, so make sure that data ownership by your organization is built into the terms and conditions of the platform.  . Remember, peer-to-peer fundraising brings in a whole new network otherwise potentially not aware of your cause. Such a great opportunity and one you don’t want to have limitations imposed on.

Execution

Who is on point?

When considering a P2P platform, it’s also a good idea to consider and understand who at your organization will be running point on your peer-to-peer program. Is it your IT department looking for a platform that’ll allow them to quickly turn on and off peer-to-peer functionality? Is it your development team who is interested in using it for an upcoming 5K you have in the pipeline? With so many different needs and objectives, it’s always a good idea to see how the platform will work with your team members.

Evergreen or episodic

Either you’re going to add P2P to some, all, or one of your fundraising programs. Making the program distinction between being an evergreen, year-round initiative versus more episodic for an upcoming event is something to consider when looking for a platform. Also, keeping in mind that your needs could evolve and change, and your platform will need to as well.

So much to think about

When looking to incorporate peer-to-peer into your fundraising strategy and adopt a new platform, yes, there are a lot of things to consider, but doing the work to really think about each and every one of them and digging into how each will affect your objective and bottom line, makes it easier to run a successful peer-to-peer program in the long run.

Want to learn more about how CrowdRise can take your peer-to-peer program to the next level? We’re ready to chat.

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Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.