A key aspect of why Peer-to-Peer fundraising is so effective is fundraisers. With this resource, we take a deep dive into who fundraisers are and how they benefit your organization.
Who is a fundraiser?
Fundraisers, in this case, mean individuals who you recruit to raise money on behalf of your cause. We’ve talked about them before, and how they’re even a lot like ice cream. These individuals differ than your typical donor in a couple of ways:
2. Fundraisers expand the reach of your organization and the amount of people who you can touch with your message. A single fundraiser uses their own network of connections to communicate with their friends, family and colleagues that you otherwise would not be able to contact. As a result, your fundraisers multiply the amount of engagement and, ultimately, dollars raised to your cause.
Break it Down
Check out the hypothetical situation below, where a single fundraiser reached out to 5 friends/family members:
As you can see from the above diagram, not only did the one fundraiser raise more money than the single donor, she reached 5 more people who would not have otherwise heard or given to the cause. Ideally, those five people would turn around to tell their networks and word about the cause continues to spread.
Now that you understand the why, we’re ready to help guide you through the how. Follow along here to see more tips on how to recruit fundraisers for your upcoming campaign.
Your campaign is launched and ready to go. You’re gearing up to dive into peer-to-peer fundraising and it’s time to focus on the final (and most important) component of your campaign: your fundraisers.
In this section, we’ll lay out a few best practices to help you identify potential fundraisers and recruit those fundraisers to participate in your campaign.
Start with your all-stars: Leverage your most passionate supporters first to seed the campaign.
You can probably name your most passionate supporters off the top of you head. You might have a close relationship with them and reach out to them often with other special requests. These individuals might be on your board, volunteer organizers, high value donors, or partners of your nonprofit. These should be the first people you ask to commit to participating in a peer-to-peer campaign. Here are a few reasons how using fundraisers can help the overall success of your campaign:
Once you’ve reached out to your most passionate supporters, ask a larger group to expand your net of potential fundraisers. Reaching out to these individuals might seem daunting at first, but if they are invested in furthering your cause, odds are they’ll be more than happy to pitch in. By asking them to become fundraisers, you can leverage their enthusiasm for your mission in a different (and fun) way.
If you don’t know where to start, identify and segment your community of supporters so you can take a more personalized approach with each group:
Let’s be honest, creating an individual peer-to-peer campaign is a commitment and can feel daunting. It’s important for the communications coming from your organization to be empathetic to that. Would you commit your organization to switching to a new piece of software for a year from just one email asking you to? Of course not. You’d want to hear a little more about what it’s designed to do, be educated about all the features, learn more about others who’ve achieved success using it, and know best practices to ensure your own success. It can be valuable to consider that your supporters, while eager to help, probably need to learn a little more about the peer-to-peer experience before they will commit and be a successful fundraiser for you. With that in mind, when reaching out to your potential fundraisers, be sure to include:
Now that you’ve got all of the content, it’s time to determine the best way to deliver your message. Social Media is a great tool to cast a wide net and draw some attention to your cause, but a personalized email (or even a tailored email-blast) can make a larger impact that resonates with your supporters. Don’t be afraid to follow up with your supporters. If you’d like to check out a real life example, see our Campaign Toolkit.
In addition to targeted emails, consider featuring your successful fundraisers in as many other ways as you can at your organization. Perhaps they present a giant check at your annual gala, or are featured in your monthly newsletter. As you create a culture of fundraising, your supporters will begin to understand this as an additional way for them to help and be ready to accept the next time your targeted email pops up in their inbox.
Sweeten the pot
Some of your supporters will become fundraisers because of the warm fuzzy feeling they get when they do something good. Others might need a little extra nudge. Incentives can be a great way to make fundraising just too compelling to miss out on. Is there an end-of-year gala or spot in an annual race that you could give away to your fundraisers? Will your fundraisers receive a higher level of membership or donor status? Or, consider hosting a friendly competition between fundraising teams and award a prize to the group who wins the most.
Tip: Experiential prizes are the best motivators. For example, while many people can go buy an iPad, not everyone can receive VIP tickets to a cool concert.
So you’ve asked people to fundraise as a part of your upcoming campaign, and you have an excited group of people ready to raise money for your cause. Take a moment and celebrate. Done? Okay--now what?
If you’re running a peer-to-peer campaign, the success of your fundraisers will likely indicate the overall success of your campaign. Communication leading up to, during, and after the campaign can’t be more important for the success of your fundraisers. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a different relationship than what you have with just your donors. Here are a few tips to help make sure your fundraisers have all the right tools (and motivation) to hit their fundraising goal and make a huge impact.
Welcome them to the team
Signing up to fundraise for your campaign was likely a big step for your supporter. They might be wondering if anyone noticed or how they’ll possibly go about hitting their goal. Now is the perfect time to email them and let them know how amazing it is that they joined the fundraising team. Let them know how their fundraising efforts will support your cause, and that they’re a part of a community rallying for the same campaign. If you can, send regular communications to the team to create a sense of camaraderie and team spirit around your mission.
Reiterate the commitment
If you have a fundraising commitment, or are asking that your fundraisers also participate in another capacity, remind them of this early on so that they aren’t surprised by any deadlines or consequences if they don’t reach their goal. If your fundraisers are struggling with reaching people or getting donations, encourage them to communicate that to you and let them know that you’ll be there to support them.
Leverage your veterans
Odds are, you have a few all-star supporters who consistently raise a ton of money on your behalf. Maybe they fundraised for your cause last year and learned what works best, or they’re off to an amazing start for your campaign this year. Try pairing novice fundraisers with a veteran partner so that they can learn from someone who has succeeded at fundraising before. Or, ask your most successful fundraisers to share their top 3 fundraising tips that worked for them and feature them in your next team email.
Provide them with a calendar
Your goal should be to make fundraising for your organization as easy as possible. Creating even the simplest of messaging calendars can help provide an excellent blueprint for their communication with their network. Be as detailed as you can. Let them know when you’re kicking the campaign off, when they should send a follow up email, and when it’s time for the final push.
Help them tell your story
Be sure to give your fundraisers the full story on how the money they raise on this specific campaign will affect your cause. Once they’re fired up about helping, provide them with content they can copy and paste to get started. This could take the form of a draft to ask for donations, 3-5 talking points, or sample social media posts. Even better, include all of the above and call it a Fundraiser Toolkit.
Celebrate and thank them
It’s a big deal to become a fundraiser! Make sure your fundraisers know how much you appreciate them by saying thank you-- a lot. A personal phone call, email, or tag on social media can go a long way to make them feel special. Think about ways you might include them in your newsletter or next live event, or invite them to come to your next board meeting to speak about their experience. This crucial step will not only leave them feeling amazing, but also increase the chances that they repeat it all again for you one day.
Fundraisers are vital to grow your organization’s online presence. They accelerate growth in revenue and can act as ambassadors for your mission. Acquiring good fundraisers is a commitment that starts with identifying and recruiting potential candidates. It’s important to empower your fundraisers using a supportive, hands-on approach throughout all of your campaigns. We know it can be hard, but with these tools you will be able to create expert fundraisers and will be ready to enjoy the payoff.