This is the second article in a series on peer-to-peer fundraising for charities and non-profits. In this post, I’ll explain 7 action steps you can take to launch your year-round peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
STEP 1: RESEARCH AND COMPARE
Research the best possible online tool for creating personal giving pages.
There are lot of free, low-cost and fee-based options on offer and more are being created every time. Research and compare pricing, functionality, geographic reach (e.g. is it available to your supporters in their country), performance reviews, design, tone, the level to which the donor can personalize their page, and ease of use for both your supporters and you. There lots of reviews online about different tools. See http://sumac.com/comparison-of-top-10-social-fundraising-websites#sthash.WSUnMUnn.dpuf for one example.
STEP 2: SET UP YOUR ONLINE PLATFORM
The details of how to do this and how to brand your page will depend on which provider you choose. It shouldn’t take long to set up your charity’s site – just about an hour or two. Make sure that the text and images you use to brand your site are compelling and inspiring.
STEP 3: ADD THE PEER-TO-PEER OPTION FUNDRAISING TO YOUR WEBSITE
For year-round fundraising, your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign should be a permanent fixture on your website and should fit within your overall design. It should:
- be on your homepage – perhaps with a click-through button;
- be explained on a great landing page that is simple to figure out and with FAQs. For an excellent example of a landing page see charity:water’s page
- use graphics to support your text;
- include prominent calls to action;
- come with tools to share via email and social media;
- have well-written and compelling templates for emails so that all your supporters have to do is hit send;
- highlight events for fundraising – birthdays, holidays etc.
STEP 4: HOW TO SPREAD THE WORD
Have a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy to introduce people to the idea of peer-to-peer fundraising and to coach them along the way. This would include:
- a social media strategy;
- a donor stewardship strategy to thank donors, such as immediate phone calls to thank people whenever they create a page (see more details about stewardship below);
- a calendar and strategy for key dates for your organizations and holidays that your supporters might want to tap into for their fundraising pages – e.g. Mother’s Day, Earth Day, International Women’s Day;
- regular news about your peer-to-peer campaign in your newsletter, and blog so that your supporters know these tools are available and so that they can be inspired by stories of how people are using them. Using blog posts or newsletter articles to highlight a donor’s story is also a great way to thank that person, if they’re willing to have their story shared;
- consider rotating in different projects. Depending upon your organization’s greatest needs, you can change where the funds are going every so often. For example, you could establish quarterly projects that will be funded, in whole or in part, by the proceeds from your supporter fundraising program.
STEP 5: TEST AND GET FEEDBACK
Test your campaign in house and iron out any kinks. See if board members, volunteers, staff and your closest supporters will start the ball rolling with their own campaigns and share their feedback with you on how the process can be streamlined and improved.
STEP 6: LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN
Pick a date for your public launch for the campaign and start spreading the word, following your communication and marketing plan.
STEP 7: SAY THANK YOU OFTEN AND DEMONSTRATE IMPACT
As in everything else in fundraising, you can’t overestimate the power of good donor stewardship – thanking people for their gifts or efforts on behalf of your charity and showing them the impact that their generosity has made. With peer-to-peer fundraising you need to have a clear strategy to keep your fundraisers in the fold. Be proactive.
- When someone creates a giving page, pick up the phone and call them right away to thank them, to see if they had any problems with the platform, to ask if they need any help or information, to provide them with any materials that will make their page more interesting – like photos.
- Stay in touch with your fundraisers, especially with your most active ones, and send them personal notes (a good board task);
- Share their success stories to both recognize their efforts and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. This can be done through your newsletter, Facebook page, Twitter, blog etc.
- Close the loop. Make sure that you let your fundraisers know what type of impact they are helping your organization make. Try to give them concrete information and share pictures, stories and even video, so that they can also share this with their friends who have given. This is the easiest way to cement a positive relationship between your organization and your supporters and keep them inspired and engaged;
- Show them the love. Make them feel like a part of the family – invite them to special events, call them, send them birthday cards, share your success stories — and they will continue to raise money for you year after year.