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How To Keep Donors and Participants Coming Back

For progressive nonprofits that run peer-to-peer events or DIY fundraising, it’s important to have strategies to reach new event participants and donors. It’s also critical to find ways to maintain relationships with those who are already involved so you can keep them fundraising on your behalf and inspire them to participate in new ways each year. Here are a few of our tips for deepening these connections.

Meet Participants Where They Are

Your event participants and those running DIY events, like honor or memorial pages, want to know that you’re paying attention. Whether your tool allows you to create a single message and conditionalize the email content based on certain characteristics, or you have to create groups in your CRM and send separate customized emails, regular communication with your participants and donors goes a long way. There are many approaches you can take for these messages. You could send emails to fundraisers as they hit certain milestones towards their goal, send advice and coaching on how to get more donations, encourage them to update their personal fundraising page, or suggest that they increase their goal after they reach it. Post-event you can send a thank you message that highlights the overall success of your event. During and after the event, these messages remind everyone that you know about their efforts and appreciate them. 

Incorporate Gamification

From special badges that appear on fundraising pages, to leaderboards, to social media shout-outs, gamification simply means creating friendly competition and ways to reward and recognize event participants. This strategy can help build a stronger connection between you and your constituents. One suggestion is to call out specific donors or fundraisers in emails or blog posts that describe not only their accomplishments but also the story of what inspired them to participate. This could have the side benefit of encouraging more people on your email list or among your social media followers to get involved if they see their own personal connections reflected in these stories.

Convey Their Impact

Reminding participants about why their involvement in your peer-to-peer or DIY campaign matters can help inspire them to stay connected to your organization. For those already on your email list, make sure they know the importance of their contributions. Tell them exactly where the funds they raise or the dollars they donate are going and how this funding will help your organization achieve its mission. For new donors, create an email welcome series that gives them an introduction to your work. Since they are likely inspired to give because of a personal relationship with a participant, it’s important that they know more about your nonprofit, so they can become regular donors or participants in other events.

Create A Post-Event Survey

There is always room for improvement with any peer-to-peer event or DIY fundraising campaign, and these suggestions should not only come from your nonprofit’s staff. You can ask questions of participants and donors as well, about what inspired them to participate or give. This can help you find other supporters with similar interests or characteristics. You can also ask what you can do next year to improve the process. A post-event survey benefits you because it can help you understand what you can do better. For your participants, it shows that you care about making their involvement as fulfilling and easy as possible. Make sure you aggregate these suggestions in a document or spreadsheet and save it in an easy to find place so you can actually use them next time around.

Peer-to-peer and DIY fundraising are excellent tools for nonprofits to raise money. In order to build on success year after year, it’s critical that you don’t overlook relationship building. If you need help launching your campaign, or putting these strategies to work, let us know and we can get started on a project today.

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