As a fundraising professional, you may have already leveraged peer-to-peer fundraising as part of your efforts. After all, peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful social giving tool that can expand your donor circle beyond your typical reach.
If you haven’t used peer-to-peer fundraising, however, now is a great time to start!
How does peer-to-peer fundraising work?
During a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, nonprofits call on their supporters to fundraise on their behalf. Here’s how it works:
- First: Decide on your nonprofit’s campaign goal and choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
- Second: Set up your main campaign page to serve as the hub of your peer-to-peer campaign.
- Third: Assist your supporters in setting up and promoting their own individual campaign pages.
- Fourth: Monitor the campaign as needed.
On the surface, peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective way to leverage your supporters’ personal networks and raise more. But how do you prepare them to do all of this?
Your peer-to-peer participants form the backbone of your entire campaign. By leveraging their networks, they help you tap into new networks and donors who want to support your cause. In order to make this outreach successful, your peer-to-peer participants may need proper training and fundraising resources to ensure they make the most of the campaign.
Preparing your participants for your peer-to-peer campaigns doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming. By incorporating the following strategies into your plan, you can empower them to take your fundraising to the next level:
- Training Sessions
- Communication Resources
- Event Training
Are you ready to take your peer-to-peer participants to the next level? Let’s get started!
1. Training Sessions
One of the most effective ways you can get your participants ready for your big peer-to-peer campaign is to equip them to be better, smarter fundraisers for your cause. Offer training that provides them with the information they need to spread awareness, solicit donations, and recruit more supporters.
During your training sessions, show them how to use your peer-to-peer fundraising software, give them samples post and communications, and share materials your participants can use throughout the campaign.
Further, let them know how you or your team will provide ongoing support through the campaigns. This includes how to reach out with questions, FAQs, and other ongoing support needs. Serving as an ongoing source of support for your participants will serve everyone well in the long-run.
These training sessions can include:
- Group sessions. Gather everyone together to learn in a group environment. Make it fun. According to our recent Social Fundraiser study, fun and enjoyment are major factors for fundraising success.
- Online sessions. If your supporters are remote or your nonprofit reaches a wide geographical area, invite fundraisers to participate in a webinar as a virtual learning platform.
- Information packets. Provide downloads or informative blog posts, emails, and other resources for your fundraisers to conduct research regarding strategies to raise more.
- Fundraising best practice. Share with them resources that talk about how to ask your peers for money or the best tips to recruit new participants from your networks.
- And more! If you have other ideas about how to best reach and train your supporters, don’t be afraid to explore them! Everyone responds to different activities, so tailor your training strategies to your supporters’ interests.
Make it Easy Tip: Make sure all of your peer-to-peer participants sign up to take part in the campaign by a certain deadline so you can train them all at the same time. This will ease the preparation process for you and help ensure everyone is on the same page.
If you’re looking for more information on starting your peer-to-peer fundraiser, check out the ultimate guide by OneCause.
2. Communication Resources
Much of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign revolves around communication. Your participants will demonstrate their connection to your cause in front of their networks of friends, family, and colleagues. For that reason, ensuring they have a proper communication plan is essential.
Focus on the following methods of communication:
- Social media
- Fundraising pages
- Direct Mail
- Phone calls
Let’s explore how each of these can make a difference in your campaign.
Email: Email is versatile and can be used for all sorts of communications: fundraising outreach, thank-you messages, updates on fundraising goals, and others. Provide your supporters with email templates they can use to send out to their networks.
Templates serve as a way to ensure that your organization’s primary message is getting across, while also giving your participants an opportunity to add their own personal touch. Combining these two elements will result in an effective fundraising email that will inspire new supporters to give to your cause.
Social Media: Social media is one of the biggest channels that propels peer-to-peer fundraising forward. Through social media, content can be shared, go viral, and connect nonprofits to new supporters.
When you offer social media templates to your participants (similar to the email templates), you’ll give them great content they can work with and tweak as needed. Equip this social media toolkit with sample posts, logos, and graphics so they’re fully prepared.
Placing a familiar face (that of your participants) next to your nonprofit’s name will encourage their friends and family to learn more about your nonprofit—and potentially give to your campaign!
Fundraising Pages: Don’t forget about your actual fundraising pages! Each participant in your peer-to-peer fundraiser will have an individual campaign page that they can personalize with videos, images, and their own stories that demonstrate your impact and their connection to your campaign.
Encourage your participants to leverage this type of media to make their fundraising pages as impactful and influential as possible!
Direct Mail: Direct mail isn’t obsolete! It’s still a great way to communicate with donors and add a personalized touch to your fundraising outreach.
Any peer-to-peer participants who wish to take part in a direct mail campaign can use the templates you provide to sign their own letters and send them out to their networks.
Phone Calls: Your peer-to-peer participants can even leverage phone calls as a way to spread the word about your campaign. Help your participants compile a list of likely donors and practice the phone call beforehand. You can also provide a general script for them to follow.
Offering sufficient communication resources to your participants will keep your bases covered and ensure they successfully communicate your mission and their personal connection to it. Be sure to provide these resources in a convenient manner (via information packets, online, etc.) so your participants can easily access them.
3. Event Training
As you may know, peer-to-peer fundraising serves as a great lead-up to events, especially athletic events like 5K races, walk-a-thons, and other endurance events.
However, there’s a specific type of peer-to-peer fundraiser that also leads up to big events, and you can leverage this as part of your campaign. This is called Ambassador Fundraising.
Ambassador Fundraising takes peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level. As described in the OneCause guide to Ambassador Fundraising, it leverages peer-to-peer fundraising in conjunction with galas, auctions, golf outings, or any other type of event. The nonprofits will select “ambassadors” who are ardent supporters and highly visible in the community to fundraise leading up to the event.
Here’s how Ambassador Fundraising works:
- Ambassadors are chosen and given social fundraising tools so they can begin fundraising.
- Ambassadors use individual fundraising pages to bring in donations from their networks and encourage supporters to attend your big event.
- After fundraising for months or weeks leading up to your event, a winning ambassador is chosen at the event itself.
This competitive element motivates ambassadors to supercharge their fundraising and it’s a great element to add to any large event.
So how does this tie into preparing your participants?
Let’s say you’re running a silent auction and using an Ambassador campaign to lead up to your event. Spend time training your ambassadors to do more than just raise money; train them to promote your event and encourage other supporters to attend it.
This means incorporating ambassadors into your marketing campaign and giving them easy-to-use resources to help spread the word and engage their networks.
Larger events like galas and auctions can have a huge impact on your fundraising potential. Leveraging Ambassador Fundraising as part of your strategy will only enhance it. Just be sure to walk your ambassadors through:
- How they can personalize their individual fundraising pages
- How donors will use the platform to make a donation
- Your nonprofit staff’s marketing efforts
- All social media guidelines, including hashtags and accounts they should tag in their posts
Adequately prepare your ambassadors to fundraise and promote your event and ensure they have a positive experience doing so. From there, you’ll be on your way to raising the money you need!
Peer-to-peer fundraising prep doesn’t have to be a chore. By leveraging all the resources available to you, including your peer-to-peer fundraising software, templates, and training materials, you’ll ensure that your participants go through a smooth process and that your nonprofit raises the funds it needs.
Looking for a peer-to-peer fundraising platform to get the ball rolling? Reach out to the Firefly Partners team to start the tool selection process. Good luck!