One of the biggest changes to happen to the fundraising landscape in recent years has been the momentous rise of peer-to-peer fundraising. Spurred on by the inter-connectedness afforded by technology and social media, peer-to-peer is now one of the most popular – and lucrative – methods of raising money for a cause.
In a peer-to-peer campaign, your supporters are essentially your fundraising army. So, just like the army wouldn’t send their troops into battle without the proper equipment, it’s important to ensure your supporters have the right tools in their arsenal before they begin fundraising.
Helping your fundraisers be as effective as possible isn’t tricky - nor does it have to be expensive. With some simple planning and preparation, you’ll be able to help your fundraisers, help you.
Your first email
When your supporters sign up to take part in a peer-to-peer campaign, they should be given everything they need to get out there and start raising money in one easily-accessible place. This not only includes all relevant information on your cause and the event itself, but also the digital tools and assets they’ll use along the way. Remember, the easier you make it for them, the more successful your campaign is likely to be.
A simple way to do this is by sending an email to people when they sign up that can serve as your campaign toolbox (or Swiss Army Knife) - a one-stop shop for everything your supporters could possibly need.
Some things you can include in your induction email include:
- Imagery: Including high-resolution logos and any relevant imagery not only makes it easy for your supporters to use them when seeking donations, it also stops them from having to source them online and potentially using incorrect, outdated or low-res logos - which, despite their best intentions, can have a negative impact on the campaign success and your brand.
- Your mission statement: Help your supporters and their network to connect with your cause by telling them what you’re all about, and what the money they’re raising goes towards. Keep it short, sharp and be sure to show the real-world impact that people’s donations will have.
- Templates: Your supporters will need to solicit donations from their network, so you might want to give them a well-written template they can use when contacting people. This will not only make it super simple for people to engage with their friends, colleagues and family, it also helps you control the messaging used and ensure your cause and the campaign is represented in the best light.
- Fundraising best practices: Fundraising is your world, so you know it inside and out - but it’s important to remember that most of your supporters don’t know much about the art of fundraising. Including some basic, handy tips that they can use when raising money for your campaign is an excellent way to bring them up to speed and give them the best chance of success.
- Event day details: If your peer-to-peer campaign is built around a specific event, be sure to include all event details in a clear and easy to read format.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are potent tools when it comes to raising awareness, but they’re only useful if people are aware of them. Be sure to include any hashtags that are relevant to your cause and campaign and actively encourage people to use them in their social media posts.
Remember, this email will be the first real contact that many of your supporters have with your cause, so it’s essential you make a good first impression. Likewise, your supporters are representing you to their network, so you need to ensure they’re representing you to the standard you want.
By providing your supporters with the right tools, you are helping them to raise more in-turn, for your cause – it is a win-win situation.
Tips for the less “socially savvy”
By its very nature, modern peer-to-peer fundraising goes hand-in-hand with social networks. After all, peer-to-peer relies on using your network, and in the 21st century, what better network is there than a social network? When we consider that the average Facebook user has 388 friends, the advantage of leveraging the power of social becomes clear. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all your supporters will be comfortable using social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and some may not even know where to begin.
Help your less “social savvy” supporters to utilise social media during the campaign with a simple starter kit that breaks down the basics. Adding a PDF or a website link for a downloadable page in your induction email, explaining how to use hashtags, the ideal length for posts, and some of the other basics of social media can help encourage people to get active on social and get excited about the fundraising possibilities it offers.
Tailoring your messages
Not everyone who signs up to your campaign will have the same approach to fundraising - so you shouldn’t treat them all the same! If you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, you can see who’s participated in your campaigns before and gauge their level of expertise and dedication by looking at how much they’ve raised previously.
Little touches like thanking them for their continued support or issuing a friendly challenge to beat their previous total can go a long way to getting them engaged. Similarly, if you notice a supporter had participated before but didn’t raise any funds, you might want to give them additional information and tools in your initial email to remove any barriers they faced.
This might all seem like basic things – and they are! But it’s amazing how easy it is to overlook things like thanking your supporters for their participation, including all the background details, and giving them imagery to use. By going back to basics and ensuring your supporters are given the right tools for the job, you can take your peer-to-peer campaign to the next level.