While there’s no shortage of information and advice on how best to create and promote a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, there’s very little data available on P2P retention rates following a campaign, particularly among first-time donors to the organization.
With direct donor retention rates among first time donors at an already staggering low of 22.9%, it’s likely to assume that retention rates among P2P donors are even lower. After all, donors are supporting the fundraiser – their friend, co-worker or family member – and not the organization who ultimately benefits.
Imagine the impact if fundraisers could retain those donors and turn them into the kinds of advocates that conducted the P2P campaign to begin with!
Here are three tips on how to maximize retention before and after a P2P fundraising campaign:
1. Have the fundraiser contact last year’s donors.
There’s no reason for P2P fundraisers to start from scratch if they participated in a campaign during the previous year, especially if they were able to bring new donors into the fold. Encourage your fundraiser to reach out to these individuals personally as soon as the campaign launches but before it is actively promoted.
2. Have the fundraiser re-introduce the charity in the gift acknowledgement.
Having the gift acknowledgement come from the fundraiser on behalf of the charity is a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn’t open a message from a friend or family member? The content of this message, however, can make or break the long-term relationship between the donor and the charity. Encourage your fundraiser to re-introduce the charity in the acknowledgement. Have them state the great work they do, how the money will be used and why they support the organization. Finally, ask them to consider continuing their support beyond just their run or walk donation.
3. Start a dialogue in the first follow-up.
According to Dr. Adrian Sargeant, two-way interactions significantly improve donor retention. Start a dialogue in your first direct communication to the donor. Ask them for their communication preference (method and frequency), and use this opportunity to find out more about them personally. “What interests you about our organization?” and “What kind of results do you expect from our organization?” are excellent leading questions.
Remember: a peer-to-peer campaign doesn’t have to be a one-and-done! Take extra care in your communications to ensure longterm commitment and loyalty.