New Year’s resolutions often sport the reputation of being abandoned two weeks into January. But when it comes to setting goals for your nonprofit, the new year is the perfect time to do so!
You’ll have an influx of donations from year-end giving, including some from new donors and those who’ve transitioned to higher giving levels. And as your donor base develops, so do your opportunities to engage with your donors’ extended networks.
Peer-to-peer fundraising allows your organization to capitalize on these networks.
That’s why setting New Year’s resolutions for peer-to-peer fundraising can help your organization start off on the right foot with your donors and their personal connections.
In this article, we’ll cover the top 6 resolutions to amp up your peer-to-peer program:
- Equip your team with the right tools.
- Optimize online donation forms.
- Select smart donation tiers.
- Gamify peer-to-peer fundraising.
- Engage your social media followers.
- Thank everyone.
1. Equip your teams with the right tools.
To hold a successful peer-to-peer campaign, your first step should be investing in the proper software2. If your P2P software already works for your organization, great!
But if your fundraising tech needs an update, then ask yourself these questions before you make a purchase:
- Does the software offer easy integration with our CRM?
- How many individual fundraisers can use it?
- What kind of training is provided?
- Are personal donation pages easy to create and customizable?
- What types of features are included?
- What is our budget?
Choosing a great peer-to-peer platform can streamline your fundraising so that both your fundraising teams and your donors have a positive experience during your campaign.
Your software, after all, is the foundation of your P2P campaign.
Of course, your nonprofit may need to provide additional tools to your fundraising teams to support their fundraising efforts.
You can create toolkits to help your fundraising teams communicate effectively with their personal networks.
Your toolkits can include:
- Fundraising strategy basics. The great thing about P2P fundraising is that any of your supporters have the opportunity to participate. The challenge is that many of them may have never asked others for donations. You can walk them through the process with simple steps, so that everyone understands how to tell their personal stories, make an ask, and thank contributors.
- Suggested copy for personal fundraising pages, social media posts, and emails. This copy should be customizable but straightforward, giving your teams a spring board that they can use if they’ve never asked for donations or thanked donors before. It also helps your organization keep your nonprofit’s mission consistent across multiple fundraising teams.
- Additional content. Providing your supporters with photos and videos that they can share can help them create multiple appeals for donations. After all, engaging content can attract more of their personal connections to their donation pages.
Providing your supporters with toolkits can keep their fundraising efforts consistent and give them a launching point for starting their campaigns.
2. Optimize online donation forms.
To ensure that your P2P campaign runs smoothly, you’ll need to optimize your online donation forms.
Online donation forms need to be as simple and convenient as possible to encourage more donations3.
In fact, complicated and time-consuming donation forms can actually deter donors from giving. In the new year, ensure that everyone who wants to give follows through with their contributions.
To do so, you’ll need to:
- Only require necessary information, such as the donor’s name, billing and mailing address, and credit or debit card information4.
- Include a checkbox that donors can click if their billing and mailing addresses are the same, so that they don’t have to fill out these fields twice.
- Provide suggested giving amounts, so that donors can easily click the donation that’s right for them.
- Only include a single button that says “Make a Donation.”
- Do not require donors to make accounts.
- Keep the donation form to a single page.
Keeping your donation forms simple ensures that donors know exactly what they need to do to give.
In addition to these basic practices, you’ll want to optimize your donation pages for mobile devices.
Many donors enjoy the convenience of giving from their phones. As technology advances, donors are becoming more and more comfortable with mobile giving, and many now prefer this channel to others.
To ensure that you’re entering the new year with the most up-to-date donation forms, you can optimize them for mobile devices by checking that:
- Buttons are easy to click.
- Text is large and easy to read on a small screen.
- Donors don’t have to zoom in or out or scroll sideways to fill out each field.
Test out your mobile donation forms for yourself! The easier they are to use, the better.
3. Select smart donation tiers.
How has your nonprofit determined donation tiers in the past? Have you been offering them at all?
Donation tiers or giving levels are suggested donation amounts that provide context to donors. You can include these tiers on P2P donation forms.
In P2P fundraising, your donors may have no prior connection to your organization. They won’t have much context for the amount they should give.
That’s why it’s important that you determine several tiers in advance so that donors can respond to your organization’s needs.
Constructing giving tiers can even encourage donors to contribute more than they normally would. If for example, a donor was going to give a $20 donation, but your minimum tier is $30, they’ll likely reconsider their donation amount.
After all, it’s more convenient to select a predetermined amount, and donors may feel that giving less than your minimum is shortchanging your cause. Since P2P fundraising relies on social influence, tiers can motivate donors to contribute more, so that they meet your organization’s and your individual fundraiser’s expectations.
That said, you’ll still want to construct tiers that fit within your current donors’ abilities. Though your P2P campaign may attract donors with higher giving capacities, you can develop your tiers for future campaigns as your donor data changes.
To do so, look into your donor database. You can segment donors by giving levels (new, mid, major, etc.). Determine the average gift size for each group, and create tiers that meet or are slightly above your averages.
Doing so helps ensure that you aren’t leaving money on the table while encouraging donors to push their giving limits5.
Donation tiers also help your P2P fundraising teams. They’ll more easily be able to meet their fundraising goals if they have context for how much they should ask for.
4. Gamify peer-to-peer fundraising.
With so many technological distractions available, it can be far too easy for P2P campaigns to get lost amid other online content.
One way to ensure that your fundraising teams stay engaged with your campaign is to turn fundraising into a “game.”
Creating friendly competition can incentivize your fundraising teams to vie for the top spot, going beyond their personal fundraising goals.
To gamify fundraising, you can use:
- Leaderboards. Leaderboards update your top fundraising teams in real time. Leaderboards can be effective because all of your individual fundraisers can see what your top supporters are accomplishing, inspiring them to raise more and reach the top spot for themselves.
- Badges. Fundraising badges are online tokens that supporters can add to their personal fundraising pages when they reach certain milestones. They may receive badges for meeting their fundraising goal or receiving donations from many different supporters. Customizing your badges to reflect your campaign can make them especially rewarding (add paws for an animal fundraiser, for example)6.
- Incentives. Providing your top supporters with some type of prize can motivate everyone to do their best to raise more. Incentives can include a product, VIP treatment at a fundraising event, special recognition on social media, or a unique volunteer experience.
Following these tips to gamify your P2P fundraising campaign can motivate and inspire your fundraising teams to go beyond their goals.
Takeaway: Turning P2P fundraising into a friendly game can motivate your fundraising teams to compete against each other for more donations, keeping the campaign’s momentum moving forward even after they reach their initial goals.
5. Engage your social media followers.
P2P fundraising is an inherently social activity, and social media is a powerhouse that only seems to be growing. Resolving to build a strong social media strategy to enhance your P2P campaign can help you capitalize on growing social networking opportunities.
First and foremost, each P2P page should have social sharing buttons. These buttons make it easy for supporters and fundraisers to share their donations and the campaign to their personal networks.
You can also create a hashtag and encourage your supporters and donors to use it whenever they share updates on their personal campaigns.
A hashtag will allow you to monitor your P2P campaign across multiple social media platforms. Paying attention to your donors’ conversations can help you gain insight into the way that they use social media7.
Additionally, keeping track of your donors’ posts allows your nonprofit to comment, like, and share your supporters’ success. Doing so keeps your own social media pages active while showing donors that you recognize and appreciate their efforts.
Sharing your supporters’ success is only one piece of the social media strategy. You’ll need to create original content that your supporters can share, so that they stay engaged.
Original content can be:
- Special recognition posts where you thank top fundraising teams for what they’ve accomplished.
- Celebrations of significant milestones in your campaign, such as reaching half of your fundraising goal or gaining support from a lot of different donors.
- Updates on the status of your campaign that show how donors’ funds are being used to help people, animals, or communities in need.
- Photos, videos, and other storytelling devices that demonstrate your nonprofit’s mission by showing the recipients of your nonprofit’s aid8.
Keeping your content original and fresh can help you engage your current supporters and encourage your newest donors to be more involved with your organization.
To further enhance your social media resolution, you can decide to branch out into one new social media platform in the new year. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are the main staples — but more are sure to come.
Takeaway: Since social media and P2P fundraising are linked, you can reach your donors more effectively by developing content for posting, tuning into your donors’ social conversations, and creating a hashtag to consolidate content across different platforms.
6. Thank everyone.
One of the most important (but often poorly executed) aspects of P2P fundraising is thanking everyone involved.
- Your fundraising teams.
- Everyone who donated to your campaign.
- Advocates and supporters.
You should train your fundraising teams for thanking everyone who supported their personal campaign pages. After all, thank you letters will be the most meaningful when they come from someone that your donors already know and support.
At the same time, your organization should send out an additional thank you email to cement a stronger relationship with each donor9.
To do so, you should:
- Acknowledge their specific contribution. Thank the donor for their contribution to your individual fundraiser’s page. For example, you can say something like “Thank you for giving to Ansley’s campaign!”
- Connect them to your cause. To transition these donors between the individual fundraiser and your organization, you need to make the connection to your cause as clear as possible. Ex: “You not only supported Ansley with your donation, but you furthered our mission to save pandas.”
- Show them their impact. Do not ask for another donation. Show them how their donation is being used for good. Ex: “Because of your generosity, our baby panda exhibit will receive a new slide to enrich our pandas’ environment.” Include relevant photos to really hammer the message home.
- Offer them opportunities to stay engaged. Show them how they can stay involved with your organization and cause. Link them to an upcoming event page, encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter, or show them volunteer opportunities in their area. Ex: “Stay updated on our progress with our Panda Cam and subscribe to our newsletter to join on us on our journey to protect these valuable animals!”
Once you’ve properly thanked all of your donors, you’ll need to thank your individual fundraisers. After all, they’ve done the legwork for your organization, and they need to know how much you appreciate them.
Though you can and should send thank you letters, doing something really special can keep your supporters engaged for longer.
Hosting a celebration event after your campaign, for example, can show supporters how much your organization values them10.
The point is that you can build stronger internal relationships by being deliberate with thanking your supporters and donors.
Takeaway: Every donor and individual fundraiser needs to be thanked for their service in your P2P campaign. Your thank you letters should focus on connecting donors to your cause and building stronger relationships.
As the new year approaches, you can resolve to build the strongest P2P fundraising campaign possible. Fundraising, after all, is advancing with each new year.
These resolutions can help you stay on top of the latest P2P developments to create a successful, rewarding campaign.