Fundraiser Retention: 4 Strategies to Keep Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers Around

Has your nonprofit had peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in the past? After the campaign, did you follow-up with fundraisers? How? If you’re still lumping fundraisers in with your typical donors, or even worse, not following up with them at all, it’s time to start thinking about a fundraiser retention strategy.

Your MVP Supporters

Peer-to-peer fundraisers are likely some of your most valuable supporters. If you’re able to retain fundraisers, they’re on average three times as valuable as donors. And peer-to-peer fundraising is not going away any time soon. 61% of nonprofit leaders say there’s been an increase in social media fundraising campaigns in the last five years. As of 2019, almost 40% of North American nonprofits have invested in a peer-to-peer fundraising tool.

If you’re running successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, you’ve already seen the lift it can give to your organization’s funds. We’re here to give you a few ideas for continuing to engage your current fundraisers so that those campaigns can be even more successful and easier for your team to run.

Now is not the time to ignore a pool of supporters that can simultaneously increase funds and ease the load for nonprofit staff.

Fundraiser Retention Strategies

As you piece together a strategy that works for these supporters and how you typically communicate with them, the following components should give you a few things to think about.

User-Friendly Tools

The peer-to-peer fundraising tools that you use make a difference. For example, are you using third-party platforms, creating pages on your website or sending folks to social media sites, like Facebook Fundraisers, to fundraise there?

If the tools are easy for the fundraiser to use and navigate, fundraiser retention also becomes much easier. Different tools are better suited for different audiences of fundraisers, but a confusing or frustrating experience will make it more difficult for you to convince folks to run another peer-to-peer campaign.

Work through the process of creating and running a campaign using what you currently have in place. Are there steps that could be confusing to first timers? Where do you run into issues? At what point do fundraisers typically reach out to you for help? Are there ways to mitigate that, whether through improved training and communication on the part of your nonprofit or within the tool itself?

Or, if the tool you’ve chosen is beyond saving, consider switching to a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that works better for both your fundraisers and your team.

Positive First Experience

No matter which platform you go with, it’s important to work with fundraisers on a personal level. To give them a positive first experience, create a fundraiser kit that they can reference with template content and examples of successful past campaigns. And if they have questions, they should be able to reach out directly to a point person on your team.

For an example, check out how APS Type 1 talks about hosting a fundraiser or dinner party on their website.

While you can create templates for communicating with new fundraisers through each step in the process, find ways to personalize them so your new peer-to-peer fundraisers feel seen and supported. If they know you’ll be right there with them through the whole process, they’ll be more likely to both follow through with their first campaign and sign on for future campaigns, where they’ll be confident in the process and thus need less hand-holding.

Tailored Follow-Ups

Remember what I said about making your peer-to-peer fundraisers feel seen? Tailored follow-up communications set the stage for long-term relationships. They worked hard on their campaign, reaching out to friends and family to support your cause. Let them know how it all turned out!

How much money did they bring in? What impact did the funds have for your organization? A heartfelt thank you message lets them know the outcome of their hard work and shows them the power of a successful campaign.

After a first peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you might reach out to fundraisers in the following ways:

  • Immediately after the campaign ends to thank the fundraiser and relay results
  • Give them a shout on social media once the campaign wraps up
  • 2-4 weeks after the conclusion of the campaign to show its impact
  • Include a note with the annual report thanking them again for contributing to the year’s success
  • When opportunities for peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns arise, like ahead of birthdays or year-end

This communication can look different depending on your organization’s strategy for peer-to-peer fundraising, but follow-up communications after the campaign should be a standard piece of the strategy.

Relationship Building Tactics

Aside from the standard follow-up after the conclusion of a campaign, consider a more active relationship building strategy for these high-value and active supporters. Build the relationship over time through segmented communications to this very specific audience of supporters and opportunities for them to get involved again.

Keep these folks updated on the things they care about and engaged on the status of campaigns or initiatives that you may need their help with down the road. You might even highlight fellow fundraisers as a form of acknowledgement and to share what they did to be successful.

How do you engage with major donors at your nonprofit? Consider a similar, if slightly scaled back, strategy to help with fundraiser retention.

I hope this post offered some ideas as you work to build a strategy for retaining more high-value peer-to-peer fundraisers. No matter what shape your plan takes, make sure that you’re not forgetting about your fundraisers. They have the exponential power to act as an ambassador for your organization, expand your audience and increase funds.

Does your nonprofit have a strategy for fundraiser retention? What does it include? Have you been successful in boosting your number of returning peer-to-peer fundraisers? I’d love to hear about your experiences engaging with these supporters in the comments.