Inviting people to take an active role in your nonprofit’s story can turn the casual donor into a loyal supporter. Providing supporters with a platform to raise money for you, often called peer-to-peer fundraising, is an awesome way to involve them in your narrative.
These fundraising campaigns can stem from something as simple as a supporter’s birthday to something as extreme as an ultra-marathon. No matter what a person chooses, it’s an opportunity to establish a connection between your cause and their life.
The benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising
The likelihood of your nonprofit’s name reaching new ears goes through the roof with this type of campaign. Supporters are taking your cause to the people in their lives. They’re now out there raising money for you, with people you may not have come into contact with before. Basically, peer-to-peer fundraising turns supporters into ambassadors for your cause.
After you’ve set up your campaign, you might be thinking you’re work is done. And, while I love the whole “if you build it, they will come” philosophy, unfortunately, you’ll need to do a little more. It takes a bit more than just giving supporters the option to get them engaged.
You need to entice them and excite them, but you also need to make the whole process as easy and as painless as possible. After all, you are asking them to do the fundraising for you.
Here are a few examples of stellar peer-to-peer fundraising campaign pitches.
Explain the Process
Water for People does an awesome job of clearly laying out what to expect during the campaign creation process. Not only do they provide snapshots of the different steps, but they give an estimate as to how much time it will take for supporters to complete the process. Saying, “It’s simple to get started, you can be fundraising in less than 5 minutes” is a great way to convince people they have time to create their campaign right now.
Check out step #3 in the campaign set up process for I’m ME. When I read this, I was amazed. They’re telling you exactly how much of every dollar will go directly to the people they’re helping and how much will go toward operating costs. This establishes so much trust with the supporter, and definitely increases the likelihood of their following through on creating a campaign.
Not on topic, but I love I’m ME for naming its fundraising campaigns “BeYOU Campaigns”—so great.
Room to Read offers supporters a ton of inspiration. The teaser on the main campaign page is for a man who ran a marathon…in the Arctic…to raise money for them. Talk about some inspiration. That pretty much tells supporters if they can think it up, it can be their fundraiser. What I really love about Room to Read’s method though, is that they don’t stop with snapshots and summaries. They have a whole category on their blog devoted to fundraiser stories for people to browse.
Be Simple, but Compelling
No matter where they are or what they’re for, keep your donation forms short and sweet. Don’t ask for more information than you need. Seriously, think bare minimum here.
I love this form from Engineers Without Borders because, not only do they keep the number of questions to a minimum, but they continue to engage the supporter with the copy they include on it. So often, we get to the part of the giving process where we need people’s information and we forget to keep talking to them—driving them through the process. Not here. They’ve already got someone going through the process of creating a campaign and they’re still talking to them about what they can do, why they should do it and what the organization is trying to achieve.
So, Heifer International’s entire campaign page is awesome, but what really stands out to me is their method for highlighting the impact of a supporter’s campaign. First, they have the infographic that explains the problem they’re addressing, the role of their supporters and the impact they’re making. It’s a great primer of everything Heifer is about and hoping to accomplish. I really love the section directly below it though, “Mobilize Your Community to Transform Someone Else’s.” They use previous campaigns to explain exactly how those campaigns benefited their efforts to make an impact. Anyone interested in creating a campaign will know exactly the sort of effect their fundraising will have on Heifer’s cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to more actively engage supporters in your cause and share with them some of the work required to make an impact. But, you need an awesome pitch to get them interested in creating their campaign. Hopefully these examples give you a few ideas to make yours a bit more tempting in the eyes of supporters.
Does your nonprofit offer peer-to-peer fundraising? What’s been your experience with it? Any tips you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.