Hey man, I’m fundraising for this awesome charity

How many times have you gotten the phone call or email that says “Hey man, I’m raising money for XXX and I want you to give!” If you are like me, super often and you probably give to more of those appeals than not. Why? Because it is your friend/sister/nephew/neighbor asking and you can’t tell them no (at least not when such a good cause is at stake).

As fundraisers, we know this. We know that peer-to-peer fundraising is effective. When I saw a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference about 10 tips for peer-to-peer fundraising, I thought “I bet there are some nonprofiteers out there who could use these tips…and I bet they can’t all be in DC this week because they are busy making the world a better place.” So I took it upon myself to attend the session (very interesting), take some notes (kinda chicken stratchy in appearance) and create this short blog post to share my favs with you (hopefully helpful).

Ready? Here they are, my three favorite tips to make your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign even better than it already is.

  1. Understand your supporters. Are they grandmothers or yuppie businessmen? It’s a big difference. Develop a few personas to help you understand your supporters. Consider what they think/feel, what they listen to, what they say/do, what their pain points are and what sends them over the moon. Use that information to develop a peer-to-peer initiative that will appeal to them and get them excited to raise funds for you.
  2. Maximize relationships. Peer-to-peer fundraising is all about personal peer relationships so it’s important that when a volunteer fundraiser asks a peer for funds, that they sound like a peer and not like your organizational boiler plate. Encourage your fundraisers to share their personal story as it relates to your cause and to really sound like themselves (tip: restrain yourself from over-editing their appeals or web pages. That would make them sound like you and not them and in Twitter speak, would be a #fail). Personal fundraising pages and individually crafted emails are both great ways to keep the relationships both of your fundraiser and their peer and of your fundraiser and your organization at the forefront.
  3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I’m actually taking the liberty of combining two points from the session here. First point – you must communicate with your fundraisers. Ensure they have the tools to properly explain to their peers what great impact your organization is having. “Tools” not only includes a personal fundraising page and some bullet points, but also includes why you chose your campaign goal, what the goal is, when your goal needs to be acheived by and how that campaign will make the world a much better place. Second – communicate to motivate. Being a volunteer can be tough sometimes, especially if you are new to the activity which many volunteer fundraisers are. Touch base often with your fundraisers to ask if they need more resources, congratulate them on their progress and share overall organizational successes. All these things can help a fundraiser stay motivated to be an amabassador of your cause.

Go forth and fundraise!