3 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Mistakes To Avoid

Here at CauseVox, we love talking about successful peer-to-peer campaigns.

That makes sense, since we see our customers growing their fundraising and uniting their communities every day. But what about those…other campaigns? You know, the ones that never really get off the ground, or miss their goals by a long shot?

Oh right, those. Not as fun to talk about.

If you’ve run a peer-to-peer campaign that didn’t deliver, you may be pretty frustrated. You’re probably shy of trying again. You may even think that peer-to-peer fundraising offers more hype than results, and the whole thing may make you a little cranky. I get it.

If you’re facing your first peer-to-peer campaign, you may be nervous.

What if you ask for support and nobody gives it?

Are you going to spend all your time wrestling with technology?

What if this whole thing is a big embarrassing pain in the neck?

The good news is that there are precautions you can take and mistakes to avoid in your next campaign. No fundraising approach is 100% guaranteed, of course, but you can significantly increase your chances of success.

I like to think of campaigns like building a boat. Even the most well-built vessel could encounter a truly wild storm that sinks it, but your chances are infinitely better if you put some sails on it and make sure it’s watertight. (This is the extent of my shipwright knowledge, you’re welcome). You improve things even more by steering clear of giant rocks.

Behold, here be the giant rocks of peer-to-peer fundraising. (We’re old-timey pirates now, I hope that’s okay).

A small boat sails by a larger boat that is almost completely submerged in the ocean.
Don’t let this be your fundraising campaign, matey.

Mistake #1: Jumping In Too Soon

It’s hard to jump headlessly into a direct mail campaign, but setting up a peer-to-peer campaign is so easy that it’s possible to do it too soon. Like any fundraising campaign, peer-to-peer campaigns work best when you plan them; “winging it” gets limited results.

You don’t need to take forever to plan your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, but make sure you give yourself some lead time to recruit peer-to-peer fundraisers, create marketing materials for the campaign, promote the campaign, and decide on goals, roles, and the inspirational stories you’ll tell.

Every year, after #GivingTuesday, we hear the same refrain, even from the very most successful peer-to-peer campaigns: “Next year, we’re starting to plan even earlier.” They know.

Mistake #2: “Setting and Forgetting”

Like a creepy pirate ghost story, there’s a pervasive myth that floats around peer-to-peer fundraising:

“Peer-to-peer campaigns run themselves!”

Not quite.

Your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is not a slow cooker. You can’t dump all the ingredients, set the timer, and come back later expecting everything to have become delicious without you.

Instead, you have to keep checking in, reminding, encouraging, and updating your supporters the whole time.

CauseVox alleviates much of the burden of this management. With automated welcome emails, and a CRM that tracks data so you can stay up-to-date on each peer-to-peer fundraiser, keeping your supporters engaged is much easier.

CauseVox seamlessly integrates with your other fundraising tools to take care of tedious back-office tasks. It’s hassle-free and simple to use so that you don’t spend your precious fundraising time wrestling with tech.

Updates on CauseVox from The School Lunch Fairy
School Lunch Fairy uses CauseVox’s update feature to share their inspiring stories with their supporters.

Mistake #3: Letting Your Supporters Sink Or Swim

Supporters who become peer-to-peer fundraisers are giving you their time and influence. In return, you give them the tools they need to be successful.

They’re setting off on a voyage with you, so you should make sure they’ve packed adequate provisions.

Remember, a lot of people are intimidated by talking about money, even for a cause. That’s why you have to make it as easy as possible by giving them a toolkit.

A peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit can include:

  • Templates for fundraising emails
  • Graphics and stories to share
  • Social media examples
  • Sample communications calendars
  • Campaign hashtags
  • Logos
  • Links to your social media accounts

Make things easy on the technical end for your supporters. Peer-to-peer fundraisers can register for your campaign, set up and self-manage their pages, and start fundraising easily with CauseVox.

Yay! Less stress and tedium for you, no frustration for them!

But make sure your peer-to-peer fundraisers have your contact information. Connecting with a real person at the organization they care about will boost their self-assurance and deepen their commitment.

Set Sail With Confidence

Avoiding the major pitfalls of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is easy, once you chart your course.

If you plan your campaign, communicate with your supporters, and give them the tools they need, you’ll be on your way to smooth sailing.

And remember, CauseVox is always here to be your port in the storm, with our 1-on-1 support from real people (not robots!), ongoing guidance to grow your fundraising from onboarding to the end of your campaign, and library of best practices that simply work to help you raise more money for your cause.

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