Online fundraising involves more than just creating a website, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. In fact, running an online fundraiser takes just as much thought and preparation as any traditional fundraiser.
But at the end of the day, online fundraising efforts can be just as fruitful (if not more so) to your nonprofit or charity.
Why? Because instead of simply asking for a donation, online fundraising allows you to engage and expand your supporter base organically. Plus, you’re raising money, recruiting new donors, and energizing your current ones all at once!
At CauseVox, we’ve seen thousands of nonprofits, charities, and other cause-based groups use online fundraising to mobilize their supporters. And we believe that peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the best ways for your organization to transform a donor, volunteer, board member, or another supporter into a personal fundraiser and lifelong friend of your cause.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we need to recruit our fundraisers. Here’s how to ask your board, donors, and other supporters to become personal fundraisers.
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1. List Your Potential Recruits
To begin, determine who you want to fundraise for you. These may include:
- Board members
- Clients/Service recipients
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when selecting prospective personal fundraisers.
You may default to your board and major donors, and that’s fine. But remember, it isn’t just your go-to supporters that can do the job. In fact, you may find that some groups of supporters (Millennial donors, for example) may not be able to donate as much as your major donors, but they can get out there and fundraise on social media and email eagerly and comfortably.
2. Determine The Best Ways To Reach Them
If you’ve done any donor segmentation in the past, then you should know your supporter’s preferred method of communication. As always, it’s best to reach out to your prospective personal fundraisers in a way in which they’re comfortable.
Sometimes, you may not know how they prefer to be contacted. In these cases, reach out to your donor/volunteer/etc how you acquired them. For example, donors that first gave through email marketing should be reached via email.
Here are some of the various ways you can reach out to personal fundraiser recruits:
- Phone call
- Social media
- Direct mail
Post opportunities to learn more about becoming a personal fundraiser on your website, social media, and at the end of your email newsletters as well.
3. Create Excitement Around The Opportunity
There’s a big difference between a “That sounds like it could be interesting” response and a “Wow! I can’t wait to try this!” response. Of course, you want the latter. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to figure out what to say to get people to not just reluctantly agree but get excited about the opportunity to become a personal fundraiser.
You can naturally create excitement by incorporating the following into your “ask”:
- Personalization: If you’re contacting via email, you will want to address your supporter by name. The same goes for phone calls, direct mail, and even social media messages.
- Know Their History: Mention to your recruit that you know how involved they’ve been with your cause in the past, so you wanted to give them the opportunity to help power this next campaign. Note specifics about their past participation and the qualities they bring to the table.
- Have Tools In Place Early On: Personal fundraisers require support, so be prepared to send your fundraisers the name of their contact person, a copy of your online fundraising toolkit, etc.
- Communicate Expectations: Does the fundraising require a day-long commitment or something longer? Provide details about the expected time commitment upfront to avoid unmet expectations down the road.
- Talk About The Team: Let your fundraiser know that they’re part of a team of fundraisers tasked with meeting the goal and that they’ll be provided with ample support and camaraderie from this team throughout the campaign.
Personalized Message Script
Here’s a personalized email or social media post you can use to recruit fundraisers:
Hey There (Name),
Our team here at XYZ organization is so excited to bring you in the loop regarding our upcoming fundraiser. We know you’ve been a donor/volunteer for X years and you’ve become one of our biggest supporters.
Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today, which is why we’d love for you to play a larger role in our next fundraiser.
We’ll be kicking off an online peer-to-peer fundraiser next week and we’re looking for volunteers to step up and become personal fundraisers. This entails creating your own fundraising webpage (it’s easy, I promise) and sharing it with friends and family on social media and email.
The campaign will run for 2 weeks and at the end of the day, we hope to raise $10,000 to help change XX lives. If you’d like to learn more about the opportunity, we’ve created a toolkit to help guide fundraisers through the process.
I’ll be your contact person throughout the drive, so if you have any questions, send them my way.
(Name), I’d love to have you on board. Please let me know if you want to join our fundraising team and make a huge difference in the lives of those we serve.
Generic Social Media Call To Action
Post this to your social media sites and website to recruit fundraisers:
We’re kicking off and online fundraiser next week and we need YOUR help! We’d love for you to become a personal fundraiser.
You’ll join a group of loyal supporters committed to helping bring about change.
To learn more about the opportunity, head over to our website. Or, contact us via Messenger.
Since a phone conversation is more personal, your script will adjust based on where the conversation goes and the tone. If possible, hit these basic points:
- Introduce yourself and where you work
- Ask for your supporter and refer to him/her by name throughout the conversation
- Acknowledge their previous support and convey a “thanks”
- Inform about the online campaign and that you’re looking for people to become personal fundraisers.
- Address timeline for campaign
- Total goal
- How to share information online (email and social media)
- The support in place (staff contacts, toolkit, technical support, etc.)
- Leave time for questions
- If the answer is “yes”, email that person a link to the website to get started and/or the toolkit.
- If the answer is “no”, thank them for their time and let them know they can change their mind anytime during the campaign.
4. Putting It All Together
We suggest you designate one or more staff members to support and coach your fundraisers. The number of staff you choose will depend on the scope of your campaign and the resources you have available.
Remind your fundraisers of your campaign start date, and advise them to start creating their webpages. To provide an extra level of guidance and structure, create a support document that can guide fundraisers through the process.
When the time comes to start actively fundraising, use CauseVox to monitor the progress. If you notice a fundraiser nearing his/her goal or seeming to struggle, reach out to provide extra guidance and encouragement.
When you use CauseVox to rally your supporters to become personal fundraisers, you’re not just raising money, you’re developing your relationships with those supporters AND their networks of friends and family.
You see, peer-to-peer fundraising is all about connecting people together to create real change in the world. When you give your board, donors, and other supporters the power to influence this change, good things can happen.
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Ready to get started? You can use CauseVox to easily launch and manage your peer-to-peer fundraising, schedule a free 1-on-1 demo to see how. Or, jump right in by signing up for a free trial of our online fundraising platform.