In an ideal world, you were highly successful during your last peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
If you ran your campaign following the tried-and-true peer-to-peer fundraising techniques outlined in this primer, then you likely brainstormed to create an inventive campaign, developed a clear and effective fundraising site, and recruited friends and family to set up personal fundraising pages of their own.
Yes, success was imminent. But, what do you do now?
You just had a number people give to your cause- you don’t want to lose their interest. After all, a returning donor is a good sign that your cause is worthy of support and you want that donor to keep on giving in future campaigns because it makes raising funds that much easier.
So, how do you retain donors past that initial donation through a peer-to-peer fundraiser? You have to engage them!
Luckily, peer-to-peer fundraising doesn’t need to be limited to a once a year campaign. You can, and should, develop a thorough strategy to continuously engage donors throughout the year.
Here are 4 strategies that you can use to re-engage donors that gave through peer-to-peer fundraisers.
Start With Some Gratitude
Once you receive a donation, your first step in remaining in contact with your donor should be through a donation receipt and a thank you.
Donors want to know that their gift was received by a person (not just a computer program), have proof of the gift (for tax purposes, if applicable) and also be acknowledged and shown appreciation.
By re-engaging your donor with a hearty ‘Thank You’, you are showing them how important their gift was to the cause.
“By re-engaging your donor with a hearty ‘Thank You’, you are showing them how important their gift was to the cause…” tweet this
Consider how you want to thank your donors. You may want to do something outside the box, such a public recognition. After all, that’s what many peer-to-peer donors are looking for. Try one or more of these suggestions:
- Tweet donor’s names on Twitter as gifts come in
- Do a Facebook status ‘shout-out’ to your major donors of the week
- Publish names in a newsletter or pamphlet
But don’t limit your gratitude to quick (and semi-impersonal) online gestures. Be sure to follow up on any gift with thank you letter (hopefully handwritten, if you can find the time)
Your expression of appreciation will do wonders in ensuring that your donor remains engaged and loyal to your cause.
One of the easiest things that you can do to re-engage donors that gave through peer-to-peer fundraising is by connecting with them online.
“55% of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action…” tweet this
If you haven’t set yourself up with social media accounts, now is the perfect time to start. Start with one or two platforms that you feel comfortable using. Make sure that you have enough time to devote to these platforms every day. Also, avoid abandoning a platform without closing down your account, as visitors to the page may believe that you’ve closed your doors for good.
Here’s a handy chart by HubSpot that can help you decide how many posts per week is appropriate for your audience.
Aside from social media, be sure to ask your donors to sign up for your e-newsletter. That way, you can send them updates throughout the year.
Get Them Involved
Follow the lead of bigger nonprofits by providing donors that gave through your peer-to-peer fundraiser opportunities to engage in-person.
First, address what needs your cause needs to have met. Do you have potential volunteer opportunities available? Is there room on your Board of Directors? Are there professionals services that you need donated in-kind? These are great ways to get your donors involved.
You may be wondering how to best choose opportunities for engagement. After all, not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer.
Your best bet is to segment your donors. If at all possible, try to get some basic information from your donor when they first give such as date of birth, employment status, and gender. That way, you can group your donors with appropriate engagement opportunities.
Here are some suggestions for year-round activities that you can plan for your donors:
- Networking opportunities with other donors- You can get all of your donors together, or segment based on gift amount, age, etc. Millennials, in particular, appreciate the chance to network with other young professionals.
- Volunteer opportunities- If your cause has a specific need, then consider recruiting your donors to help. It can be as simple as operating the main phone line at your office once a week. Consider advertising your volunteer opportunities on social media, the e-newsletter, and through volunteer networks like the Hands On Network and Volunteer Match.
- Recruit your donors to serve on your Board of Directors or other committees.
- Ask your donors to consider offering their services to your nonprofit. You are bound to have donors working in a wide range of fields. By donating their expertise, you are receiving an in-kind benefit and they are becoming further involved with your cause.
Give Them Another Reason To Give
Ask, and hopefully you shall receive!
If you’ve kept in touch with your donor online and through in-person engagement opportunities, and it’s been some time since your last campaign, be sure to reconnect with your donor when your next campaign rolls around.
Start this conversation by again acknowledging the past gift, the impact that gift made, and the reasons why another gift is equally as important. The key is to stay upbeat about the future of your cause and the campaign.
For example, you may want to say something like:
“Because of your last donation of $___, we were able to provide 10 meals for a family facing food insecurity, but we have more mouths to feed and need your help”
as opposed to:
“People are still going hungry in our community, please give again today.”
Your donor doesn’t want to feel like their last gift didn’t accomplish something. Keep it positive.
Also, if you first connected with your donor through a peer-to-peer fundraiser, focus on this strategy again. By going this route, your chances of converting prospective donors into actual donors is 1 in 4, as opposed to 1 in 1,250 when a fundraising organization sends out a request. Peer-to-peer fundraising is so much more effective!
“Your donor doesn’t want to feel like their last gift didn’t accomplish something. Keep it positive….” tweet this
By making sure you engage donors after that first donation by communicating regularly, first via a thank you and subsequently online, you’ll be likely to turn their one time donation into a long-term partnership!
Then, consider deepening your relationship to include in-person engagement opportunities. When the time is right, be sure to invite them to give again. Donors resulting from peer-to-peer fundraisers may have started their relationship with you online, but it doesn’t necessarily have to end there.