I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’m liable to spend an hour reading online reviews before I buy a book. I probably won’t visit a restaurant without checking the menu beforehand. And you won’t catch me at a movie without first watching (and over analyzing) the preview.
I like to know what I’m getting into.
So you better believe that I’m thinking long, hard, and thoughtfully about purchases that are *actually important, such as peer-to-peer fundraising software.
What about you? How do you go about making purchasing decisions for yourself and your nonprofit?
If you’re a “wing it and go” sort of person, then full speed ahead and good luck! But if you’re a “let’s take the time and think through this” type, well then, stay with me.
When it comes to finding the right software, knowledge is buying power. Understanding what you need, why you need it, and how each software program can help you and your nonprofit community will save you time and money in the long run.
Ask these 7 questions (and follow the checklist below) to help determine the right peer-to-peer fundraising software for you.
1. Will You, Your Fundraisers, And Your Donors Feel Comfortable Using It?
Here at CauseVox, we’ve analyzed hundreds and thousands of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns with one mission: uncover what works and what doesn’t. Through our research, it quickly became apparent that the single biggest factor in the success of a campaign is experience.
If you, your fundraisers, and your supporters have a good experience giving, fundraising, and sharing, then it’s more likely to be successful.
With all that being said, the most important question to ask when evaluating peer-to-peer fundraising software is: Is it easy?
Ease of use ensures 1. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours learning, setting up and managing the program. 2. Your eager, go-getter fundraisers don’t give up the fundraising process halfway through. 3. Your donors follow through while making a gift online.
True, “comfort” and “ease” are in the eye of the beholder. However, there are some common elements to an easy platform, including:
- Clean and uncluttered appearance
- Intuitive design
- Uncomplicated, clear setup and donation progression
All in all, the main goal is ensure a smooth, seamless experience for you and your users regardless of device, generation, or tech savviness!
When looking at peer-to-peer fundraising software, consider each age group that may participate. Would your parents or grandparents be able to use it? If so, you’re on the right path. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
2. Is It Personalizable?
You’ve worked hard to create and maintain your nonprofit’s brand, and you may use a certain logo, motto, or specific color scheme. The last thing you want is for your fundraisers and donors to get confused or turned off by what appears to be a third-party website.
It’s natural to wonder if the donations are actually going to the right place if the link redirects to an outside source or shows another company’s logo.
Personalized peer-to-peer fundraising websites remove this hurdle. Adding your logo, color scheme, and even creating a custom URL guarantees a seamless transition, ensuring everyone feels confident about supporting.
Did you know that fundraising powered by CauseVox is designed for you? Our design editor and white label approach guarantees all your communications, fundraising, and donation pages look and feel like they’re coming from you. This ultimately drives up trust, improves conversion rates, and increases average gift sizes.
3. Do I Need a Coding Degree To Set It Up?
Some say that learning the basics of software coding is easy, but that the mastery is quite difficult. I don’t know about you, but the mere mention of “coding” makes me anxious.
Thankfully, there are peer-to-peer fundraising software programs out there that don’t require a software-developer job title to manage. As you evaluate your software options, consider those that handle all that back-end coding for you.
Make sure the program offers embeddable website codes, hosts web pages on its own server, and features secure site access.
At CauseVox, our platform has beautiful, flexible, and easy-to-use templates that can align with your brand and share your story. Anyone, regardless of tech skills, can create an effective campaign with a few clicks.
4. What Options Do I Have?
Many nonprofits start the peer-to-peer fundraising journey with a traditional online format. However, there are unlimited ways to run this type of community-driven fundraising: events, DIY fundraising, team fundraising, etc.
Ideally, the peer-to-peer fundraising software you choose should offer options when it comes to how you run your campaign.
Some key options include:
It’s normal to start slow and adjust your process over subsequent campaigns, adding and removing options as needed. However, the more options you have, the more customized your campaigns will be for your unique donor base.
5. Is The Data Accessible?
The data collected during the process of fundraising is yours, and it’s invaluable when it comes time to thank and retain your donors.
Information such as a donor’s name, gift amount, address, and email should always be accessible, easily downloaded, and managed.
So why is it that some peer-to-peer fundraising software programs hold this information hostage unless you specifically ask for it? Before you commit to a peer-to-peer fundraising software, explore each option’s data collection and management practices, and avoid any programs that don’t allow for immediate access.
CauseVox gives nonprofits quick access to donor and donation data, helping you improve your retention efforts through better communication and relationships.
6. Where Do I Communicate With Supporters?
Communication fuels fundraising. It’s the stories you and your personal fundraisers share that inspire others to give. So naturally, storytelling features are a must-have in peer-to-peer fundraising software.
The best peer-to-peer fundraising software programs have:
- A place to share your (or your supporter’s) story that is front and center
- The ability to add images and video
- An impact meter to track campaign progress in real time
- A blog feature to keep your audience up to date on what’s happening with the campaign
- Social sharing buttons to make sharing these stories easy
- Automatic, personalized donation receipts
A strong nonprofit-to-donor relationship starts with honest, emotion-inducing communication and is made stronger with updates, messages of appreciation, and continued follow-up.
CauseVox provides multiple ways for you to communicate with supporters, including importing contacts and messaging, a blog feature, email communication, and social sharing.
7. What Support Is Available?
If you and your supporters are relatively new to online fundraising, questions about the process are bound to arise. You may wonder about the best practices for setting up a website or need initial assistance navigating the dashboard. Some fundraisers and donors are likely to have questions along the way.
Small and medium-sized nonprofits often don’t have the capacity and resources to be on-call to answer these tech-related questions.
To ensure everyone gets the support they need to ace peer-to-peer fundraising, find a software program that offer person-to-person support. Ideally, you want the program to have multiple ways to connect to customer service, including email, in-app messaging, and one-on-one service. A robust resource library and tutorials are important.
When it comes time to narrow your search and select a peer-to-peer fundraising software, look for one that meets the requirements outlined in this post. By taking the time to understand your options and find one that fits your nonprofit’s needs, you’re on your way to experiencing a positive peer-to-peer fundraising experience.
If you’re ready to get started, give CauseVox a try. CauseVox makes it easy for you to manage relationships with your supporters and create personalized peer-to-peer campaigns while also providing a remarkable giving experience your supporters will love.
With CauseVox you get more than a tool. We combine powerful fundraising tools with best practices and an experienced team to guide you to success.
You can get started for free and upgrade as you grow.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Checklist
- Easy to Use
- Uncluttered, clean appearance
- Intuitive design for multi-generational use
- Easy website and account setup
- Clear progression for donors
- Color scheme
- No third-party branding
- No Tech Skills Required
- User-ready software
- Offers embeddable codes
- Secure website and donation processing
- Additional Fundraising Options
- Supporters individual, event, DIY, and team fundraising
- Customizable form fields
- Donation tiers
- Giving options, including donation tipping and recurring giving
- Ability to host multiple campaigns at once
- Software integrations
- Accessible Data
- A donor data collection system
- Access to donor data
- Communication Features
- Place to write nonprofit story
- Upload images and video
- Blog feature
- Impact meter
- Social sharing options
- Automatic custom donation receipts and email confirmations
- Customer Support
- Resources, including best practices, toolkits, tutorials
- Chat and/or email support
- Fast response rates