Peer-to-Peer Best Practices: Top Insights from Grassroots Unwired’s Panel with NXUnite

Peer-to-Peer Best Practices: Top Insights from Grassroots Unwired’s Panel with NXUnite

Diana McMillan, Director of Operations at Grassroots Unwired, joined NXUnite’s panel “Phone a Friend: Peer-to-Peer Best Practices for Nonprofits” with peer-to-peer experts Sarah Massie of Bonfire, Emily Rasmussen of Grapevine, and Kenneth Burke of Text Request to discuss the best strategies for your next peer-to-peer fundraising event.

What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

Peer-to-Peer fundraising is a great way to spread the word about your organization’s cause with others in the community. When it comes to peer-to-peer fundraising, donors are able to communicate with others within their network, such as friends, family members, and colleagues, to spread the word about an organization’s cause. “Peer-to-Peer fundraising is a great choice for a lot of nonprofits because it is a low cost, low effort way to raise funds,” said Diana McMillan, Director of Operations at Grassroots Unwired. There are many types of peer-to-peer fundraising events, but which ones are the most effective? Any event where your participants can go into action, or compete against each other, often bring in a lot of participants because the events are fun and supportive. The next time you are thinking of a peer-to-peer fundraising event, keep these options in mind:

  • Running, walking, or swimming event
  • “Thon”-style events (i.e., bowl-a-thon, dance-a-thon)
  • Cycling event
  • Game night
  • Scavenger hunts

Remember that the success of your peer-to-peer fundraising event is not always measured by how much money your organization is able to raise, but it is about how large of an impact is left behind.

Preparing for your Peer-to-Peer Event

Once your organization has decided on what type of peer-to-peer fundraiser it wants to host, the planning process can begin! The first step for your organization, and perhaps the most important step, is to set a goal. Keep the following considerations in mind when setting up your goal:

  • How much money are we hoping to raise?
  • What will be the theme of this fundraiser?
  • What’s the deadline and time-frame for planning this event?
  • What marketing materials do I need to make promoting this easy?
  • What peer-to-peer software will work best for hosting this event?

“Also ask yourself… what do I need to do to make someone who has never heard of my organization before want to be a part of it?,” said Kenneth Burke, Vice President of Marketing at Text Request. As you set out your goal and objectives for the event, do not forget about what your organization might need on the day of the actual event, such as a platform or software to make operations run easier during the event. Remember, the day of the event is the last opportunity to make a positive impression on your volunteers and donors.

Promoting your Peer-to-Peer Event

As you start to plan out your fundraiser, do not forget to think about your communication strategy. Communication is an important part of having a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser, and it is a good idea to have various touch points. “Sometimes people need to see things over multiple occasions, in various places, for them to take action,” said Sarah Massie, Product Marketing Specialist at Bonfire. Here are some ways to make sharing your fundraiser easy while also increasing engagement from your supporters, and others within the community:

  • Share on social media
  • Nurture your donors
  • Text friends and family
  • Add an event calendar to your website
  • Make the event competitive (i.e., races)

“When it comes to promoting your event, frame it as an opportunity for others who see or hear about it. Provide them a solution to why they should participate in your event and support your cause,” said Emily Rasmussen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Grapevine. Communicating your peer-to-peer fundraiser is key. No one will take the next step if they do not know about your next fundraiser or event.

The Future of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising is a great way to raise money for any organization’s cause. It requires minimal cost and effort, and it is a great way to increase support and engagement among donors and others within the community. Whether you are planning a peer-to-peer fundraiser yourself, or planning one on behalf of your organization, remember to set a goal and utilize all the resources around to help your event leave a lasting impact within the community.

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