DonorDrive stats show our clients who promote teams in their events have an annual average growth of 28%. Teams work because the recruiting effort by your current participants can be much more successful than those of your organization. They know all about your mission, know all about your event and are already participating themselves. Asking them to take the extra step and invite their friends and coworkers to join is a great driver for recruiting.
Emphasizing the value of teams within your event is a great way to:
- Recruit more participants If you multiply the number of participants on your registration list by an average of 250 friends in each of their networks, you’ll be amazed at how many people they could ask to participate if they become team captains.
- Boost retention Teams tend to come back the next year. Get the captain back and you get their team back. Participants feel they’re letting down the team if they don’t return.
- Increase event revenue DonorDrive stats show that a six-member team raises 10 times as much as an individual participant. Friendly competition within a team and between teams can really drive up the donation dollars.
Five ways to increase team activity
Here’s what we’re seeing our DonorDrive clients do to make their team-focused events a success:
Push corporate teams
Corporate teams can be a big piece of the recruiting puzzle for most nonprofits, since supporting companies can achieve team numbers quickly. Stats from the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that corporate teams make up about 24% of NAMIWalks participants and raise 36% more than other teams on average. A key strategy is to identify that influencer within a company that has a connection to your cause. Once you’ve found that advocate, train them to encourage people to participate and fundraise. You can be a catalyst by creating a trophy that travels from office to office for best corporate team, gifting a framed photo for each team, or arranging a half day off work for the winning team. It’s part of an experience that encourages ongoing corporate participation within a company.
Push family teams
If you have a family-friendly event, encourage family teams. Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati’s Buddy Walk, the largest in America, has had great success with turning their event into a celebration, attracting over 8,000 participants annually. The more fun elements you add to the day, the more likely the whole family is to come. Suggest to your team captains to invite neighbors and extended family to join. Out-of-town family and former neighbors can be encouraged to participate virtually.
Push captains to recruit bigger teams
Team members raise 70% more on average than individual participants. If you can get each captain to add one more team member it can be a big boost to event revenue. An award for the biggest or most successful team can be a solid incentive. In DonorDrive, we’ve made the team captain’s job easy by letting them invite participants to join, register them, create a team update and view progress, all from their fundraiser portal.
Ask participants to team up with friends
Every participant is a potential team captain, but may never think of leading a team unless you ask. Don’t make the request overwhelming: Just encourage them to team up with a few friends.
Teams bring out the competition in everyone and incentives can bring about a real sense of accomplishment. Basing your prizes on fundraising success will help get all those new team participants to raise more. Offer awards for the corporate teams and family teams that raise the most. Giving winners unique shirts that they can proudly wear next year also helps improve retention. Encouraging captains to set a fundraising goal for each member, as well as the team overall can dramatically increase team success. In DonorDrive, our Achievement Badges encourage participants to take key actions that increase fundraising by publicly recognizing their success.
DonorDrive’s Chief Strategy Officer, Ed Lord, notes the one of the biggest benefit of a team is that it makes people feel a part of your event:
People are social animals. They’re not going to come out to an event by themselves. They’re more likely to come with a group of people. So any strategy you have using Facebook or any social network should phrase messaging around gathering friends, family or coworkers. That’s a lot more likely to hit home with that person who typically invites everyone to the party. You’ll notice that the most successful events are the ones that encourage people to get together.
Download our white paper on Best Practices for Retaining And Recruiting Event Participants.