When you work for a nonprofit you know the importance of making the ask. But in peer-to-peer fundraising it’s your supporters who make the ask. Not every supporter is an expert at fundraising and many times it can be frustrating that they seem reluctant to do it. Here are some proven methods DonorDrive clients are using to get better peer-to-peer fundraising performance out of participants in their events and campaigns.
1. Give them some personal attention
Use your fundraising software to find those who aren’t self-starters. Maybe they signed up a month ago and haven’t raised a thing. Sure, there are many zero-dollar fundraisers you’ll run across, but an encouraging email to those who are struggling will help bring out their passion. If they feel they’re not in this alone and that you’re there to help, they’re a lot more likely to try.
2. If they’re reluctant to ask, then tell them not to
Just have them talk about it. Awareness of what they’re doing is the first step and is much easier to do for many of your supporters than to fundraise. Have them start with a casual yet meaningful explanation of what they’re doing over their social channels and in their email signatures (with links to their fundraising page.) Once they get their friends talking about their participation and get a few donations—that reluctance tends to melt away.
3. Have them talk about why they’re doing it
This is a great conversation starter, especially on their social channels. Usually they have a personal connection with the cause.
It’s a good cause does not have as strong an impact as
It’s my cause. The story of why they got involved can really make the cause hit home with friends, family and coworkers. Tip: Since those in their email contacts and their friends on Facebook are people they can share more closely with, making the story personal will get more donations.
4. Ask them to donate to their own campaign
If their fundraising page shows $0.00 raised, that’s a stigma that causes supporters to give up early. If they donate even $10 to their own campaign, they’re vested in the cause. It becomes:
I did it, you can too. In DonorDrive, we’ve seen that those who self-donate raise substantially more that those who don’t.
5. Encourage them to ask for amounts
If they ask for $50 donations, DonorDrive research shows they’re more likely to get $50 donations than $10 and $25 donations. Watching their fundraising total rise more quickly is good encouragement to raise more.
6. Have them set a reasonable goal and raise it later
Unattainable goals are self-defeating to a supporter when they can’t get their fundraising off the ground. Have them start with $200. When they hit it, have them raise it. Their success is something else they can share and it will encourage more donations. Provide them with five easy steps to help them raise $200.
7. Ask them to use email as well as their social channels
While social media is a great way to fundraise, email still gets the most donations. Once they’ve sent a few emails and have posted a few updates, they’ll get a better understanding of what’s working and can focus on that.
8. Have them update their progress
It’s not just mentioning it once in an email or post. Fundraising and preparing for an event is a journey. Their regular updates will actively involve those they know in their journey and will encourage donations.
9. Tell them to have fun with it
Fundraising is not supposed to be a drudgery or cause stress. If they treat it as fun, they’re a lot more likely to be successful at it. Your own levity in communications with them will help them to see that.
10. Give your superstars a push
It’s easier to get a successful fundraiser to raise hundreds more than to get a zero-dollar fundraiser to raise their first $10. Use reports from your fundraising software to find your top 25 fundraisers and offer them any help and incentives they need. These fundraisers are equivalent to big donors and should be treated with that level of respect.
Since you’re not making this ask yourself, training your supporters to make it for you is the next best thing. When you empower them to be successful fundraisers, they’ll feel good about your cause and are more likely to participate again next year.