Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Liz Caradonna, of March Communication emails today:

“[I] wanted to see what you thought about the idea of best practices for peer-to-peer fundraising. One company I work with has just put out their guidelines (below) and we wanted to see what you thought. I think this would be a great debate for you and your readers – are these good/bad, what’s missing, can there even be best practices, etc.

The company is Advanced Solutions International (ASI), and they’ve compiled these from their experience helping nonprofits implement online and peer-to-peer tools. Take a look, and have at it – we’re looking forward to your thoughts and your readers’ reactions.

For reference, ASI’s site is”

Best Practices for Effective Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

1.    Integrate peer-to-peer fundraising into your current fundraising strategies. Inventory your current communications tactics (email, physical mailers, website, etc.) and examine the messaging. Has it been watered down to reach many different audiences? Through peer-to-peer campaigns, you maintain the core messaging but enable your donors to personalize the message for their own networking and recruitment efforts.
2.    Introduce online events to the list of ways a donor can help.  A-thon-based events can be launched and managed online far quicker, with less overhead cost, than multi-location physical events. Peer-to-peer Internet-based events eliminate the need to physically go to an event, allowing participation from across the globe, right from their computers.
3.    Identify campaign ‘champions’ and give them the tools to rapidly expand the donor network. Take the time to find your top supporters, reach out to them first and show them how to use peer-to-peer tools.  Once they understand how easy it is for them to create their own personalized campaign website, carrying their own messaging, they will be able to reach out to their networks far quicker, and with no added costs.
4.    Understand, motivate and thank your donors.  In peer-to-peer fundraising, you can easily focus on keeping your participants involved in the campaign by quickly sending them personalized automated emails that provide fundraising tips, solicitation reminders, encouragement and your gratitude. Traditional means of communicating with donors are costly, time intensive and slow.
5.    Create friendly competition and build individual and team incentives into your campaigns. Create accurate, real-time responsive leader boards that allow campaign champions to see how their fundraising efforts stack up against fellow champions. Offer prizes to the top fundraisers and top teams.  Encourage team captains to motivate their team members and offer them easy ways of communicating within their team.
6.    Reduce unnecessary administrative efforts from each campaign.  Peer-to-peer tools automate many administrative functions of fundraising programs. Donor communications becomes automated, personalized donor websites can be created by the donors themselves, tax records and receipts are automatically generated and distributed. By using online-based events, the costs and coordination associated with physical venues is eliminated.
7.    Automate your donor acquisition strategy. Peer-to-peer tools that fully integrate with your donor management systems will allow you to capture new donor information and donation habits. By allowing your donors to create their own online networks, all donors that interact with those personalized websites can be captured, collecting money and expanding your database at the same time.

Let us know what you think.