Four New Trends in Peer-to-Peer Fundraising (and How to Leverage Them)

December 12, 2019 Brian Isaac

The growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising is revolutionising our industry, making it easier than ever for supporters to raise funds and rally support for their cause. But leveraging this trend isn’t as easy as it might first seem. Closely linked to improvements in technology and heavily influenced by fluctuating behavioural trends and social expectations, P2P is a space that’s constantly evolving. Keeping up with all the changes can be challenging, particularly for teams who are time and resource-poor.

Understanding these challenges, our parent company Blackbaud recently commissioned a study to identify emerging trends within P2P fundraising and help charities determine areas for potential growth.

There’s a host of learnings Australian non-profits can take from this study (which you can read here), but if you want the abridged version, here are our key takeouts.

Think quality as well as quantity

Despite P2P events participant acquisition becoming a bigger challenge every year, the fundraising value of those participants is increasing overall. What this tells us is that a smaller group of more dedicated and engaged fundraisers is emerging, leaving other less committed participants to fall by the wayside. It also appears that returning participants raise more: they can secure up to three times as much as a new participant! Of course, it’s still vital to continue to attract new supporters, but it’s also essential to retain these star fundraisers and coach new star fundraisers to follow in their footsteps.

You can cultivate this powerful group by:

  • Creating tailored communications for past fundraisers which acknowledge their support and remind them what they’ve helped you to achieve
  • Delivering an awesome, seamless supporter experience from start to finish that will build longstanding relationships and inspire loyalty

Know what your star fundraisers look like

A fairly clear profile emerged of who the hardest-working fundraisers are:  Women, who sign up in greater numbers, lead more teams, and raise more money than men in every category except cycling; and teams, who are responsible for the vast majority of donations in most categories. Not surprisingly, team captains were typically the strongest fundraisers and the bigger the team, the more funds were raised. You can apply these insights to your next event strategy by:

  • Coaching your team captains on ways to recruit more team members
  • Providing team captains with extra coaching to help them inspire their teams to fundraise
  • Being strategic about your choice of category: if you want to recruit female fundraisers, avoid cycling, and vice versa.

Engagement is a huge fundraising driver

Participants who are proactive, make the effort to regularly update their fundraising pages and reach out to their networks via email raise significantly more funds than those who do not (between 2 and 18 times more in fact). It stands to reason that the more touchpoints your fundraisers create and the more they personalise and share their journey, the more inspired their network will be to donate.

You can leverage this further by:

  • Giving your fundraisers email templates to help them articulate their donation requests more easily
  • Encouraging participants to share their journey on social media and providing them with the tools to do so
  • Creating tailored coaching emails for page-updaters who haven’t yet raised any money.

Ask them to take other actions that drive fundraising, eg. emailing their networks or posting on social media.

DIY fundraising is on the rise

DIY fundraising and non-traditional events are experiencing massive growth as supporters seek more flexibility in the way they fundraise and want to do something unique rather than just follow the crowd. Even better, DIY fundraisers happen to raise on average twice as much as any other type of supporters. Being able to nurture them and to give them the freedom and flexibility to organise their own event is crucial to an organisation success.

One way to tap into this trend without having to invest significant amounts of time or budget is by having a clearly defined path on your website for supporters looking for a way to help your cause. Even better is to create and showcase pre-defined community fundraising campaigns such as birthday celebrations to inspire them.

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