What separates peer-to-peer fundraising from the other revenue channels?
I was recently reminded of this by one of my team members. She shared that working on a team with peer-to-peer fundraising consultants has made her a better online marketer. She continued saying it’s due to our constant focus on engaging supporters—really engaging supporters and asking them to take actions, to participate versus just asking for money, has helped her rethink email marketing campaigns.
I’m not usually at a loss for words, but I was at that moment. A feeling of pride made me smile. You see, Lauren a member of the consulting team I manage, is extremely bright, talented and awesome. Lauren’s always teaching me something new about Luminate Online and email marketing programs, so to have shared my knowledge to help her be better consultant, well that’s pretty cool. Actually, it’s the best part of being manager.
I’ve been doing this peer-to-peer thing for ten plus years; it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks that you stop seeing what’s right in front of you. Insert standard cliché: if it were a snake it would have bit you or can’t see the forest for the trees.
With a fresh perspective, let’s talk about engagement and get back to the basics.
Google’s definition of “engagement” is to:
- Occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention)
- Participate or become involved in
This definition basically sums up our peer-to-peer fundraising goal: peak supporters’ interest so they’ll become interested in getting involved with your cause.
Things seem to change more quickly these days, thanks to technology and our constant online access. I’m dating myself here, but I remember grabbing an encyclopedia when I needed to look something up. Now, I simply type in a word or phrase and boom there’s my answer. Today, donors have so many choices that it’s becoming even more important to provide them with opportunities for deeper levels of engagement. Peer-to-peer fundraising is that engagement factor.
Are you ready to peer-to-peerify your organization?
From special events to do-it-yourself fundraising, there are so many options to integrate peer-to-peer fundraising into your organization’s revenue stream. Where do you start? First things first… do you research! There are several great posts on npENGAGE; I’ll give you some links to a few of my favs.
Research is critical.
Start by checking out what other organizations are doing. Don’t simply look at what they’re doing and copy it, but look at it and learn from it. Look with a critical eye and from the supporter’s perspective. Does the website content make the purpose, objective and goal of the program clear? Do you understand what you’re supposed to do, what action to take?
What you don’t want to do is simply copy someone else’s program. It’s okay to borrow someone’s idea, but make it your own. (Let’s get real for a minute.. most ideas aren’t actually original. Instead they’re iterations of someone else’s idea).
If you’ve read other posts from me, you know I’m an NPR junkie. The Ted Radio Hour tackles this subject in a recent show: What Is Original? When is copying flattery, when is it thievery, and when is it sheer genius? Check it out. It’s definitely one of my favorite shows, featuring Mark Ronson’s music history lesson.
“In music, we take something we love and build on it” – Mark Ronson
Its okay to not be original. As you learn from the Ted Radio Hour, not much is original these days. When thinking about developing your peer-to-peer program, remember there’s a difference between borrowing and copying.
Are you in the Atlanta area?
If so, join me and the Blackbaud team on July 30th for the Online Fundraising Summit. We’re talking peer-to-peer fundraising, websites and more!
PS. As promised here are some great post on developing a peer-to-peer program: