Knock Your Third Party Fundraiser Out of the Park | npENGAGE

Knock Your Third Party Fundraiser Out of the Park

By on May 2, 2013


Baseball season is in full swing this time of year and so are multitudes of fundraising events. Alongside the rides, walks and runs, many organizations are utilizing Third Party or Independent Fundraising Events (IFE) to raise money for specific campaigns. But just because you’ve built this beautiful fundraising website, doesn’t mean the fundraisers or donors will show up to the game. For a big win, it is important to plan ahead and organize your supporters to kick off your campaign to a great start.

Below are a few tips to help you conduct your peer-to-peer fundraising event strategy as if you were in spring training.

Draft Winning Prospects

Who will be on your roster? Create a prospect list of those people who you feel have a strong connection to the mission and the campaign itself. Discuss the event fundraising opportunity, how it will work, how they can help and what is expected. Encourage team fundraising, ask these prospects to be a team captain and recruit friends and family to join their efforts to potentially increase additional fundraisers and funds.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Ask a segment of your supporters to participate in a soft launch before opening it up to all supporters and request feedback within a few days. A soft launch allows these fundraisers to register, create and personalize a donation page as well as begin utilizing the online fundraising tools. Your beta fundraisers could possibly provide you with valuable feedback that will allow you to answer questions more efficiently down the road.


Some of your players may come from the fundraising major leagues and will already have their personal strategy in place, while others will be rookies. Give fundraising participants the training and coaching they need in order to be successful.

  • Have a communication plan to keep your fundraisers informed and engaged.
  • Invite fundraisers to a breakfast or lunch: Show and tell about the online fundraising tools, offer fundraising tips, get your pro fundraisers to share anecdotes of their success
  • Provide communication with tips to use email and social media to increase participant’s fundraising goal

Continue Coaching

If available, assign volunteers and/or staff members who are familiar with the online fundraising tools to assist your fundraisers.

  • Provide support to less-tech savvy fundraisers with navigating the website, creating donation pages, sending emails, etc.
  • Follow up with low performing fundraisers to offer assistance
  • Reach out to high performing fundraisers to acknowledge their all-star status and encourage them to possibly increase their fundraising goal to push the envelope and knock the ball out of the park for your cause.

Pour on the Gatorade and Celebrate

At the end of your fundraising campaign, don’t forget to celebrate. Feature your top fundraisers in eNewsletters, social media channels and blogs, email participants to acknowledge all of their efforts, and consider hosting a thank-a-thon with your board members to call and personally thank participants for raising money and donors for giving to support your mission.

Ready to play ball in the IFE world for your next fundraising campaign, but not sure where to start? Be sure to download Blackbaud’s Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Benchmark Study and check out other posts here on npEngage:

Kathryn Hall reviews some techniques used by organizations using IFEs to raise funds in A Cornucopia of Ways to Support Independent Fundraising Events

Robyn Mendez discusses Online 3rd Party Fundraising Done Right

Jeff O’Toole talks about Creating a Development Army: The Next BIG Thing in Fundraising



As a Blackbaud consultant, Jennifer Peters combines her knowledge and nonprofit experience to help customers maximize their fundraising potential with Blackbaud Sphere’s Friends Asking Friends. Jennifer loves seeing her client’s peer-to-peer fundraising websites move from thought to fruition. Her day to day activities allow her to work with a variety of organizations to build their online fundraising site while guiding them with best practices along the way.

Prior to joining Blackbaud, Jennifer served the nonprofit sector through various development and communication roles with non-profit organizations such as Project Medishare for Haiti, Drug Prevention Resources, Inc., Alley’s House and The Mended Hearts, Inc. Her background consists of event planning, peer-to-peer fundraising and eMarketing.

When she’s not working, Jennifer can be found either walking her three dogs, hiking/kayaking/biking around White Rock Lake or traveling to satisfy her wanderluster soul.

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