Major Giving + Direct Marketing = Peer-to-peer fundraising | npENGAGE

Major Giving + Direct Marketing = Peer-to-peer fundraising

By on Feb 8, 2012


I’ve been busy writing new papers and working on my presentation for the annual Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference in March.  As I’m diving into the data and deliriously typing, what I hope will be thought provoking content, I had a thought.  Peer-to-peer fundraising is the marriage of major giving and direct marketing.  I know a little wacky, but stay with me.

Major giving is focused on a small group with the capacity to make a large gift.  Words associated with major giving are: prospecting, stewardship, and cultivate. Direct marketing is about the masses.  Reaching out to a large list of potential donors in a personalized manner thanks to segmentation, data enrichment and modeling.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is the perfect blend of these two programs.  We want to steward our participants in a similar manner as major donors, but we can’t connect with everyone.  So, we need to create personalized and meaningful communications for thousands of participants.

We can learn a lot from our major giving and direct marketing friends.  And that’s your homework for today.  Step away from your desk and go find and chat with your co-workers.

Talk with major giving officers about how they prospect donors.  I bet you can borrow some their tactics when data mining your participants.  Also, find out how they cultivate those relationships.  How are they keeping a donor engaged after a gift is made?  When do they ask for the next gift?  As peer-to-peer fundraisers we struggle retaining top fundraisers, maybe some of their strategies will work for you.

Talk with your new direct marketing friends.  These folks are gurus at segmentation!  They have a knack for providing folks with personalized content based on their interests.  I’m sure they can give you lots of ideas you can incorporate into your email communications.

I wouldn’t give you homework without doing it myself.  I know not everyone has a major gift officer on staff or a direct mail department, so I’m reaching out to my friends for help.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll share major giving and direct marketing best practices that you can incorporate into your peer-to-peer fundraising programs.

After you’ve completed your homework, share what you learned with us.


Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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