Sign up again…. PLEASE! | npENGAGE

Sign up again…. PLEASE!

By on Feb 17, 2012


Last week I shared my new concept, peer-to-peer fundraising is the marriage of direct marketing and major giving.  Borrowing tactics from these two programs can help make peer-to-peer fundraising programs more successful.  It’s February, which equals recruitment.  Whether your event is this spring or fall we’re all focused on our recruitment plans.  I thought we’d spend the next couple posts focused on how strategies used by direct marketers can help our P2P programs.

Direct marketers do a great job segmenting and talking to their different audiences. This is the tactic that needs to be embraced by the P2P world.  For example team leaders perform different tasks and thus require different messages. While this is true for fundraising support messages it’s also true for recruitment messages. Some organization have started sending different messages to team leaders and team members, but how about we go a step further and acknowledge their prior year’s fundraising effort?

For those of you using Blackbaud Sphere creating segments and sending targeted message just became super easy. I often hear one reason that organizations don’t segment is because it’s challenging.  So I’m super excited that our Products team upgraded Blackbaud Sphere so we all can start segmenting.  Come on… get excited!  This is cool stuff.

Here’s what I want to you do.  Start using the Event Email Templates when sending emails to your participants.  Event Email Templates links your email with an event, which allows you to better target your messages.

Today’s example is about retaining team leaders.  If you read my paper, Understanding the Value of Team Captains, you know these individuals are VVP’s (Very Valuable Participants).  Team captains or leaders are your most active participants.  They raise more money, receive larger gifts and recruit others to join.  I’d say that makes them VVP’s.  So let’s start communicating to our leaders based on there activity. Next time you send an email to last year’s team leaders asking them to sign up again, try this.  Send three different emails to three different segments, I know I know… sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not. And, let’s get real for minute, fundraising is work; important work.  We need to put in the effort if we want to the results.  Just like dieting, but that’s another post [defunct link removed].

Here are your segments:

  • Team leaders who signed up last year and raised less than $100
  • Mid tier team leaders- team leaders who signed up last year and raised between $100- $999
  • Top fundraising team leaders who sign up last year and raised more than $1000

Depending on your fundraising levels your segments might be different, but I hope this illustrates my objective.  Let’s first acknowledge there role of team leader makes them special; then acknowledge their fundraising activity; and finally create a message that speaks to their involvement.

While the call to action is the same for each of your segments, how you get them to take action is different.  When you create your message for your top fundraising team leaders, thank them for being a top fundraiser and provide them with an update on organization activities since last year’s event. Your message to team leaders who signed up last year, but raised less than $100 needs to be different.  Thank them for being a team leader last year (here’s where the message changes) educate them about your organization.  How are you helping the community?  Tell them what you do and how you’re helping the cause. This group is interested in you, but they need more information about your organization, why their participation and fundraising efforts are important.

Recruitment messages need to be focused on the cause and how your organization is supporting the cause.  Individuals sign up for P2P events because they care; they’re motivated by their connection to the cause.  Therefore, recruitment messages need to focus on how their participation in this event helps the cause. If you use the Blackbaud suggested messages for recruitment, please customize them with information about your organization.  The suggested messages are just a starting point to provide you with ideas, much like the email templates you provide to your participants. To be honest, I was reluctant to include recruitment messages because they’re bland without the cause.  Plus, the cause is the primary driver for why an individual sign up.

Segmenting your messages allows you to connect with people on a more personal level.  Fundraising is personal and email is impersonal.  But, if you take the time and create messages based on an individuals involvement you’ll see an increase in open rates and event activity.


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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