A guest post by Jacob Spencer of Donately
Donating is good, charitable, and meaningful. But can it be exciting? While it might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about how to raise donations, injecting a new element or two into your usual fundraisers can help spice things up for long-term supporters while also intriguing new ones.
How can you make a classic reliable fundraiser like a peer-to-peer campaign more exciting? Like with most fundraisers, your data will be your guide. Put it to use to make informed decisions about what your donors want out of your campaigns. For instance, if donors have shown a preference for virtual events, start brainstorming more ways you can engage with them online during your campaign.
To help inspire your nonprofit, this article will dive into three peer-to-peer fundraising ideas to help change up your usual campaigns for the better. We’ll explore:
- T-Shirt Fundraisers
- Giving Days
1. T-Shirt Fundraisers
Donors give to peer-to-peer campaigns because of their connections to your volunteers who are fundraising on your behalf. You can make their choice to give even more meaningful by making them feel like they’re part of a team with custom t-shirts.
In t-shirt peer-to-peer campaigns, volunteers raise funds by selling t-shirts to donors. These shirts promote your cause and give donors something to hold onto that will remind them of your nonprofit. Here are a few tips for running this type of fundraiser:
- Design custom shirts. While you theoretically can make one t-shirt design and have all of your volunteers promote it, it’s much more meaningful for donors if they can buy a custom garment either designed wholly or with significant input from their friend or family member. Help your volunteers create designs that look good and represent their connection to your cause with design templates, color choices, and suggested fonts.
- Gamify your campaign. Just like with sports jerseys, having everyone wear matching t-shirts can create a bit of a competitive vibe. Your nonprofit can leverage these feelings of friendly competition and gamify your campaign with a prize for the volunteer who raised the most.
- Celebrate volunteers. At the end of your campaign, thank all of your volunteers for their hard work. Send a thank you card, give them a call, or even host an appreciation event where they and their friends and family can show up in their new t-shirts.
To get started with your t-shirt peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll need to partner with a platform that specializes in custom merchandise. Donately’s guide to online donation tools recommends Bonfire, citing their high-quality and discounted payment processing fees for nonprofits. Check them out or explore other options to find a partner that gets your nonprofit team and supporters excited.
2. Giving Days
Giving Tuesday has become a staple of nonprofits’ fundraising strategies. In just 24 hours, supporters are encouraged to give and see if they can reach your organization’s fundraising goal. While the short time span might seem like a detriment on the surface, creating a sense of urgency can help generate a lot of excitement in a limited time frame.
For your peer-to-peer campaigns, consider scheduling them around Giving Tuesday or create a giving day just for your organization. For example, many veterans’ groups make Memorial Day their giving day.
To prepare your volunteers for rapid-fire fundraising, share your nonprofit’s marketing and promotional tips ahead of time. Host an onboarding session where volunteers can ask questions like how they should discuss your nonprofit or if they can still accept donations made after the deadline.
Plus, giving days and peer-to-peer campaigns have an essential aspect in common: they both rely heavily on social media promotion. Online fundraisers can be more accessible for many volunteers, including those who live in remote locations outside of your core community. Make sure your nonprofit’s social media pages are set up ahead of time so volunteers can link to your organization when they make their #GivingTuesday posts.
How do you end a peer-to-peer campaign? For nonprofits running continuous and rolling peer-to-peer campaigns, the answer might be never. But sometimes your organization will need to launch a campaign to raise funds in a short period of time. For these types of peer-to-peer campaigns, consider ending with a bang by hosting an event.
Peer-to-peer events give your volunteers an opportunity to meet with others who worked on your campaign, have one-on-one conversations with your staff, and introduce your nonprofit to members of their personal networks who attended. There are a variety of events you can host, including:
- Community days
- Advocacy events
- Sporting competitions
Remember that an engaging event can also serve as one last opportunity for supporters to donate. If you’re close to your goal, let attendees know and keep them updated on your progress live throughout your event to drum up even more excitement.
Author: Jacob Spencer, Customer Success / Account Manager, Donately
Bio: I strive to make every step of our customer journey as enjoyable as possible. My goal is to turn everyone that trusts Donately into a raving fan! Raising funds can be daunting, but we know that with the right tools, it can and should be easy.