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How Nonprofits Can Motivate New Donors in the New Year

WRITTEN BY LEAH LIBOLT

Congratulations, you finished out another year of fundraising! Now here we are in a brand new year with year-round programs that need year-round funding. So, how do you build excitement around fundraising after a busy giving season without risking donor burn out? You turn to crowdfunding and peer-to-peer!

Both crowdfunding and peer-to peer fundraising have the potential to expand your organization’s reach, awareness and donor base beyond supporters who may feel fatigued from your recent year-end asks. Let’s take a look at how you and your organization can get started on a spring peer-to-peer or crowdfunding engagement campaign that helps make a bigger difference for your cause, no matter the time of year.

What is Crowdfunding or Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

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Despite their differences, both types of fundraising rely on engaging and motivating your most passionate supporters to share the campaign among their networks.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, most simply, is the practice of funding a project, campaign or program by collecting many smaller donations from multiple donors instead of relying on large donations from one or two supporters.

Peer-to-Peer

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a particular type of crowdfunding where you recruit participants to ask their personal networks to make donations to your campaign. Many supporters will make small donations like they do in crowdfunding. However in peer-to-peer fundraising, each participant has their own individual crowdfunding-style page. Peer-to-peer fundraising is often accompanied by an event like a walk or a run, or even a Day of Giving.

Would you like to learn more about how MobileCause can help you set up a peer-to-peer campaign for your organization?

Building Your Campaign

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Campaigns that make an impact entail more than just setting things up. A successful campaign will require continuous outreach and engagement that conveys both specificity and urgency.

1. Determine Your Objectives

What is your overall goal? Do you want to raise funds for a specific project, introduce more people to your organization, build your donor database, or engage more recurring donors? It could be a combination of objectives, just don’t get too carried away. Clear and thoughtful objectives will help you in setting your overall campaign goals.

2. Set Your Campaign Goals

Peer-to-peer and crowdfunding campaigns thrive on specificity. This means that you should be conveying all aspects of your campaign to your potential donor in detail, including your goals.

Campaigns which state a specific goal, over time, instill more confidence and thus garner more support from donors. Whereas campaigns that do not express a specific goal, come across as less directed, less organized and subsequently less enticing to your donor base. In essence, you want your donors to feel confident you know what you’re doing so they feel comfortable investing in your cause.

3. Make A Plan and Get Started Now

After you determine what you are raising funds for and how much you would like to raise, you should develop a project plan that outlines goals, timing and the type of fundraising program that you’ll run. A strong plan will allow you to gain momentum around your campaign and will drive engagement from your volunteer fundraisers.

It’s recommended you begin to plan 2-3 months prior to your established launch date. This will give your organization the proper amount of time to organize and prepare all the materials, promotion, outreach and communications required. So now is the perfect time to prep for spring campaigns and events.

4. Recruit Passionate Advocates

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising helps scale relationship-building by tapping into your current supporters’ respective network of friends, family, and colleagues. These passionate supporters will spread the word about your campaign and share your story–carrying your message and mission to new audiences via word of mouth, one of the most effective forms of marketing. 

Start recruiting digital ambassadors and training them to be passionate advocates for your cause at least 2-4 weeks ahead of your campaign start date. Think beyond your regular donors and consider people who frequently interact with your organization but are less-frequent donors—their value to your organization may be in their social networks!

5. Set Fundraisers Up for Success

Communication is key when it comes to setting up your volunteer fundraisers for success. According to studies, 18% of donors leave an organization due to lack of communication. The same can be said for those involved with your peer-to-peer campaign. Be sure to continually communicate with your fundraisers to keep them in the know about the campaign and your organization, to provide fundraising tips and ideas, challenge them to increase their total raised and be excited about their support of your organization.

Arm them with valuable resources, templates and tips that will allow them to convey your organization’s story with ease. Many organizations will create a tool-kit that includes sample social media posts, email outreach, thank you messages, and images that volunteers can use to communicate to their friends and family about your organization.

6. Inspire and Motivate Your Supporters

For your supporters to become truly passionate about raising money for you, you need to make them feel they are accomplishing something and offer motivations. Try giving them weekly (or daily, depending on the duration of the campaign) fundraising challenges and/or regularly acknowledging their good work in your outbound communications.

The main objective is to give your volunteer fundraisers something that is fun for them to do, so they are motivated to share their pages and encourage donations. If you have prizes to give away to your fundraisers, great! If not, no worries, recognition is enough for most people.

7. Thank and Steward All Participants

With crowdfunding and peer-to-peer, your organization can look forward to expanding your base of new donors. This is wonderful, but did you know that 80% of first-time donors will not return to give again? To sustain your donors over time, they must receive a timely and meaningful acknowledgment of their gift. There are many ways to do this, from videos to text messages to social media shout outs. Just be sure it is prompt and heartfelt.

No matter your objectives, your organization can revitalize its fundraising this spring with a well-planned crowdfunding or peer-to-peer campaign! Take these seven steps and get started today!

Leah Libolt
Senior Digital Fundraising Strategist
MobileCause  

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Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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