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Power up your Peer-to-Peer Web Site

By Dawn Iype

Runs, walks, and rides, oh my! All are becoming increasingly popular with charities looking to engage and leverage their existing donor base. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to use your current donors to reach new ones. When your supporters ask their own personal contacts for donations, those prospective donors are much more likely to give.

Being that the majority of fundraising for these events occurs online, it’s critical to remove all barriers to set your organization up for success. Here are some ideas to maximize your peer-to-peer program:

  • Collect Email First. This allows you to follow up with people who don’t complete the registration process. By using a cart abandonment solution you can send email reminders to people who may have become distracted while registering. These are important leads that you’ll want to convert. Cookie the registration page as well so you can follow prospects with a remarketing ad related to your event.
  • Keep It Simple. Don’t overcomplicate your registration form with unnecessary fields. Extraneous fields reduce completion rates. Do you really need their middle name? Only ask the essentials. Additionally, don’t require registrants to sign in with complicated passwords or to create special accounts. Set your default goal amount to your desired giving level and don’t give too many options. When presented with too many choices, many people won’t choose any.
  • Make It Easy. Individuals don’t like to ask for money – especially from their family and friends. By providing boilerplate text, photos, and videos for participants to use, you increase the likelihood that they’ll more aggressively fundraise for your cause. Email is important, but don’t overlook social media. Keep in mind that every social media network has a different tone and feel. Your suggested posts should be tailored for each platform – i.e., personal story for Facebook, photo for Instagram, short message for Twitter, more professional approach for LinkedIn, etc. And make sure you provide a few templates that increase in urgency as the race gets closer.
  • Recognize Milestones. Once a person signs up, keep them excited for the event and motivated to fundraise for your organization. People like to see measurable progress. This can be done with a thermometer on the homepage and individual fundraising pages, but could also include motivational videos or personalized, animated, shareable infographics along the way. Participants also love to get badges for taking actions, such as sending 10 emails, making a self-donation, or recruiting members to their team. Balance your communications with fundraising suggestions and training tips.
  • Don’t Forget the Post-Race Party! Survey your participants to keep them engaged and thinking about the event. Send an impact email that tells participants (and their donors) how their donations were used. There’s no such thing as too many thank you messages: Thank the donors, thank the fundraisers, and remind the fundraisers to also thank their donors. This will lead to repeat gifts in subsequent years. Don’t wait until the next event to communicate with both of these groups – keep the communication flowing.

A run, walk, or ride can be a fun and profitable way to engage supporters while reaching new – and often younger – audiences. Set your supporters up to become successful fundraisers and watch your event grow.

See you at the finish line!

Dawn Iype is Associate Director of Digital Media for CDR Fundraising Group, a multichannel agency focused on helping nonprofits maximize their online, direct mail, telemarketing, and DRTV fundraising results. In her role Dawn helps clients meet and exceed their fundraising and brand awareness goals through email marketing, digital advertising, website optimization, and social media initiatives. For questions about this blog, please contact Dawn Iype at or 301-858-1500.