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Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Success Starts with Teams, Retention and DIY

Charities that promote teams in their events have an annual average growth of 28%, according to the latest DonorDrive State of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 2018 Report. On average, each team raises 10 times as much as an individual participant.

The report provides annual trends and statistics from thousands of events, over a million participants and hundreds of millions of dollars raised.

Among several key findings was the importance of retention, as it is for every type of fundraising. Returning participants raise 2.5 times as much as new participants, meaning for every 100 participants your event loses, you’ll need 250 new ones to make up the revenue.

The research also shows that supporter participants want options in how they raise money, and this is evidenced by the growth of DIY (Do-It-Yourself fundraising). The number of organizations adding DIY campaigns to their fundraising through DonorDrive grew by 125% over the past two years. 

Preparing for the Future 

A frequent question among professionals at nonprofits of every size is where peer-to-peer fundraising is headed? The report identifies a number of trends, including:

  • Supporters want options in how they raise money, and where it’s spent.
  • Supporters want to host their own events for your organization
  • Supporters expect you to come to them.
  • Communities may no longer be geographical, and activity in digital communities is huge.

Questions have also been raised with regards to the new tax law’s impact on Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. “I believe that peer-to-peer fundraising will be minimally affected by the new tax law,” said Todd Levy, CEO of DonorDrive. “With these types of fundraising events, donors give because of their connection to the cause.  Either a friend connected to the mission asked them to give or they personally care about the cause. The tax deduction was secondary, if it even played a role at all.”

Top Findings

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • The top 10% of your fundraisers bring in more than half of event revenue.
  • Events that encourage teams get 59% of their dollars from them.
  • Creating a sound retention plan with realistic recruiting goals will make a positive difference in the future success of your events. For example, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) grew the ranks of their participants by 7,000 in 2017.
  • Gamification is having a big impact in online engagement in general and fundraising in particular. Badges and rewards inspire participants to become better fundraisers.
  • Real-time fundraising statistics and data visualization are helping nonprofits make informed decisions quickly.

Report findings and analysis also reveal the most effective strategies to help nonprofit organizations retain and recruit participants. The recommendations include:

  • Start your retention plan the moment you meet a participant
  • Connect them to your cause
  • Make the day unforgettable
  • Document the event in photographs and video
  • “Thanks” should be the constant conversation starter
  • Make being an alum cool
  • Take your event year round

DIY Fundraising

Organizations are discovering that they can tailor the DIY concept to their own fundraising initiatives to generate significant revenue. Fifty percent of DIY fundraisers donate to their own DIY campaign. While DIY campaigns give supporters a great tool to express their fundraising creativity, organizations are finding greater success with structured campaigns that appeal to DIY-savvy supporters. Examples are:

  • Structured DIY: By giving DIY a theme or by giving campaigners a choice of where the money goes, nonprofits are seeing success with supporters who prefer more structure.
  • Incorporating the virtual component to the real event: Many nonprofits offer supporters the opportunity to participate in an event as a virtual participant. This works for participants who can’t physically make it to the event, and organizations are giving current participants the opportunity to do a DIY campaign in addition. It’s often the most-motivated advocates for the cause who create these campaigns.

Click here for AFP’s one-page fact sheet on the report. Or to download a copy of the full report, click here.

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