Peer-to-peer fundraising is prone to participant fatigue over time. This is why it's so important to maintain steady engagement levels throughout the entire duration of the event. Here are five ways you can drive more participant engagement in your peer-to-peer fundraising.
Signs of Engagement Loss
There are three common signs that you are losing engagement:
- Average Raising Amount: The average dollars raised per participant is steadily decreasing. This is one of the most popular signs.
- Waiting until the Last Minute: The majority of your participants could be waiting until the last minute to start fundraising.
- Missing Fundraising Goals: There is an increased number of participants who are missing fundraising goals or not fundraising at all.
All of these signs are red flags that you have to address immediately. If you are already using leaderboards, they may be ineffective and you will have to find new ways to drive competitive fundraising. After all, the overall statistics in the fundraising sphere is quite positive.
Your aim is to create a fun and engaging environment that will allow your supporters to have a great experience. The solution may be unexpected, but as long as you like it and see that it is doing its job, you can be sure that it's the one for you.
One of the best motivators that isn't entirely focused on creating a competitive environment but still works well are premiums. Sure, they still strive to encourage fundraising by achieving more than other participants, but they are still a little different in a way.
Premiums work like this:
- You offer incentives at certain fundraising milestones that improve participation.
- These milestones help break down a participant's personal fundraising goal into achievable targets that promote higher fundraising levels.
- Your participants become more engaged and motivated to achieve those milestones.
Premiums can be virtually anything. For example, they could be digital badges, discounts, and merchandise from corporate sponsors. You could also offer recognition or moving up to exclusive experiences on event days. The point is to encourage participants to get creative and send the additional donation asks that help them reach the next milestone.
It's a good idea to set up your peer-to-peer fundraising software in a way that will automatically notify participants about them achieving a premium. This will give your participants visibility into how they are tracking.
2. Contests & Competitions
Another extremely effective way to improve engagement is to start hosting contests and competitions. At their core, such events are about winning and will definitely set your participants up for doing their best.
The best part of contests is that you reward your winners whether they are sole participants or act in teams. If you opt for the latter, it will also help raise the team spirit and create a feeling that everyone is part of a team and a greater mission.
Contests and competitions are also perfect for "waking up" the more passive participants of your peer-to-peer fundraising event. Those who wanted to wait until the last minute might now decide to start being more active for the sake of the rewards or to be "like everyone else". If others participate, why shouldn't you?
Keep in mind that the contests you host should be time-bound, meaning that they need to have set deadlines. Reward engagement both on dollars and participation such as social shares, top participant recruiter, and most donors engaged in a certain time period. To make these contests even more effective, promote them on your social media and create separate leaderboards.
3. DIY & Wrap-Around Events
This may be an unusual way of driving more participant engagement, but it has proven to be effective for increasing donor contributions and reach among other things. Wrap-around events are a great way for your participants to host personal or team events in which they launch their peer-to-peer campaigns which enables them to raise money towards their fundraising goal.
The best part of DIY and wrap-around events is that you can get creative! Here are some ideas you can consider:
- Dinner parties
- Spa nights
- General gatherings
- Corporate events
- Birthday parties
- Spin class challenges
- Baby showers
- Happy hours
Your most active participants are often even more enthusiastic to host something and engage more with others when you allow them to host their own wrap-around events. Just make sure that you provide enough opportunities for the administrative part of such events: online registration, online donation collection, and so on.
4. Matching Gift Campaigns
Yet another great way to increase participant engagement in your peer-to-peer fundraising is my hosting matching gift campaigns. They encourage fundraisers to move faster and promote an environment where participants are more involved in the process.
Matching gift campaigns work best when they are limited in time like contests or competitions. The "match" in such campaigns can be either a major donor or a corporate sponsor that is looking to increase its level of support.
Before you start your gift matching campaign, carefully think through which strategy you will be using. For example, there is the traditional dollar-to-dollar match or an achievement match. Be sure to set a maximum match per donation which will prevent one single donator from taking the majority of the match amount.
5. Highlight Participant Stories
Last but not least, you can try highlighting participant stories. First, involve your top fundraisers and team captains more and ask them for their opinions on the event. Keep in touch with them as much as possible.
After that, ask them whether you can tell their stories to other participants to inspire and motivate them. Add spotlights to your website and social media where you will talk about your top fundraisers and top-performing teams. Social media has proven to be very effective in this sense.
These will add confidence to your other participants. You can also add some words about how they motivate your own team and how you look forward to hearing more inspirational stories.
All in all, driving more participant engagement in your peer-to-peer fundraising is essential for your event to succeed. Follow these tips and you will surely succeed in your endeavor.
Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.