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December 3, 2021
The New Rules for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
By Andrew Berry

Andrew Berry
Andrew Berry

With the end of the coronavirus pandemic seemingly in sight, and the vaccine campaign well underway, many nonprofit fundraising professionals are eyeing a return to in-person activities, but they should be aware that new rules apply.

Many nonprofit fundraising professionals are eyeing a return to in-person activities. Most aspects of peer to peer (P2P) fundraising won’t drastically change; these campaigns will always rely on a team of volunteer fundraisers who create their own fundraising pages and solicit donations from their family and friends.

However, there are a few changes your team should consider, and exploring these best practices will allow your nonprofit to thrive during the post-COVID era.

Here are the rules that comprise the new normal for post-pandemic P2P fundraising:

Rule #1: Virtual fundraising is here to stay

Out of necessity, your team has likely become closely acquainted with adapting to virtual fundraising this year. As you return to more in-person activities, you might even feel burnt out from all the online fundraising, but it’s critical to not lose momentum.

First, as the vaccine process continues, your organization’s return to in-person events should be slow and deliberate. Not everyone has access to the vaccine right now, and not everyone is comfortable with in-person activities just yet. Plus, plenty of nonprofit supporters prefer having a virtual engagement avenue, because it’s more convenient for them to get involved without having to leave the house.

The good news is that P2P fundraising is one of the easiest fundraisers to carry out online since it relies on social media and other digital messaging platforms. If you’re out of ideas after planning virtual events for a year, check out DNL OmniMedia’s guide to virtual P2P fundraising for some fresh ideas. A virtual read-a-thon, talent show, or trivia competition are a few events to consider.

Rule #2: Hybrid events will be the new norm

Just because virtual P2P fundraising is here to stay doesn’t mean you only have to offer digital opportunities to supporters. Hybrid events are emerging as a popular trend because they combine virtual activities with in-person experiences, offering something for supporters at all comfort levels.

Hybrid events retain the excitement of in-person interactions while providing an alternative engagement experience for those who aren’t comfortable with face-to-face events or those who live further away but still want to support your mission.

For your next P2P fundraiser, this could mean that you open your walk-a-thon to both in-person participants and remote participants. As you plan your event, ensure you have access to the necessary tech tools listed in Donately’s nonprofit software guide like an online donation form, email marketing software, and a P2P platform.

Rule #3: Supporter stewardship is more important than ever

As we transition to a new phase of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to cultivate and maintain donor relationships. Your current supporters are the ones who you will reach out to in order to recruit P2P fundraisers in the immediate post-pandemic era. Ensure you’re keeping them in the loop and thanking them for their continued support. This post offers a few ideas for encouraging greater participation from supporters, including:

  • Thank supporters for all the ways they bolster your organization beyond just fundraising. This includes volunteering, marketing, and advocating for your cause. This lets supporters know they’re valued for more than just their monetary contributions.

  • Equip your staff with the communications and marketing training needed to conduct better fundraising efforts. They can use this training to market your P2P fundraising efforts better and more effectively inspire supporters to get involved.

With these stewardship tactics in place, your supporters will be more open and willing to participate in P2P fundraisers, because they’ll be more knowledgeable about your organization’s mission and how they fit into the puzzle.

Finally, keep an eye on nonprofit technology trends as the pandemic winds down. Tools like text-to-give, website blogs, and matching gift software are all critical assets that can carry your fundraising efforts forward into the future.

Keeping this guidance in mind will set your fundraising team up for success as we continue the transition to a post-pandemic world. Happy fundraising!

Andrew Berry as head of marketing and customer success for Donately focuses on helping nonprofits raise more money online each year.

May 2021

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