The power of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign lies in your participants’ fundraising abilities. As your participants tap into their social network, new people are introduced to your organization and many of them are likely to become donors, if only for this event. If your organization has decided to host a crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising event, the percentage of your participants that fundraise (and fundraise well) will likely be a key metric of your success. And it’s not as easy as you might think to motivate participants, even those that are excited about your cause, to raise money for you. We often see events where the participation rate, as defined by the number of participants that have raised at least one donation for the organization, is less than 20%.
Are You Sending the Right Message to Your Participants?
You may have decided to charge a registration fee to cover basic event expenses. Doing this sometimes leads participants to believe that they have done their part for your organization – after all, they paid to come. Your job is to announce loudly on your organization and fundraising websites as well as Social Media and all communications, that this fundraising effort will be successful only when participants go out and raise money for your cause. Registration fees cover your expenses but do not raise the much-needed funds to make your event the big success you are working for. As well, creating participant fundraising goals that are too low (ie $20) lets your participants know that anything goes for your organization. Set participant and team fundraising thermometers high enough to encourage your participants to fundraise.
Tracking Your Participation Rate with Peer-to-Peer Software
Tracking your participation rate is the first step to improving it! The participation rate is the percentage of your participants that are actively fundraising for your organization. If your participation rates are less than 100%, you still have work to do.
Team participation rates can also be tracked and made competitive. This metric works exceptionally well for schools and teams that are closed systems; some schools have successfully reached 100% participation by heavily promoting this metric on their website home page.
Prize Management and Incentives for Peer to Peer Participants
Our software includes a prize management and incentivization system. This system allows your organization to easily monitor fundraising prizes or awards. The function is completely configurable for your prize levels and ideas. A prize widget will appear on personal fundraising pages when a participant has reached a certain prize level and your participants will love to see this!
Prizes that are appropriate to your constituents are always strong motivators to fundraise, so be sure to include these to help reach your fundraising goals. Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even very small prizes. We recommend that School Fun Run and read-a-thon prizes are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participate and not leave anyone behind:
- Participation – Students receive a small prize (ie pencil, sticker, or choice from a treasure box of small items) for registering as a participant on your crowdfunding website, or receiving their first donation of $1 or more.
- $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a free t-shirt, hat, or other memorabilia or school spirit award when they reach this level of fundraising. Some schools also include a raffle option here; anyone reaching the goal is entered into a raffle for prizes.
- Top Student Fundraisers – The top three school fundraisers receive large prizes, like $50 and $100 gift cards or electronics.
- Classroom with 100% Participation – When everyone in the classroom has registered or collected at least one donation, students receive extra recess or dress-down day. These are free prizes that do not cost your school any money but are very popular with kids.
- Top Fundraising Classrooms – For the top one or two fundraising classrooms, students receive a pizza party or similar luncheon event.
Provide the Right Tools for Participants
Why reinvent the wheel? Our P2P Participant Fundraising Toolkit will provide fundraising event participants with helpful fundraising tools, tips, and templates to successfully accomplish fundraising goals. Feel free to download and use any of the resources and templates provided here for your peer-to-peer events.