During today’s 30 minute presentation, we’ll briefly discuss “why peer-to-peer,” review Blackbaud’s latest benchmark data on peer-to-peer events and some key findings and strategy opportunities from that data, as well as a few real world examples of how organizations are using peer-to-peer today to increase engagement and revenue. And lastly we’ll cover what I’m most passionate about these days, the importance of having a sound email strategy for your event.
Cons expectations continue to evolve. Constituents really want to be empowered to engage with your organization on their terms and within their networks. There’s no better way to expand your organizations’ reach than a sound peer-to-peer strategy.
Through a survey we conducted for non profits and their donors, we questioned the most appropriate solicitation channel for donors and found out that donors were more likely to take an action on a solicitation received from a friend or family member than from the organization itself.
Most non profits are focused on their cash cow. I understand the importance of “keeping the lights on,” yet forward-thinking organizations recognize that they must identify ways to engage the younger supporters in order to ensure long-term sustainability, investing in ways to engage with the younger supporters will help pay dividends in the long run. Peer-to-peer can be an excellent vehicle to engage and acquire that much needed younger supporter. A common challenge I hear from many organizations.
This chart from the next generation of giving study we did illustrates the critical importance of why organizations need to engage younger donors. They may not be as financially lucrative as older donors due to life stages and giving capacity but look at the numbers of people in each group, which are essentially divided into two distinct sub sets ;Boomers and Matures; and ‘Gen X and Gen Y.’ Peer-to-Peer again is a great way to get the attention of younger supporters.
Let’sswitch gears now and take a look at Blackbaud’s 2013 Peer-to-Peer benchmark study.
The 2013 benchmark report covers both traditional events and third party, do-it-yourself, events. But the focus of the report is on the former and that is the focus of THIS program as well. If you would like more information and examples on third party, do-it-yourself, events, please look for my post of Nancy’s other presentation in the community.Let’s begin by noting the following:1) In the new benchmark, the sample size was increased. Orgs: from 48 to 1,275 orgs Events: from 1,845 to 28,000 events2) The benchmark reports on data from both the TeamRaiser and Friends Asking Friends platforms.3) ALL metrics listed are in median values.
I’d like to take a moment to review another key finding from the P2P benchmark report with more great slides from Nancy Palo, a senior strategy consultant here at Blackbaud, focused on peer-to-peer fundraising.Across the board, emails sent per event participant are down. Should we worry?No. Don’t worry! Email was down, but fundraising was up, which is a great indication that event participants are becoming better at multi-channel communication.
Soooo…are you providing your event fundraisers with the tools they need to be multi-channel? First and foremost, email is still the best way to fundraise online. Even though emails sent through Blackbaud platforms have reportedly decreased that doesn’t necessarily mean your participants aren’t using other email platforms to send email, like their personal email accounts. It’s still important to coach them towards sending emails and doing so through the Participant Center.With that said, it’s a great assumption that when email is down, social media is up. Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your participants to share links to their personal fundraising pages and guidance on what messaging they should consider sharing with their social networks.The other category includes new technologies like video, as well as traditional resources like phone and in person events. Participants are also becoming more innovative with how they raise money - especially by hosting their own events and then turning in the money raised.Regardless of how your participants are communicating, 9 times out of 10, they’re driving their audience to their personal page. It is very important to provide good default content for the personal fundraising page as no matter the channel, donors are directed to this page to make an online donation.Let’s now take a look at the Event Communication Cycle.
The first key finding we should consider and it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise is that returning participants will raise more money than new participants. It’s important to strategize on how to increase retention to ensure more participants are coming back year after year. We’ll be working on just one part of this retention effort – the email strategy piece.
In an economy that was one of the hardest hit in the nation, the challenges for Michigan Humane Society included: 1. The need to provide peer-to-peer event fundraisers with the tools to fundraise more effectively, 2. The need to reach more potential supporters by better utilizing online channels, and 3. Using their data to better track campaign and organizational performance.The solution to their challenges included redesigning their web site specifically created for the event itself and really improving upon the experience for both participants and donors, paying special attention to the registration flow and donation flow. They also made it very easy for participants to tap into their own personal networks by sharing event information, really expanding that reach. On the donation form, I love how they were able to quantify different donation levels for event donors. For example, $39 Can help provide animals with shelter or $156 Can find a new loving home for one dog or cat. This is a great way to really drive home the effect one can have as a donor to the organization and makes the experience more tangible.By implementing the proper technology, tools and strategy, over a 4 year period, the organization has grown its useable email list from just under 7,000 to 63,000, and increased annual online donations from just over $200,000 to almost $600,000. According to the organization’s calculations, the lifetime ROI for this investment is nearly 800%.
One of Scleroderma Foundations’ goals was to increase event participation and online gifts, especially for their Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walk campaign. This is another example of an organization that was really able to leverage technology to increase both participation and effectiveness of their supporters. Their walk page does a great job of keeping people posted in terms of progress they’ve made, it’s very compelling and it acts positive peer pressure for their participants and encourages them to continue recruiting members for their teams and soliciting donations to help the organization reach its fundraising goal. They did a better job of recognizing top fundraisers and teams usingMilestones and Progress Meters.Here they saw an increase in donations from $522,000 to $807,900.
Have you ever stood in line at Starbucks and listened to the orders of others in front of you? If so, you may have noticed that almost every order is different; every patron wants their coffee made their way and Starbucks is happy to oblige. Non-profit organizations are experiencing this same kind of consumer behavior with their constituents; donors don’t want to just write a check anymore and fundraisers want to fundraise their way. As a result, organizations are providing new fundraising opportunities to meet their constituent’s needs.Beyond traditional run/walk events is this newish idea of DIY.
Third Party Fundraisers needed access to the online tools available for NMSS marquee eventsLocal Chapters needed an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-manage, localized DIY solution.National HQ needed to expand their fundraising footprint in a consistently branded, Chapter-friendly way.NMSS worked with Blackbaud Strategic Services using TeamRaiser to create a national Do It Yourself Fundraising Program that could be customized by local chapters.Set a first year goal of $300K and raised more than $1.8 million.One chapter Increased fundraising average from $500 to $6,300 with the inclusion on online toolsLaunched a national campaign with one consisten
Gear your DIY fundraising campaign around connected to your mission
List bullets.This is pretty simple to think about -- we want more people to register, we want those registered to raise more money and we want more people who participated last year to register again this year.What might not be as simple to think about is “How do we do this?”There are several marketing and recruitment avenues to achieve these goals:Corporate Partnerships Improving the User Experience and Content on your website Direct MailSocial Media SEM &SEO Radio/TV/Billboards, etc.BUT…a strong email strategy is an absolute necessity.
Let’s start to really think about the emails we’re going to send as part of our recruitment strategy. Participants come in different shapes and sizes. Each participant is motivated by a different need. We MUST acknowledge these differences when creating the recruitment section our email communication plan. These differences will likely result in the creation of different audiences, or conditional content. Because our participants are not the same, the way we communicate to them should not be the same.
When we think recruitment -- we need to think segmentation.We’ve already mentioned that different participants are motivated by different needs and that’s why we suggest dividing your recruitment efforts into 2 tracks: 1) Past Participants (including team captains and top individual fundraisers) and 2) New Acquisition.And even more important than just segmenting past participants, your focus needs to be on your power players, which are your team captains and individual top fundraisers. These folks likely account for 80% of the revenue you see from your event. 80%! This is the 80-20 rule, which states, for many events (and this is an “event” generally speaking), roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For fundraising events, this translates into 80% of revenue being raised by 20% of your participants. In this 20%, are your team captains and individual top fundraisers.But you say, we don’t have team captains, what should we focus on? In this case, we’ll need to decide what segment of your participants are your power players.The point I want to drive home is that those participants raising all that money should not be addressed in the same way as a participant who has never fundraised.
The fifth email channel in our email strategy guide is coaching. It is imperative to keep registered participants engaged from the time they register until the day of the event and beyond. Wherever possible, we should aim to educate participants about fundraising and reward them for their achievements. Coaching emails are one of the ways we can continually coach participants to higher levels of fundraising.Rumor has it that the #1 reason participants don’t fundraise is because they’re never asked to do so. Let’s make sure we’re asking and asking consistently with some instruction.
We first saw this slide when we were discussing recruitment emails, but the same philosophy applies to coaching emails -- we need to think about segmentation and our different audiences. It’s much simpler for coaching – we have TWO, Team Captains and all other participants. Team Captains are the event super heroes, so it’s important to consider different messaging for them. In our template we’ll include a section like we did last time for conditional content aimed at Team Captains. The message to them is primarily recruit for you team and secondary fundraise.Regardless of audience, we want to make sure that everyone has the tips and tools they need to hit the ground running.
We can use this data to write email content that’s dynamically populated per participant and requires minimal effort on our part. What we’re doing here in this example is using what we do know about our participants to provide regular progress updates and fundraising snapshots, which help accomplish what we need in coaching emails – regular reminders to our participants about how well they’re fundraising efforts are going or just the opposite – how well they’re not going. That’s definitely one way to motivate folks to fundraise! You even have the option to display top 10 fundraisers and top 10 teams in email if that’s something else you’re interested in sharing will all of your DIY participants.Let’s take a look at some real world examples of this dynamic content in action.
Just another example using the same template, but notice the different uses of the data that’s available. The intro section reports on how many days out the participant is from the event, which won’t work for DIY events, but then within the Progress Update, we see how many days into fundraising for the participant and that’s simply based on the registration date, which you will always have for DIY events. You would carry this same idea over to the right column and in lieu of “days left to fundraise,” you could say “days spent fundraising” or something along those lines.Also, please note in this example that we report on team fundraising efforts below the personal fundraising stats. And what’s even cooler is that it can be made conditional so that it will only show team stats if this participant is in fact a member of a team; otherwise, nothing renders.We have a lot of options. We could take it a step further and provide conditional content based on other behaviors that may be worthy of special messaging, such as:No self donation – encourage the participant to make a self donation if they have not done so alreadyRaised $0 – motivate that participant to set a small milestone to ask 5 family members or friends for a donationWe have a lot of options and we can use the SAME conditional content in EVERY coaching email we send, which could easily be set up to either show up or not show up based on that participant’s behavior between messaging. I’d like to also mention that this same content strategy may be used in autoresponders and milestone messaging, you have the same options in the WYSIWYG.
I’d love to open it up for questions via chat or aloud if you’re not connected through your computer for audio.
Peer to peer fundraising strategies for nonprofits
Got Participants? Make your peer-to-peer
fundraising event better than ever!
Interactive Consultant, Go! Program
Online Solutions Consultant
Interactive Consultant, Go! Program
WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT TODAY?
• Why Peer-to-Peer?
• Benchmark Data
• Key Findings and Strategy Opportunities
• Real World Examples
• Be Prepared with Event Email Strategy
Peer Solicitation Is Broadly Accepted
% say appropriate solicitation channel
(rank ordered by very important –blue)
Peer to Peer
Did you know?
TeamRaiser clients raised 70% of event funds raised by the top 30 events in 2011.
F U N D R A I S I N G E M P H A S I S : M AT U R E S
G E N E R AT I O N A L G I V I N G
Total annual giving
WHAT IS THE P2P BENCHMARK REPORT?
P2P Analysis Overview
1,275 organizations & 28,000 events
Events from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2011
Metrics listed in Median Values
OVERALL: EVENTS ARE GROWING PARTICIPANTS
2010 – 2011 Median Change
OVERALL: EVENTS ARE GROWING ONLINE REVENUE
2010 – 2011 Median Change
Key Findings and Strategy Opportunities
PARTICIPANTS ARE MULTI-CHANNEL COMMUNICATORS
While number of emails sent were down, online fundraising was up!
Participants are using truly multi-channel fundraisers.
MULTI-CHANNEL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
KEY FINDING: RETURNING VS. NEW PARTICIPANTS
KEY FINDING: THIRD PARTY FUNDRAISING IS HOT
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, DIY Fundraising, Independent Fundraising
Events, Marathon Fundraising, Crowdfunding, Virtual Events….
Real World Examples
MICHIGAN HUMANE SOCIETY
THE STARBUCKS EFFECT
NATIONAL MS SOCIETY: DIY FUNDRAISING
THE LONGEST DAY
In Year 1,
Be Prepared with Event Email Strategy
WHAT MAKES AN EVENT SUCCESSFUL?
Growth in registration
Growth in fundraising
Growth in participant retention