Social Fundraisers: How to Motivate Them

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Nonprofits, do you ever take a look at a campaign like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and think “I struggle to keep our participants engaged throughout our whole campaign, let alone get them to dump a bucket of ice-cold water on their head?!”

If so, you’re not alone.

You are probably wondering what the secret formula is to get your peer-to-peer participants motivated and excited to fundraise. Well, we’ve got new strategies to help you engage today’s social fundraisers.

We recently surveyed 1,106 Social Fundraisers in the U.S. to find out what they want and need to succeed.

The study results provided a look into the minds of peer-to-peer fundraisers and outlined key insight into their motivators and barriers.

This blog outlines actionable tips to help you, our #FearlessFundraisers, take your campaign to the next level.

Here are 4 top tips for motivating today’s Social Fundraisers:

  1. Design a Mix of Motivators
  2. Remove Peer-to-Peer Participant Barriers
  3. Arm Participants to Fundraise
  4. Keep Participants Engaged

Design a mix of motivators

Design a Mix of Motivators for Peer-to-Peer Participants

Top Motivators

Motivating your Social Fundraisers means designing a good mix of motivators to set your participants (and organization) up for success. Top motivators for peer-to-peer participants include:

Top fundraising motivators of peer-to-peer fundraisers from OneCause Social Fundraiser Study

Seeing the progress of a friend group or social network and being part of a team were both identified as a top motivator by 79 percent of participants. What these motivators have in common is that they center on social and technology-supported experiences.

Fundraising isn’t just about the relationship between one organization and one donor. The success of any peer-to-peer campaign relies on the energy and momentum created by your Social Fundraisers. It’s time to make it social, mobile, and FUN!

Tracking Group Progress

Tracking a group’s progress is a powerful motivator – make sure you have powerful technology to help make it easy for your participants. Get creative with:

  • Participant rewards (such as leaderboards or milestone badges)
  • Recognizing fundraising progress
  • Social sharing abilities
  • Participant engagement activities
  • Donor recognition
  • Gamification abilities

PRO TIP: As fundraising technology has become more accessible, so has fundraising gamification. Turning fundraising into competition breaks down the barriers between donors and traditional outreach and puts the fun back into fundraising.

Motivators by generation

Peer-to-peer campaigns attract all generations, but that doesn’t mean their motivators are the same. All generations find being part of a team highly motivating, but younger generations are more likely to be motivated by activity-based rewards.

Top fundraising motivators for peer-to-peer participants per generation from the OneCause Social Fundraiser Study

Appealing to these top motivators will drive engagement for your participants and revenue for your organization.

Remove Peer-to-Peer Participant Barriers

Remove Peer-to-Peer Participant Barriers

Nonprofits, don’t forget – even your most seasoned participants can face barriers that impact their fundraising success. Sixty-nine percent of peer-to-peer participants reported facing barriers in their fundraising efforts for multiple reasons.

The top reported challenges for peer-to-peer participants are:

  1. Uncomfortable asking people for money.
  2. Difficult to motivate people to give.
  3. Lack of resources and message templates.
  4. Fundraising software were difficult to use.
  5. Didn’t receive adequate support.
  6. No access to fundraising tools or software.
  7. Goal was too high.

The most common barrier for participants is being comfortable asking for money. You can help by arming them with the right resources and making fundraising fun!

  • Make it easy to solicit donations through multiple channels (social media, text, email).
  • Provide default messages they can add a personalized touch to.
  • Give them compelling reasons to share on social media to create buzz.
  • Encourage donations with contests, activity-based rewards, and matching gifts.

Significant fundraising barriers can prevent peer-to-peer participants from reaching their overall fundraising goal. According to the Social Fundraiser study, those who did not meet their fundraising goal had these characteristics:

Characteristics of peer-to-peer participants who didn't meet their fundraising goals according to the OneCause Social Fundraiser Study

Fundraising on a team has a significant impact on meeting or exceeding fundraising goals. How can you help?

  • Ensure the registration and set-up for teams is a seamless process.
  • Make it easy to start or join a team at any time during the campaign.
  • Encourage individuals who aren’t on a team to become a captain and organize a team of their own.

Increasing team registrations means your participants will feel more supported in your fundraising efforts and empowered to spread your mission.

Arm participants to fundraise

Arm Peer-to-Peer Participants to Fundraise

You’ve motivated your participants and removed their barriers to fundraise, now it’s time to arm them with the right tools.

To help your participants step into the donation appeal arena with confidence and turn them into fundraising super stars by following these steps!

1. Provide Fundraising Templates
Your supporters will be using a variety of channels to ask for donations. Whether it’s a social post, email, or letter, make it easy on them by providing templates that they can add a personalized touch to. They’ll spend less time finding the right words and more time developing important connections!

2. Coordinate Matching Gifts
Matching Gifts can be a powerful motivator for your Social Fundraisers and a powerful fundraising generator for your organization. Arrange a major donor or corporation to sponsor a matching gift either on a special day for your campaign or when a milestone is reached. Your fundraising will skyrocket and your Social Fundraisers will feel empowered.

3. Put Together Information Packets
Provide your participants with digital information packets when they sign up to best equip them to fundraise. In it, provide your organization’s story and background, best practices for asking for donations, and how the money they’re raising will be used.

4. Encourage Social Sharing
Orchestrating a successful peer-to-peer campaign through social media takes more than just posting a link to your donation page. To make the most out of their appeals and gain the support of their peers, encourage your participants to share with their followers the why behind their fundraising efforts.

5. Make it Easier to Collect Offline Donations
Your peer-to-peer campaign thermometer may look a little low without including offline donations that come through! Make it easy on your participants and find a technology that makes collecting and adding offline donations easy and fun.

Keep Participants engaged

Keep Peer-to-Peer Participants Engaged

We understand – keeping your fundraisers engaged for the entire peer-to-peer campaign can be a challenge for nonprofits.

Encouraging frequent progress check-ins can help! According to the Social Fundraiser Study, peer-to-peer participants are highly motivated by seeing fundraising progress. Ninety percent of those who checked their progress at least daily met or exceed their goals.

90% of those who checked their progress at least daily met or exceeded their goals - OneCause Social Fundraiser Study

In order to get your participants onto their page, checking their progress, and keeping up with the leaderboards for the campaign:

  • Utilize push notifications through email and text.
  • Notify your participants when they’ve reached a fundraising milestone.
  • Provide weekly fundraising tips and highlight high performers.

Nonprofits, are you getting the most out of your technology to drive engagement?

While a majority of respondents reported they checked their progress on a daily basis, only about half of respondents (52 percent) found it “very easy” to so.

How peer-to-peer participants access their participant page and how easy it is for them according to the OneCause Social Fundraiser study

The majority of participants are accessing their participant pages via a mobile device. It’s important to evaluate the mobile participant experience and opportunities to leverage native mobile features to drive daily engagement.

Your technology should make it easy for participants to solicit donations from a mobile device with native social media sharing and integrated text messaging. Optimize mobile and you’ll optimize donations.

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