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Peer-to-peer fundraisers such as runs, walks, and rides are exciting fundraising events because they foster competitive giving, harness social media, and connect larger networks to team-based giving.
To make the most out of your next bikeathon, you need a great peer-to-peer platform, clear goals, and a team that is ready to make it happen.
Before you get started, first identify a peer-to-peer platform that fits your needs. If you’re already using a peer-to-peer social fundraising solution, you may be ready to start fundraising. If you’re starting from scratch, here are a few questions you need to ask when evaluating a platform:
Once you have a platform in place, then you’re ready to get started. Let’s start planning to help your organization create the most successful bikeathon you can imagine!
The success of your peer-to-peer bikeathon relies on how well you planned from the beginning. As with any fundraising event, the earlier you get started planning and deciding on an online peer-to-peer fundraising platform, the earlier you can start promoting your bikeathon. Peer-to-peer events, while extremely popular, can require a hefty budget, so be sure to discuss before you get underway.
Ready to make a plan? Here are a few bikeathon planning best practices to get started:
Set clear goals
Come up with a strong concept
Surround yourself with the right people
The Build stage is all about creativity and innovation. The biggest focus of the Build step is to configure and design your peer-to-peer fundraising event site and optimize it for your bikeathon participants and donors.
First, determine the design and brand of your event. This includes the title of your event, event logo, colors, and tagline. Make sure you’re thinking long-term with your bikeathon brand in case you decide to make it an annual event for your donors.
Next, it’s time to build your portal. With a full-service peer-to-peer fundraising platform, your registration, donation, and information pages are all on one site, making it easy for your attendees to find information, register, and even donate without having to leave the page or search for information.
Questions to answer before you build your peer-to-peer portal include:
One of the most exciting parts of peer-to-peer events is the element of competition. Competition and social networking are key to maximizing participant donations and creating broader engagement.
With peer-to-peer updates front-and-center on your event fundraising site, donors and their networks are motivated to donate and win. As you’re building your online fundraising site, make sure you add competitive elements to raise even more:
Leader Boards: Showcase your top donors on your webpage in a leader boards that automatically updates as new donations come in.
Contests: Promote pre-bikeathon contests on your online site or through social media to get participants engaging with each other before the event starts.
Matches: Announce a spontaneous matching gift day (or week!) to create a sense of urgency and to give participants motivation to fundraising and donors extra motivation to give.
Drawings: Reward your top participants by hosting drawings or giveaways that only participants who have given over a certain dollar amount are eligible for.
Milestone badges and emails: Encourage and thank participants by sending emails when they reach certain levels of fundraising or a percentage of their goal. As part of your online leader board, include badges that highlight donor achievements such as ‘Fundraising Goal Achieved’ or ‘75% to Goal’ or ‘Rockstar Fundraiser.’
Once your event fundraising site is ready, it’s time to launch! Before go live, test your registration and donation flows to make sure you are giving your participants and donors the experience you want.
It’s a good idea to have someone not connected with your event to review your portal to make sure your messaging and content makes sense. And, most importantly, make sure dates and times are correct!
Once you’ve reviewed and tested your peer-to-peer fundraising site, it’s time for soft launch. Roll it out to a small audience. Send to your board or a select group of repeat donors so they can give everything a last once-over and share feedback before the big reveal.
Having some sort of soft launch is also important because your initial audience will be the first to register and make the initial donations. This means your site will have some action before you promote wider. Next, it’s go-time!
For most nonprofit teams, promoting peer-to-peer events is the most fun part of the planning/execution process. Marketing and promoting your event starts bringing your participant audience together with your cause.
Thanks to the peer-to-peer elements you built into your event fundraising site, your promotional strategy has two parts: outbound marketing content your team pushes and organic traffic brought in from current participants. With participants attracting new donors and competing against each other to raise funds, your bikeathon packs a 1-2 fundraising punch.
Successful peer-to-peer marketing and promotion tactics include:
The most important thing to remember when promoting your bikeathon is to link everything back to your peer-to-peer site!
Make sure all URLs are in your written materials and in all advertising. The last thing you want is for someone who is interested not to be able to find your event.
Once your bikeathon is over and the bikes have been rolled away, it’s time to celebrate. Don’t get too crazy, because there is still plenty of work to do.
Peer-to-peer events are a constant cycle of creativity and engagement, and with the right planning process in place your bikeathons will only continue to grow in popularity.
WANT MORE? Check out these Peer-to-Peer resources for tips to help you raise more and reach more.