By: Mollye Rhea
If we’ve learned anything from the last two years, a key to success is the ability to change strategies quickly when circumstances require. Nowhere was that more evident than with events pivoting from in person to digital. Even though we can meet in person and have personal connections again, the virtual scene is here to stay.
We see four key questions popping up from social impact pros in the P2P space. Take a look at our answers.
What appeals most to corporations about P2P events?
P2P campaigns offer corporate partners a unique way to engage their employees in:
- Making a social impact
- Building teams virtually and in person
- Fostering healthy competition with other companies
Is P2P fundraising really on the rise?
It is, indeed. Fundraising through walkathons, bike rides, relays and similar events increased 3.5% in 2021, according to a study released by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. It was a welcome lift from 2020 when the pandemic wreaked such havoc on P2P, causing a 33.5% drop in funds raised.
In addition to more traditional P2P formats, over $154 million was generated for nonprofits in 2021 through digital-centric P2P fundraising, a 30% increase over 2020, according to data from 44 nonprofits released in a study issued by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum and sponsors GoodUnited and Tiltify. Participation in these programs grew 132% from 2020 to 2021.
American Cancer Society is one of the many nonprofits that made a major investment in virtual, and it paid off. ACS virtual challenge programs ranked #16 on the top 30 P2P events list.
What are best practices for a hybrid event world?
56% of nonprofit professionals expect some degree of virtual engagement to continue according to Blackbaud. Now that audiences have had the option to engage virtually, they want it.
Although we expect in-person events to return in full force in 2022, investing in complementary virtual experiences is a new must.
- Broadcast your event live on social media through FaceBook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, Zoom or Twitch
- Offer more flexible time frames or extend campaigns year-round
- Provide regular online opportunities to engage and donate
How is equity impacting P2P events?
We know that over the last two years, P2P fundraising staff have faced monumental changes in event activation. At the same time, a multitude of opportunities through new technology and event styles opened greater access to a wider audience.
We believe the organizations that integrate accessibility and equity into their plan will be the ones more likely to succeed moving forward because donors and event participants are demanding it. In fact, Charity Navigator has just released a new nonprofit scoring system focused on rating their DEI Strategies and Impact because donors were demanding this added layer of accountability. Bilal Taylor, Charity Navigator’s Vice President of Culture & Community, explains, “With our new methodology, we anticipate that nonprofits will place greater emphasis on becoming more equitable, more inclusive, and more diverse; and our research suggests this can enhance decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.”
We only see this shift toward donor demand for greater accountability growing. We predict those organizations that make the shift toward more accessible events, as well as clearly show participants who and where their donations are going, will come out on top.
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