By: Giana Humphrey
For the fifth consecutive year, the For Momentum team joined hundreds of fundraising professionals from across the country in attending the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Conference in New Orleans. We reconnected with old friends, made new connections, learned a lot, and ate a few (ok, more than a few) beignets. An extra special treat was that the conference coincided with the opening of Mardi Gras! While great fun was had by all, our team was reminded once again that the fundraising landscape is as dynamic and fast-paced as the world we live in every day. Even so, with the right diagnostic methods and some dedicated professionals (+ your volunteers!), there is still plenty that nonprofit organizations can do to keep up with the speed of change.
Here’s our top 3 takeaways:
- Tailor Made Engagement Wins: The Top 30 P2P events in the country left us with some great lessons. American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life downsized the overall number of events held in 2018. Most interesting though is that they were able to increase the number of dollars raised per participant at the remaining events. Many other major programs were up, not just in participant numbers, but critically, in the dollars raised per participant. This reminds us that the core component of success is participant engagement no matter the size of the event or field. Meanwhile, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Extra Life video-game focused campaign experienced tremendous gains and entered the P2P Top 30 by reaching younger and more diverse audiences through a variety of programs online and IRL. The takeaway? With DIY fundraising on the rise, these programs reinforced reaching people with mission-first strategies help convert interest to engagement.
- The Advantages (and Faults) in Facebook Fundraising: Facebook allows a true peer-to-peer fundraising experience for participants. Think of all those birthday fundraisers you’ve seen lately. These interactions create more awareness for your cause and events, no matter what type. In the P2P world, there’s nothing a non-profit wants more than organic interest, but Facebook alone won’t catapult you to the next level in terms of participants or dollars raised. Data is murky and difficult to pull from the social media juggernaut, and it’s impossible to measure the impact of these online interactions without dedicated follow up reinforcing the mission behind these fundraisers. Remind people of the difference they can make. Consider Facebook a complement to your signature events and take a chance on incorporating this opportunity to give your fundraisers (and their important networks) one more connection to your cause.
- Diversity in the Driver’s Seat: From organizational churn to the gender gap and racial disparity, the world of 2019 is more networked, more aware and more prepared to speak up when inequality exists in the work place and in our communities. As millennials and the generations after age into fundraising, volunteering and the workforce, they’re looking for a world with equity. And, before they engage, they’re looking to see if your organization can walk the walk. Now more than ever, non-profits need to speak to a diverse audience. What’s reflected back at them? We learned some great tips for measuring how your organization stacks up against your participants’ expectations. It’s always important to ask yourself if your organization is truly living the mission, culture and passion represented at your events.
Touching individuals while maintaining large-scale success is a nuanced and complex issue that non-profits have faced since the beginning of time. We all know the most successful participants feel deeply connected to the cause. Today’s world of status updates, snaps, and stories leaves a lot to be desired for the average individual. Be sure they see you, your organization, and your mission front and center during every interaction! Focus on the core values that built your events and you’ll likely succeed.
Were you at the P2P conference? Leave us a comment with what you found most valuable or drop us a note to share what you found beneficial from our takeaways!