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This Tiny Change Resulted in Three Times the Donations

Frog and Quarter

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Published February 20, 2014 Reading Time: 3 minutes

The decentralized nature of peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the reasons it’s so effective. Instead of just pumping out a message to existing supporters and asking them to donate yet again, you empower supporters to become ambassadors for your organization. When supporters create fundraising pages and share those pages with their networks of friends and family through email and social media, they are able to reach a much wider pool of potential donors.  This strategy of leveraging your network’s network,  has helped make peer-to-peer tremendously effective for a wide variety of organizations…but there is something of a catch that you should be aware of.

Because your supporters are the ones doing the actual asking, when you run a peer-to-peer campaign you need to make sure that those supporters know how to effectively ask for donations.

Seems basic. Seems relatively trivial. But it’s not. In fact, one organization recently ran a very interesting test that demonstrated just how much of an impact some quick fundraising education can make to a campaign’s bottom line.

Tripling Donations with a Single Sheet

During one of Team Rubicon’s recent peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, the development team tried something interesting. They started by creating a one-page tip sheet to help individual fundraisers; the tip sheet included best practices for online fundraising, suggested social media text, and graphics that supporters could spread online. Then they sent out the one page guide to 106 randomly selected fundraisers and compared that group’s performance to another randomly selected group of 106 fundraisers that didn’t receive the guide. The results were pretty amazing.

Out of the 106 fundraisers that received the guide, 84 became active fundraisers (raising at least one dollar). That group of 84 people went on to raise $80,544 for an average of $958 per active fundraising page. By contrast, 71 people out of the group of 106 fundraisers that didn’t receive the guide went on to become active fundraisers. This group only raised a total of $24,811 for an average of $349 per active fundraising page. Bottom line, the group that received the one page guide raised over three times the total amount raised by the control group and the average raised per active fundraising page increased by a multiple of roughly 2.75X. Not bad for a single tip sheet.

Team Rubicon Fundraiser Spreadsheet

While there’s no guarantee that you would experience the same dramatic improvement that Team Rubicon did in this instance, this test does powerfully demonstrate the importance of educating your fundraisers. Your supporters serve on the front lines of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. If you don’t set them up to be as successful as possible, you are likely leaving a lot on the table.

Giving Your Supporters the Information They Need

We’ve created a few different free resources that will help you gather some simple advice to share with your supporters when you embark on your next peer-to-peer campaign:

For help coaching supporters on how to fundraise using social media, check out:
The Art of Social Fundraising

For help drafting a default appeal email (and showing supporters how to customize it) check out:
Writing the Perfect Fundraising Email

And for a full list of tips and tricks try sharing our fundraising tips page with your supporters:
Fundraising Tips Page

If you are looking for something that’s more customizable, we’ve created a condensed version of our fundraising tips, with space to drop in your own logo. We’ve also put together an outline for how to make a campaign specific tip sheet like the one Team Rubicon used. You can download them both for free below.

Note: The fundraising tip sheet is included as a word doc, a powerpoint, and a pdf so you can choose the program that’s easiest for you to use to add your logo!

Photo Credit: Rhys A.

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