How to Activate Your Community to Become Fundraisers for Your Organization

Published by Simona Lazeu on

Fundraising is by no means an easy task! Charities of all sizes constantly strive to increase the amount of annual donations, and raise awareness about their cause. And now, peer-to-peer fundraising is helping nonprofits towards both of these goals like never before. But can we stimulate this fundraising channel even more? And how can we get people within our community to get up and be active? This post will look into some ways which can help you to activate and get more of your community to jump in and start fundraising.

Let’s start by thinking about who it is that forms your current community? You have: Fundraisers, donors, perhaps a steady social media community, and your own staff and volunteers. They can be grouped as it is as demonstrated in figure 1.

Diagram -P2P fundraiaing community - Internal and external stakeholders by BetterNowSo let’s take a look and see how we can utilize the people and channels you already have available and delve a little closer to find out what we can do to convert them into successful fundraisers.

Employees and volunteers

If your organisation is just starting with peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising, the most natural way to recruit the first fundraisers is by turning to the most engaged supporters, your employees.

So Practice what you preach! Create your own fundraiser along with your colleagues and your volunteers. The fundraiser can be as big or small as you feel capable with. The main aim behind this is to inspire others. The more flamboyant and original the better! Use social media to document and report on your progress and inspire others to take a leaf out of your book. This is a great opportunity for a team building exercise and most importantly you will have super fun on the way!

 The Donors

Encourage your donors to convert to fundraisers. They are already supporting your cause with money and are perhaps not aware of the benefits, outreach, and impact that starting a fundraiser by themselves can do.

Here are some ideas:

  • Information is gold. With contact details you can carefully design marketing materials to cater towards a specific goals and target groups. When designing your donation form, think carefully and ask for details that can potentially benefit you in the long run.

Example: If you ask for their birthday, you have the potential to automatically send a congratulations email, and use this opportunity to suggest starting a fundraiser. However, asking for information in the donation flow is risky. A best practice is to include it in the profile information.

  • Create smart call to actions at relevant touchpoints. Encourage the donors to start their own fundraiser. Reassure them with the simplicity and ease it takes to start one, as well as the benefits for the cause.

Example: After a person has donated, they will get a thank you message. This is a perfect opportunity to add a call to action button “Create your own fundraiser now!”.

  • Notice patterns. If a particular donor has donated multiple times, you can send an email “Do you know you can activate your network by starting a fundraiser yourself”, also informing them that contributions can be made in time as well as money.
  • Match donations and double up. Companies can be involved in peer-to-peer in many ways, from friendly competitions between departments, to matching donation made by their employees and partners. It’s just a matter of being creative, and finding the right fit.

The Fundraisers

Fundraiser can be divided into smaller groups: active, passive and former fundraisers. Consider these groups, because their behaviour is different and the communication must be adjusted accordingly.

Here are some ideas:

  • Behaviour triggered emails. As mentioned above, not all fundraisers act the same. There are people who start an initiative and run it smoothly, people who never collect any donations, and the extra ambitious.

How to Activate Your Community to Start a FundraiserTechnology today allows us to track the activity on a website/fundraising platform, and influence and help where we see the need. For e.g. you can out personalised emails when a fundraiser has been inactive for more than a week.

  • Hands-on content. Writing a good Facebook post can be daunting to some, for others it’s a mere walk in the park. Send some great examples or material about how to write a Facebook post or tweet. This well thought out material can communicate the right message and be designed to entice people to donate and start their own fundraiser.
  • Gamified recognition. Acknowledgement and recognition are key when trying to motivate fundraisers. Simple tactics like fundraiser of the month, fundraiser of the week, wall of fame or a personal old-school letter can bring a lot of meaning for an individual.

The ‘Followers’

You have probably already spent time on creating your social media community. Social media channels should inspire and encourage followers to start their own fundraiser. Post information about your cause, the more well designed information that informs the general public, the more likely they are to be able to relate and sympathise with your cause and want to do something to help. Give them easy access to setup a fundraiser today and as mentioned earlier give them materials which can make them successful.


Be creative!

Be everywhere!

Entice people with call to actions in the correct places, use email marketing in correspondence to information you have collected about your donors. Communicate the right message to the right receiver. Spread inspiring, passionate, motivational information over your social media channels and try a fundraiser yourself! These are just some of the actions that we believe can help motivate your donors to start fundraising.


About the authors Alice and Simona:

AliceAlice Jennings is a digital concept strategist with a passion for communication, technology and innovation. She has been working with BetterNow since the start of the year, working on content creation and design.

Alice can be reached on LinkedIn: https://dk.linkedin.com/in/jenningsalice and Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Idril_Mithrandi

Simona Lazeu

Simona Lazeu has been working within digital marketing for the last 5 years, and since 2013 is making the world more generous together with BetterNow. She creates content on online fundraising, community engagement, email marketing, social media, and user journey.


Alex · April 6, 2016 at 09:02

Fundraising is tough but it is also very rewarding. Especially if you employ the techniques in this article.

How to Activate Your Community to Become Fundraisers for Your Organization | Nonprofit Newswire from Imagine Canada · April 11, 2016 at 21:09

[…] Fundraising is by no means an easy task! Charities of all sizes constantly strive to increase the amount of annual donations, and raise awareness about their cause. And now, peer-to-peer fundraising is helping nonprofits towards both of these goals like never before. (101 Fundraising) […]

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