Those around us influence us. An individual’s community often impacts when, how, why, and to which organizations they choose to support. When you understand how to tap into a community of donors, you unlock massive potential for increased generosity.
People give for various reasons, like supporting others in need, coming together with coworkers, and playing a role in the more significant challenges impacting our world. We saw this more than ever in our annual donor sentiment report, Why America Gives.
Our report proved that word of mouth is still how most donors (67%) find new causes to give. When we looked at how that translates to online communities, we found that social media is the top way Gen Z finds new organizations to donate.
Focusing on your donors’ communities allows your nonprofit to meet donors’ passions for philanthropic action and channel this in ways that unite them with others. We share exactly how to do that.
One Donor Unlocks a Community
What if you looked at a group of people instead of at each individual donor? Instead of targeting a single individual to convert into a donation, nonprofits can see a donor as a community member. Each individual donor has natural connections to vast networks of potential supporters.
Your donors are often employees within a larger organization, members of family units or circles of friends, or active participants in timely social media conversations. Shifting your strategy to attract, convert, and retain these communities that your donors are already a part of can widen your fundraising scope. One way nonprofits bring this approach to life is through the power of peer-to-peer fundraising.
A single individual fundraising page brings in an average of 20 donors. That means if you can secure ten supporters to fundraise on your behalf, you could reach 200 people. Those donors then become part of your community that you can nurture to take further action.
The ideas below help you understand donors’ relationships with their communities and how you can mobilize those groups to take action to support your cause.
4 Ideas to Raise More Through Your Donors’ Communities
1. Promote New Peer-to-Peer Giving Opportunities
A simple yet practical place to begin embracing the power of community is with your loyal donors. It’s never too late to introduce a peer-to-peer giving campaign that empowers them to invite their networks to support your cause.
Put the Creativity in Your Loyal Donors’ Hands
Create a DIY peer-to-peer landing page to get started. This allows your donors to build from the template you’ve created to fundraise on your behalf whenever they’d like. Using a DIY model makes it easier for supporters to launch and customize their campaigns to reflect their unique stories or life events. Many donors will fundraise in honor of a big celebration, memorial, or another timely event that they know will resonate with their communities.
Turn Event Participants Into Fundraisers
Adding peer-to-peer fundraising to your events is a simple way to encourage participants to recruit their networks with a timely call to support. Our annual The State of Modern Philanthropy reports showed us that 4 out of 5 donors who gave to an individual fundraising page in 2020 were brand new to the organization. In 2021, individual fundraising pages raised 34% more on average. We also saw that events with a peer-to-peer fundraising element deliver the highest conversion rates through donations and registrations.
Spin Up a Peer-to-Peer Campaign for Timely Donations
Peer-to-peer fundraising is one way to bring people together quickly. We see that play out when news breaks about a current event or a particular community calls for support.
Peer-to-peer campaigns raise 3.8X more on average than all other time-based campaign types. Feeding San Diego tapped into this peer-to-peer model to gather donors during the pandemic. They were able to deliver on the increased demand for hunger relief by raising $5.4 million to replenish food supplies.
2. Create Content Donors Are Excited to Share on Social
Campaigns with a peer-to-peer fundraising element see the most mobile traffic from any other campaign type from social media. Engaging with new communities means being present in both in-person conversations and the ones happening online. In today’s increasingly mobile world, social media has proven its influence in reaching motivated donor audiences.
Go Where Passionate Donors Are Looking
Social media offers nonprofits many options to connect with donors. The key is identifying which platforms are the most effective use of time and resources.
Our recent report, The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022, dove into which social media platforms offer the most significant potential. We found that Facebook is a clear winner when driving the most traffic. LinkedIn also shows the highest potential to convert supporters who are ready to take action.
Take a Stab at Influencer Marketing
Younger generations look beyond friends and family for daily inspiration. Most young people are turning to social media influencers to inform their decisions.
Philanthropic activity is no different. Start engaging influencers to promote your donation opportunities. Provide creative briefs around specific campaigns, or ask them to help with general cause awareness tactics. Providing them with enticing graphics that catch followers’ eyes will make sharing easier and more enjoyable on their end.
3. Connect Employees Through Workplace Giving
We still see that 25% of all professional jobs in North America remain remote through 2022. More remote work means many people may experience the feeling of disconnection from others. Workplace giving could be the perfect solution to engage corporate partners and employees looking for ways to connect with their communities.
Knowing that the “Great Resignation” continued with 4.53 million U.S. workers quitting their jobs in March 2022, think about how you can encourage businesses to incorporate workplace giving into their employee retention strategies.
Make It Easy for Employers to Bring Your Cause to Work
The power of peer-to-peer fundraising can perfectly tie into workplace giving. Provide existing donors with company team pages to introduce your mission to their coworkers. Make a strong impression with video materials, photos, timely appeals, and suggested donation goals. From there, engage each new participant with updates about the impact of each dollar raised to encourage them to invite even more supporters over time.
Engage Corporate Partners Directly
Engage local businesses for in-person events and volunteer opportunities. The virtual nature of fundraising brings that to the next level by broadening your reach to more communities. Invite corporations who align with your values to a virtual event to unite their employees around a central cause.
We recently highlighted how Children’s Cancer Association engaged 19 companies and their employees. An activity tracking competition resulted in a 30% increase in fundraisers year-over-year.
4. Bring Communities Back Together Around Events
Events are back and bringing communities together in new ways. They’re also getting stronger fundraising results along with them. Ticketed events grew by 49% between 2020 and 2021, more than any other campaign type.
Our Fundraising Event Attendee Experience Report shows that over 92% of virtual and in-person attendees are likely to donate in addition to registration costs. Over 40% of those donations will likely be more than $100.
Use the Appeal of In-Person Connections to Attract Attendees
Inviting people to your in-person event is a way to meet your team and other supporters. Build on your corporate outreach strategy with individuals who feel exhausted from virtual work. Your event might be their opportunity to interact with others.
Think about hosting concerts and galas, or pull from this list of 77 creative event ideas to ensure you’re offering a memorable experience people want to be a part of. Regardless of format, make it your goal to leave attendees feeling compelled to take action. How attendees feel once they leave will determine how likely they are to share your cause with even more community members.
Bring On the Competition to Keep People Motivated
Some people are naturally drawn to competition, especially with friends, family, or co-workers. Think about hosting a sports tournament to attract passionate groups to take part. You could also introduce a fun challenge to see which local businesses can raise the most.
A team fundraising competition doesn’t need to limit participants by athletic ability. In the end, the community always wins, but the fresh spin may be enough to capture passive donors to participate and become aware of your cause.
Build Your Strongest Community of Donors
By now, you’re probably thinking about which idea to start with to get your community fundraising strategy off the ground. Hopefully, you see that it’s simple but impactful when applied alongside your goals for the year.
For more information on the donation trends and insights shaping fundraising, visit our interactive online report, The State of Modern Philanthropy.