When you’re starting a new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign — or evaluating your existing campaign — it’s easy to get wrapped up in the tactics.
You fret about whether you have enough volunteers, how you’re going to attract participants, and even what you will do if it rains.
But Plenty Consulting’s Kari Bodell advises peer-to-peer professionals to take a step back to ponder a basic — and crucial — question before they do anything else.
“It is important to clarify the purpose behind your campaign,” said Bodell, who will lead two day-long workshops this month with the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. “Chances are, your organization is complex, and constantly deploying many projects and campaigns that support your mission. Sometimes these campaigns are rooted in advocacy and education, others are meant to raise funds, which is why it is critical to know the goal of your campaign and to make sure it is the driving force behind your entire strategy – from brainstorming to execution.”
Once you decide on your purpose, it’s important to make sure that purpose is front and center in every decision you make.
This is especially true for P2P fundraising, where your success is determined by the ability of your supporters to share your message.
Bodell says your purpose should be clearly articulated in all of your communications with supporters so they, in turn, can relay that message when they’re out raising money on your behalf.
“The need for clarity is heightened in a P2P setting, because now we are not just communicating this purpose to our donor base, but we are also asking them to communicate this message to their own networks,” Bodell says.
“If you’re familiar with the telephone game you know how easy it is for communications to break down. While you can’t guarantee this won’t happen, you can strategically create concise and focused messaging that is better suited to withstand the natural deterioration communications face as they are passed through many channels.”