How to Kick Off Your Event Season Successfully
June 5, 2018
With the warmer temperatures here and summer just around the corner, many organizations are gearing up to launch their P2P fundraising campaigns for 2018. Here are some helpful tips on how to engage your participants and get the fundraising ball rolling!
Get your event site ready
- Prepare to have your website up and running before your event so participants have time to register and fundraise.
- Ensure there is a clear call-to-action and that the participants enjoy a seamless experience. Be clear on the steps that need to be taken to get started.
- Mobile is quickly becoming the most-used device online so make sure your event site and donation form(s) are optimized for mobile use. In 2017, 21% of online gifts were made using a mobile device.
- Use impact statements so donors know what their donation can accomplish or support.
- Offer social sharing options so users can share valuable content from your site.
- Provide contact information so participants and donors know how to reach out if they need help.
Communicate with your participants
- Prepare an email communications schedule ahead of time to use throughout your event campaign. Provide valuable content about your mission, goal, impact statements and information/tips to help participants fundraise successfully.
- Reach out to past participants and ask for their story of why they support your organization. Most participants have a touching story and they can be used in emails and on social media to motivate others to support your cause.
- Stories are great, but impact statements are even better. Participants want to know and stay informed on what they helped your organization accomplish. What goals towards your cause have they achieved?
- Communicate directly with your top past participants to see if they need any support to register. Reaching out will also remind them to get started, is a great personal touch, and you can often learn more about them.
- Offer participants the option to win or receive an incentive for registering early. As part of the of the incentive, ask that they raise a certain amount to qualify.
- Ask participants to make a self-donation when they register as this often helps get things rolling. Donors will be motivated to give if they see the participant has given to themselves already. They may even match the participant’s donation or surpass it. Make the donation step in the registration step obvious so it isn’t missed. If they don’t make a donation in the registration process, ask them again in the thank you or follow-up email.
Offer tools and tips
- Share suggested email messages participant can use to communicate with their donors. According to the 2016 Blackbaud Peer to Peer Study, participants who sent email messages raised more than their peers who did not send email. Walk fundraisers who sent email raised 7 to 20 times more funds than non-emailers.
- Offer fundraising ideas and tips in email communications, on your event site and on social media.
- Offer information to your participants about company matching gifts to see if their company offers this.
- Offer event toolkit items (posters, templates, etc.) on your event website. You can also add images for social media so that participants can use them when they ask for donations. Make sure to size them appropriately for the social media platform.
- Provide instructions on how to register online. Provide them with their login information if they are a returning participant so they can easily get started right away.
- Put some FUN into fundraising! Set up badges in your online fundraising system that participants receive when they achieve certain milestones or actions.
- Promote the badges in your email communications and social media and start a little healthy competition between your fundraisers to see who can get the most badges. These badges can then also be used as stickers on the day of the event to hand out to participants to show off their achievements.
With these quick-win tips, you should be able to sufficiently prepare for your event in advance, make your participants feel cared about as well as consistently motivated, and make the whole fundraising experience as enjoyable as possible! What better way to celebrate the summer?
About the Author
Meghan is a Project Manager with nine years of experience in the non-profit industry focusing on events and online fundraising. She previously worked at Parkinson Canada where she managed their fundraising website and TeamRaiser for their largest nationwide event, Parkinson SuperWalk.
Meghan also worked with Heart&Stroke as the Project Manager for Ride Ontario (Toronto), Ride Newfoundland and Big Bike TeamRaisers in 2017.