P2P Fundraising: #Giving Tuesday Reflections
I am constantly overwhelmed by the support our volunteers and donor are willing to show us. We recently experienced generosity on this year’s #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a national day of giving that follows Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. The success of #GivingTuesday as a fundraising campaign is in large part to supporters, such as volunteers, donors, or board members, making appeals on our behalf.
For many organizations, #GivingTuesday is primarily an online campaign. We rely on email and social media to make our appeals. Some home repair nonprofits, like Rebuild Upstate, work with local and out-of-state volunteers. Online appeals give us a way to stay in touch supporters we don’t see as often. It lets us engage with people who are passionate about home repair, not just the people we come into contact with most.
Recently, social platforms, such as Facebook, started offering the option to donate directly through the platform itself, through the use of previously saved credit card information or one-click access to a PayPal account. This shift reduced the number of clicks required to make a donation, thus making it easier for donors to follow through with submitting a donation.
The convenience of fundraising through social platforms helps each share, like, click, and comment compound into increased engagement for our cause - home repair. In addition, supporters are also able to create their own fundraisers, set their own goal, and share personal stories that appeal to their friends. By using social platforms, our supporters have their own platform to become advocates for our cause.
These features certainly make the process of giving easier for the donor, but what does it do for the greater giving experience? Traditionally, we seek to cultivate donors. We collect their e-mail addresses so we can send them our newsletters. We call them to thank them for their gift. We mail them appeals and reports. However, social platforms withhold contact information that we are accustomed to receiving. Without receiving this, we lose a tool from our toolbox that helps us cultivate and retain these donors.
As a development officer, I had a love/hate relationship with these new features. No fees? Easy to share? Even easier to donate? Love it! On the other hand, I can’t access contact information to send a thank you. Which John or Jane Smith donated? I may not be able to cultivate that donor for future gifts.
But what these donors do have, however, is an experience that allowed him or her to donate socially. They were able to see their gifts compound with the gift of others and feel like a part of something much larger. This opportunity isn’t available by mailing a check to a PO box. Many donors donated directly to a friend’s fundraiser for the organization; a friend who articulated their passion and support for your cause. This helps us gain donors we wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
"Peer to Peer" (P2P) fundraising is the foundation of social giving. At the heart of P2P fundraising, one development truth remains: relationships are important. Regardless of technology, our relationships will remain the foundation of fundraising. We may not get the chance to thank each and every donor personally, but we should continue to cultivate our advocates and supporters with the tools we have at our disposal. Even though we may lose an opportunity to cultivate a new donor, we gain ways to cultivate our existing supporters, and to me, that is worth celebrating.
Melanie Pozuc is a development specialist at Rebuild Upstate in Greenville, South Carolina. She focuses on engaging individual donors and converting home repair volunteers to donors. Melanie has an MBA with a focus in nonprofit management from Lipscomb University.
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