The heart of the matter: the fundraising stage of a campaign

This is the third part in a series of insights taken from the free to download “The P2P Fundraising Handbook” by Carly Samuelson. You can read the first installment, about nonprofit peer-to-peer fundraising strategy here, and the second about what do to before and after the fundraising stage of a campaign here.


After flushing out a strategy and doing early promotion for a new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, the next step for nonprofits is to ensure that the campaign is properly staffed. While many organizations have full-time fundraising staff onboard, fewer have a dedicated professional that is solely focused on peer-to-peer campaigns.

If possible, Samuelson urges, nonprofits should assign or hire at least one dedicated staff member to the campaign, if not more. Also, she points out that peer-to-peer fundraising staff need to be “comfortable with the ‘sales’ aspect of fundraising,” and even suggests sales training for peer-to-peer staff if needed.

Outside of having a dedicated staff member (or even a half-time member dedicated to the campaign), Samuelson suggests that some organizations may wish to explore hiring a consultant that should understand a nonprofit’s “goals, voice, and passion.” Another option is to recruit volunteers to run a campaign, an option which can have the following pros and cons:

Positives of volunteers

  • A volunteer is a true “peer” for your new participants.
  • Generally donate their time.
  • They have a passion for your organization.

Potential negatives of volunteers

  • Even the most committed volunteers will not give you 100% of their time.
  • They are usually balancing their own job, families, life, and maybe even fundraising for other organizations.
  • While you can motivate them with a revenue goal, you can’t hold them accountable for it.
  • If you are considering investing in professional training, you will need to weigh whether such an investment is warranted for a potentially noncommittal person.

Motivating fundraisers

Once staffing considerations are set, one of the main priorities that staff will need to focus on is motivating fundraisers. According to Samuelson, campaign managers need to promote the importance of fundraising to the organization’s mission, but also to push for a “culture of excess” among fundraisers so that they strive to not only meet, but exceed their fundraising goals.

Samuelson suggests that the best way to achieve this is through regular communication to all fundraisers through mass emails, webinars and social media, and on a one-to-one basis with fundraisers as needed, including over the phone. Campaign managers also need to be actively monitoring the progress of fundraisers (preferably through an online solution such as RallyBound), and taking appropriate actions to further motivate any fundraisers that are falling behind their goals (and of course to highlight those that are meeting and exceeding their goals!). Autoresponder emails, which can be customized in Rallybound based on a number of triggers, are also a great way to remind and motivate fundraisers to reach and exceed their goals.

Other ways to motivate fundraisers to be as transparent as possible with fundraisers about how the funds they are raising will be used by the organization to further its mission; incentives (clothing, special access to events, etc.); and setting an atmosphere of friendly competition between individual fundraisers and fundraising teams. Gamification, such as earning virtual badges – which is available on the Rallybound platform – is another great way to motivate fundraisers, as are mobile phone notifications.

To learn more, download the free, 6-chapter ebook, “The P2P Fundraising Handbook” today!



Chad Catacchio


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