How to Use Incentives In Your Peer to Peer Fundraising Event

Incentives significantly impact a Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaign by increasing participation, fundraising, and retention when done well.

Incentives come in many forms.

  1. Products:  A top fundraiser in a ride receives a bicycle or gear donated to the event.
  2. Branded/Promotional Materials:  Fundraisers can earn SWAG for raising money.  Cupids Undie Run (www.cupidsundierun.org #cupidsundierun) does a great job with this.  Prizes range from small items that everyone gets to high quality @patagonia items for top fundraisers.  All prizes display the event logo and are year-round branding opportunities.  Cupid’s peer to peer fundraising site (SWEET! Enterprise) makes it easy for runners to know how they are doing.
  3. Recognition:  All participants who raise a $1000 or more are recognized at your event and annual report.

The Benefits of Incentives in a Peer to Peer Fundraising Event

  1. Incentives can motivate people to raise more money.
  2. Incentives can expand your base of fundraisers beyond those directly affected by the cause.
  3. Incentives set non-monetary milestones for fundraisers.  Development directors find it challenging to repeatedly bludgeon their supporters with requests to reach $100, $200, or $1000 milestones.  It’s easier to urge people to hit prize milestones once in a while.
  4. Incentives create e-commerce opportunities.  If your SWAG is nice enough, people will purchase it on the day of the event or from your e-commerce platform.
  5. Incentives create day of fundraising opportunities.  Your peer to peer fundraising platform should allow your participants to reach the next levels of incentives with a few clicks.  You can urge people to earn the next level on the week before the event or on the day of the event.
  6. Incentives create day of event giving capabilities.  When people check-in to your event, give them the opportunity to donate to reach the next level.  Again, a peer to peer fundraising platform like SWEET! Enterprise makes this seamless and easy to do.

The Challenges of Incentives in a Peer to Peer Fundraising Event

  1. Fulfillment, if done in-house, can be a challenge.  For large events, its difficult to figure out how to order and send reward items but it is not impossible.  Plan ahead and rely on volunteers as much as possible
  2. There are customer service challenges.  Someone’s shirt might not fit.  How do they exchange it for a new shirt?  When using incentives, expect this to happen and plan for it.

Still, the overall benefits of incentives outweigh the negatives. The foundation of all great peer to peer campaigns is the passionate top 20% of fundraisers that generate large sums of money year after year.  It’s likely that most of these people are directly impacted by the cause and don’t need any additional incentives.  For the other 80%, incentives can help maximize their results and put your peer to peer fundraising event over the top.

At Blue Sky Collaborative our goal is to help you maximize the benefits of online peer-to-peer fundraising to achieve your mission.  To learn more about our SWEET! platform and how we can help, visit our website www.blueskycollaborative.com or call us at (p) 800-330-4109 ext. 803.

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