Clear communication is important in so many areas of fundraising. One of those oh-so-important areas is in peer-to-peer. How and where we talk to our fundraisers truly does effect peer-to-peer event success. From registration to coaching to post-event recap, communication is essential! We live in a multi-channel word, so how do you tactfully use all those channels to  inform your supporters? A great start would be these four steps  when developing a communication strategy: listening, responding, acting and engaging your supporters.

  • Embrace your complainers. What if we viewed complaints as an opportunity? These ‘complainers’ are quite often your most ardent  supporters. They criticize  because they care about your cause. Let them know that you’re listening and that you value their feedback. (and remember that you’re never going to make everyone happy.)
  • Get out! Social media and online fundraising has allowed us to become more automated. Take time each week to get out of the office and talk to your fundraisers, your community. Face-to-face communication has become a lost art and can be really meaningful.
  • Know and use best practices for all the different communication channels. There’s a ton of resources out there on best practices, here’s a few that we feel are extra important: For email, use responsive stationary with images and compelling content (storytelling!). For social media, use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc as the incredible interaction tools that they are; this will drive connections and cultivate relationships. Remember, social media is a two way road.
  • Empower your supporters. Some users might need a nudge in the right direction with somewhat specific instructions. Others will spring into action from a simple request for  help. Ask them to raise money, recruit more supporters and/or promote your cause and they will (they just might need you to play your role as coach first).
  • Think of your audience first. Engage [to educate] your supporter in a way that they want to be engaged. Your social media post/email/direct mail piece should encompass the following 3 questions to the best of your ability: Who is this for? Will it enrich them? Will it compel them to share?
  • Don’t stop before the finish line.  Don’t forget that event day counts in how an organization connects with its fundraisers. Acknowledge top performers, tell stories as they are happening and provide an all-around special experience that will be memorable. And of course, use images where possible!

After the event, measure your results and get feedback. How did your emails perform? How interactive were your social media campaigns? What drove most donations? What changed year-over-year? What did your participants like/dislike? Take all that data and create a communications calendar for next year to make your peer-to-peer event better than ever!

Want to learn more?? Come see my full session on peer-to-peer communication (along with lots of other great sessions) during the Fundraising Roundtable workshops in DC, NYC and Chicago, June 2015!  Register today for the Fundraising Roundtables!