Many groups invest heavily in attracting new participants — and then watch the majority of those fundraisers disappear after one year.
Fortunately, groups can improve their retention rates by embracing a holistic approach to connecting with participants. Here are three steps that have made a difference for peer-to-peer fundraising programs:
Acquire the right fundraisers — Effective retention begins long before you even start marketing your program. “It begins with acquisition and thinking about who are the people who are most likely to come back,” says Donna Wilkins, Charity Dynamics’ chief executive. “Focus on those personas and make reaching those people central to your acquisition efforts.” Wilkins suggests focusing on people who have a strong affiliation to your cause and who are particularly interested in the P2P activity you’re promoting.
Get personal — Organizers of the Hill Country Ride for AIDS in Austin, Texas, call each person who takes part in its annual ride to thank them for making an impact. This personal approach makes a difference for fundraisers, many of whom agree on the spot to come back next year. In fact, the Ride boasts an amazing 75 percent retention rate.
Recognize your veterans — A number of nonprofits make a big deal of fundraisers who take part in multiple campaigns. The National Kidney Foundation, for example, goes out of its way to call returning participants in its Kidney Walk “veterans” — and recognizes their efforts throughout each event. St. Baldrick’s Foundation has created a special society for seven-time participants, called Knights of the Bald Table. Other organizations provide special ribbons or medals to those who regularly take part in their campaigns.
For more advice on how to improve your campaign’s retention rates, join us for a special P2P Master Class with Charity Dynamics chief executive Donna Wilkins, who will share her insights and answer your questions on July 13 at 1:30 p.m.