The New Year offers peer-to-peer fundraisers the chance reevaluate some of their practices and establish new behaviors.
Recently, we asked experts to share advice on what peer-to-peer fundraisers should start doing in 2015. Today, we’re sharing their thoughts on what you should STOP doing in the new year.
Below is their advice:
Stop ‘Skipping a Year’
Anyone who has stopped going to the gym know it’s really hard to get back into the habit once you’ve taken some time off. The same is true with our volunteer fundraisers. If you allow some of your longtime supporters to take a break, you’re running the risk of losing them, says Robert Grabel, Cycling and Endurance Events Coordinator at the National Psoriasis Foundation. “We need to encourage alternative thinking,” Grabel says. “The more years that you walk, run, ride, swim, the more you demonstrate your commitment. While you need to keep engaging donors creatively. Skipping a year sends the opposite message.”
Stop Ignoring Your Data
For organizations that have been producing annual events, it’s easy to go on autopilot. We use the same tired techniques and use the same old approaches, without regard to whether they actually hit the mark with our supporters. Use the new year to take a new look at your events — specifically by paying attention to your data. Chances are, you will eliminate some bad habits and see better results. “Base your decisions on data and fact, and involve only those who have the most expertise in that particular area, says Shana Masterson, a senior consultant at Blackbaud. “You’ll free up time and have a product more likely to appeal to your audience.”
Stop Waiting for Perfect
Innovation comes only when we’re willing to fail. But, too often, peer-to-peer fundraisers avoid trying new approaches and events, opting instead to wait until they have everything right before launching something new. “This only creates indefinite delays and kills innovation,” says Ed Lord, vice president of strategic services at DonorDrive. “Empower your staff with the freedom to stretch the envelope and make a few mistakes along the way. You can only create new revenue streams by taking risks, making mistakes and then learning from them.”
Stop Chasing Unicorns
Nonprofits should not try to replicate the Ice Bucket Challenge, according to Plenty CEO Jeff Shuck. “The Ice Bucket Challenge was a truly bottom-up fundraising phenomenon, and everyone wanted a piece of the peer-to-peer golden child in 2014,” Shuck says. “Imitation Ice Buckets floundered then and will flounder in 2015 because they are, by definition, contrived. They will set off your constituents’ authenticity alarms.” Instead, focus on what you do best and focus on building authentic relationships rather than trying to replicate a once-in-a-lifetime success story.