Convert ‘Zero-Dollar’ Participants Into Active Fundraisers

If you’re looking to raise more money or lower the cost-per-dollar at your next peer-to-peer event, you should consider this simple credo:

No free rides.

By reducing the number of “zero-dollar” fundraisers who participate in your event, you’ll not only increase the amount of money you raise at your events, you’ll also reduce the cost of staging your program, which means that those dollars raised will go much farther.

For some peer-to-peer events, as many as 7 out of 10 participants don’t raise a single penny, says Joanna Harvey, DonorDrive’s director of marketing.

And while these participants often pay a registration fee, they are nonetheless a drain on your organization’s resources — and they often take away from the experience of those who are diligently raising money for your cause.

But even if your event has traditionally allowed zero-dollar fundraisers to participate in its campaigns, there are some steps you can take to transition away from this practice — and raise much more money in the process.

Here are three easy changes you can make to increase the number of participants who are raising money through your campaign:

  1. Set a registration deadline
    When you allow participants to register on the day of your event, it’s really difficult to encourage those who show up on event day to fundraise. By setting a deadline — even if it’s just a couple of weeks before your event, you have an opportunity to coach them on how to solicit and raise money from their peers.
  2. Suggest a minimum fundraising expectation
    If you’re concerned that you will lose participants by requiring them to raise money, you can start slowly by suggesting they reach a minimum threshold — say $100. By suggesting a total, rather than requiring one, many participants will make an effort to raise money for you.
  3. Ask them to donate themselves
    Once participants give themselves, they are much more comfortable asking others to contribute. It also sends a stronger message to their peers that the cause is worth supporting.

If you’re looking for more advice on lowering your number of “zero-dollar” fundraisers, we invite you to download the free replay of our recent webinar with DonorDrive and World Vision.

The webinar is part of a series of free, skill-building online training sessions that are designed to help your P2P program become more successful. You’re also invited to join us for our next skill-building webinar on Wednesday, July 26, when the American Cancer Society will share how it empowers volunteers to become event leaders.

Free resource:

DonorDrive recently published this free whitepaper on how to reduce the number of ‘zero-dollar’ participants at P2P events.

Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva, via Flickr.

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