Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign isn’t possible without nonprofit volunteers who raise money for your organization. These loyal supporters, known as personal fundraisers, work hard to share your campaign and fundraise through their networks of friends and family. But if you want to run a successful campaign, it’s your nonprofit’s job to equip your personal fundraisers with the right tools, including a personal fundraiser toolkit.
Who are Personal Fundraisers, and What are Their Roles?
Peer-to-peer fundraising uses the influence of your nonprofit’s supporters to reach a broader group of likely donors.
When you start planning a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, one of the first things to consider is who can fundraise for you. In most cases, that means your donors, volunteers, board members, advocates, staff, online audience, and others who do most of the legwork in these social campaigns. However, a personal fundraiser can be anyone who wants to get involved with your cause on a deeper level.
As you recruit personal fundraisers, take into account what you expect of your volunteers. In almost all cases, personal fundraisers are responsible for:
- Creating an online personal fundraising page
- Sharing their campaign page on social media, email, and in person
- Asking others to give
Your Role in Supporting Personal Fundraisers
Support is necessary as you convert your peer-to-peer fundraising recruits into full-fledged personal fundraisers, and it’s up to your nonprofit to provide it. Your nonprofit can give support on the front end of the campaign in many ways, including naming a staff contact person and creating a personal fundraiser toolkit. With adequate support, personal fundraisers should have everything they need to run an effective campaign and avoid volunteer burnout.
Keep in mind, it’s a nonprofit best practice to provide a prospective personal fundraiser with a toolkit well in advance of the campaign’s kickoff. Many nonprofits distribute the toolkit on the campaign website or the nonprofit’s main website as early as the recruitment phase. Consider this toolkit a means of enticing your supporters to try peer-to-peer fundraising for themselves.
Elements of a Thorough Toolkit
Nonprofits of every shape, size, and mission use different variations of a personal fundraiser toolkit. However, toolkits have many similar elements, including those listed here.
A snapshot of the campaign: Provide personal fundraisers a synopsis of the campaign, including the campaign name, goal, time frame, and brief description.
The anticipated impact: Explain who or what is impacted by the campaign. Whenever possible, use facts and statistics to quantify the impact.
Marketing images: Even though your personal fundraisers have the freedom to fundraise on their own terms, brand consistency is important. Provide personal fundraisers with images, videos, logos, and any brand specifications they can use for themselves.
Nonprofit stories and prompts: A big part of nonprofit fundraising is storytelling. Offer personal fundraisers sample stories they can use on their website, or provide prompts to guide them as they write their own stories.
A timeline: Include campaign start and end dates in the toolkit. Also, provide a sample calendar to help your personal fundraisers manage their time.
"Thank you" guidelines: Donors expect a sincere "thank you" after they give. Outline three or more "thank you" ideas that your personal fundraisers can use to touch base with their donors, such as a written "thank you" note, email, or social media shout-out.
Campaign extras: If you plan to use any campaign extras, such as a campaign hashtag or motto, don’t forget to include details on how and when to incorporate them. Social media tips also come in handy if you’re running a social-media-heavy campaign.
An Example of a Personal Fundraiser Toolkit
Hundreds of personal fundraiser toolkits are available online.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, for example, provides personal fundraisers everything they need to run a successful event-specific peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Key sections of the toolkit include:
- Information about the organization
- What the funds go toward (the impact)
- Key statistics and facts
- Tips to organize a personal event, including customizing a fundraising page, budgeting, and goal setting
- Extra tips and tricks based on fundraising best practices
Another Toolkit Example
Another great example of a personal fundraiser toolkit comes from World Bicycle Relief, an organization that fundraises in Canada and the United States. This toolkit is thorough and geared toward an international audience of prospective fundraisers. World Bicycle Relief highlights these areas in their document:
- Keys to becoming a successful fundraiser
- A fundraiser’s timeline
- Email writing tips
- Ways to share a story through social media
- How to close out the campaign
When in doubt, look for samples to shape your own toolkit.
Other Ways to Offer Support
Besides a toolkit, your nonprofit should commit to providing wraparound support for personal fundraisers before, during, and after the campaign.
Here are additional five ways you can offer assistance in addition to a toolkit.
- Name a staffmember or two to serve as the nonprofit point person.
- Track each fundraiser’s progress, and provide feedback as needed.
- Ask long-time supporters to mentor new personal fundraisers.
- Create a sample personal fundraiser website.
- Check in with fundraisers regularly.
A personal fundraiser toolkit guides your volunteer fundraiser through the entire peer-to-peer fundraising process. With this help, personal fundraisers are more comfortable in their role and feel supported from kickoff to closeout.