A Winning Strategy to Conquer Your P2P Challenges

November 20, 2017 Shana Masterson

The latest Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study is hot off the presses. This annual report is a P2P fundraiser’s data best friend and strategy companion. A favorite use of the Study is to find areas where your P2P campaign is excelling so you can celebrate this success with colleagues and volunteers. A more daunting, but necessary, task is to unearth areas to focus on in the year ahead.

As you look through the Study and begin comparing the data against your own, keep in mind the best data to measure up against is your own. Use your year-over-year data as well as the data found in the Study to form a complete picture of the state of your campaign.

How to Use YOY Data to Measure Your P2P Campaign

  • Find your STRENGTHS in areas where your campaign has increased year-over-year and your campaign is exceeding data in that area in the P2P Fundraising Study.
  • Uncover OPPORTUNITIES in areas where your campaign has increased year-over-year, but is not performing as well as the campaigns represented in the Study.
  • Identify possible WEAKNESSES in places where your campaign has decreased year-over-year, but is still surpassing data in the Study.
  • Recognize your campaign’s CHALLENGES in areas where you have seen year-over-year declines and also are underperforming the data represented in the Study.

Once you’ve assessed your campaign both year-over-year, and against the data in the Study, start arranging your priorities for the upcoming season. This should be done in reverse order of the items presented above, only going as far as is feasible given your budget and circumstances. Start with your challenges, move to your weaknesses, then tackle your opportunities, and finally, reinforce your strengths.

Pay special attention to “only going as far as is feasible”. There is a tendency in this industry to want to fix every single thing at one time. That is overwhelming and particularly daunting when you are working with limited staff, time, and/or budget. To address this, we look for inspiration to “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath. There are many transformational concepts in this book, but for today, we’ll concentrate on two.

Shrink the Change

We have the inclination to seek solutions that befit the scale of the problem by attacking big problems with big solutions. If we see a hole, we want to fill it, and if we see a hole with a 24-inch diameter, we go looking for a 24-inch peg. The Heaths tell us this mental model is all wrong. The path to large accomplishments is lined with small triumphs. It can quickly become overwhelming when you have a “increase revenue by 20%” goal staring you in the face every day. If you instead have a list of smaller goals such as “increase donation average by 5%” or “increase participant loyalty by 6%”, these small changes can quickly add up to a large impact.

Start with the list of challenges you arrived at above and set some goals for these areas. If it’s manageble, move on to your weaknesses, and so on. What you want to avoid is ending up with a list of 25 things you need to develop strategies around. Shrink the change, and you’ll find that the momentum from a few small things will propel you towards larger accomplishments.

Find the Bright Spots

We also focus all together too much energy on problems. Instead of trying to solve problems, Chip and Dan Heath tell us to scale solutions. They say we need to look for the glimmers that something is going right. And when we find that glimmer, or bright spot, our mission is to study it and clone it.

If, for example, you see a decrease in the number of people fundraising for your campaign, resist the urge to concentrate on all the reasons why people aren’t fundraising and all of the problems they might be having along the way. Instead, find the people who are fundraising and figure out why and how they fundraise. That is the beginning of scaling a solution.

By changing your mindset, you also get to focus on the positve, which is consequently a better state of mind to be in as you go about changing the world, one peer-to-peer event at a time!

Too busy to perform your own data SWOT for your P2P campaign? We’ve got you covered! Contact Blackbaud for a strategic audit of your peer-to-peer campaign!

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