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We know donation forms should be mobile-friendly. We know donors appreciate being able to make gifts via text messages. We also know people love getting involved in and donating to peer-to-peer events. But we don’t talk much about why (or how, for that matter) we should combine peer-to-peer and mobile fundraising methods.

Let’s change that!

Why Should I Combine Peer-to-Peer and Mobile Fundraising?

Peer-to-peer participants need to be able to communicate with their friends and family to encourage them to donate and to recruit additional participants. The most common ways they do that are through email and social media.

Do you know which two services are most commonly accessed through mobile devices?

If you guessed email and social media, you’re right. Right now, more than 70 percent of people read their email in a mobile app, and a whopping 88 percent of Facebook traffic comes from mobile devices. Twitter’s right behind Facebook, with 80 percent of their users accessing the platform on their mobile devices.

A large portion of your peer-to-peer participants’ audiences will land on your page through links on their mobile phones. If you haven’t considered their user experience on mobile devices, you may be missing out on valuable fundraising dollars.

What Does Mobile Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Look Like?

There are three groups of people you should consider when evaluating the mobile-friendliness of your peer-to-peer event.

New Recruits

If you’re working to recruit new event participants, it is imperative that your registration process be intuitive and manageable on mobile devices. Each phase of the registration process should be fully responsive, including different buttons and fields. Trying to pinch and zoom your way through a registration form is a huge pain!

Participants

People who have signed up to raise money for you should have access to good fundraising tools that work on mobile devices and traditional desktops. Since such a large portion of peer-to-peer participants find support on social media, they need to be able to share updates, make posts, and thank their supporters on the devices they most commonly use to access those platforms.

Donors

This is an important one! A large portion of your donors will see participants’ appeals on their mobile devices. It’s important that the process of making a donation on those devices is intuitive and streamlined.

The more difficult it is to make a donation, the less likely donors are to complete a gift. You’ll raise more if you make it easy to give, especially on mobile devices. Visit your peer-to-peer event on your phone or tablet and test the process yourself—you’ll quickly identify any areas that need improvement!

So is Mobile Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Limited to Forms?

No! Nonprofits and participants are getting more creative with their fundraising methods. Combining offline fundraising activities with online peer-to-peer events is a great way to find and inspire new donors. But those offline activities present an obstacle: how do donors give directly to a participant? How do you walk them through navigating to your event, searching for the participant, and making a gift? It’s such a pain!

Text giving is a much more viable option. You can set a keyword for your event, and a participant can add a secondary keyword that ensures donations are credited toward their fundraising goals. When donors text the keyword, they’re directed to a simple online form where they complete their gift. The process takes seconds—far less time than trying to direct a group of people to a participant page within a larger event.

Here’s an example of how the process works. In this screenshot, I’ve decided to donate $30 to someone raising money for a local nonprofit. I texted a keyword (“Greenhouse”) and a secondary keyword (“Abby”) to the shortcode, indicated the amount I wanted to give, and completed my donation on a separate page.

 

Here’s what it looked like:

peer-to-peer fundraising

The process took me less than a minute, and the receipt was sent directly to my email address.

Enabling text donations for your peer-to-peer event is a great way to capture donations from people who learn about your event through avenues other than email, social media, or direct links they find on the Internet. To make your text giving as successful as possible, here are a few best practices to consider:

  • Make your event keyword simple and easy to spell. If you can’t spell it easily on your phone, neither will donors!
  • Streamline your donation form. Donors don’t like completing donation forms that include extra fields, especially if they’re trying to complete those fields on a phone. Keep it simple!
  • Your participants will set a second keyword that ensures donations are counted toward their goal. Encourage them to use a simple keyword, too!
  • Offer participants ideas for spreading the word about text donations. Some cool ideas we’ve seen include flyers at coffee shops (it included a short case for support and the fundraiser’s personal keyword), pub crawls featuring keywords on signage, and family-style dinner parties with the keyword printed on menus. You’re only limited by your imagination here!
  • Establish a point of contact for participants who have questions about how to make the most of their text-giving keyword. They should know who to contact if they have questions or get tripped up!

Donors want to support your participants. But they need supporting your participants to be fast, easy, and accessible. Text giving covers those bases, even when they’re not using social media or email.

That’s All Great, but What Can I Do Today?

Good question! Here are some things you can do right now to make peer-to-peer fundraising easier for your supporters.

Put yourself in their shoes

As you set up your peer-to-peer event, double-check the registration and donation processes on a mobile device. Even better, double-check them on a couple of devices. If you get stuck or struggle at any point, so will your supporters! Fix the areas where you get stuck or find a way to eliminate them altogether.

Streamline your forms

If you’ve ever filled out a form on your phone, you know how tedious it can be. Tedium is the killer of donation forms—the longer it takes to fill out a form, the less likely people are to do it.

When you’re recruiting peer-to-peer participants, it’s tempting to ask for tons of information. What size t-shirt do they want? Do they want regular newsletters? Do they have any food allergies or medical issues? You may need lots of info, but be very careful about how long your registration process is. The same thing goes for your donation form—resist the urge to ask additional questions.

Go through your forms and remove any extra fields or long bits of text. Your supporters will thank you!

Empower your participants

If you’ve got access to a text-giving tool right now, that’s wonderful! Take time to show your participants how it works and how they can use it. Whether you explain it in a short video (it doesn’t have to be fancy!), put together a .PDF, or walk through the process personally, your participants will appreciate it.

No text giving? Try these strategies instead!

  • Help your participants make their personal fundraising pages as mobile-friendly as possible. Encourage them to be selective about the images they use and to use tools to optimize the file sizes of the photos they choose to include.
  • Offer templates for social posts and emails that will help them get started. Double-check those posts and emails on your own mobile devices to make sure they work well.
  • Brainstorm mobile giving with your participants. What can they do to facilitate giving when they’re meeting with people in person? One simple idea is to add a shortcut to a participant’s page on their own phone’s home screen so they can easily offer it to a potential donor. Another is to bring a laptop to smaller fundraising events so donors can give when they’re inspired—we saw one fundraising team host a gathering at a local brewery complete with a donation station on their laptop.

Your participants are inspired and connected—work with them to make raising money easy so that inspiration pays off.

peer-to-peer fundraising

Conclusion

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful tool! It’s popular among nonprofits because it helps them expand their donor base and build powerful relationships with their most loyal supporters. It’s also popular among participants who may not be able to donate financially but are willing to raise money, instead.

But, as peer-to-peer fundraising increases in popularity, it’s more important than ever that donors and participants be able to support you anytime, anywhere… not just on their desktop computers. Mobile-friendly registration and donation forms are absolutely essential, especially for people who learn about your event on social media or through emails. Text giving is equally as important, and it helps your participants get creative in the ways they raise money for you.

Adding mobile tools to your peer-to-peer fundraising event makes it easy to support you. Offer mobile tools to your fundraisers and donors and watch your event take off!

About the Author: Abby Jarvis – Qgiv

Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.

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