I was speaking with a colleague a few days back when the subject of peer-to-peer fundraising came up. Peer-to-peer fundraising is the jargon that is employed to describe the kind of fundraising where you run a marathon and seek pledges from your friends for running to be given to a worthy cause or organization.
This sort of approach has been with us a while and is fairly popular. Not a unique fundraising idea. It does raise money; sometimes a lot of it.
There is a rub, however. Whatever it raises, it raises once. Over and done. OK, you say, I’ll just do them again—and again—and again. That’s a lot of work for diminishing returns. High effort, low return, no renewability.
The high cost and lack of scalability is not the most significant drawback of this method of raising charitable dollars, however. The one lurking in the background is the fact that those supporting your cause with their dollars aren’t really supporting your cause. They’re giving because someone they know and trust has asked them. They gave perhaps out of loyalty or perhaps out of generosity but almost never for love of the cause itself.
The unique fundraising idea is to use this fundraising approach to build relationships with those that give and those that run. Not everyone who pledges for the runners will fall in love with your cause. But some will. Make your focus reaching out and connecting.
Commitment is never an event. Sustainability and scalability requires commitment. Invest the time and effort to reach out and you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.
Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is Donors are the Drivers™. The unique fundraising idea is to make sure their driving not simply riding.