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News & Press: Member Insights

The Shift from Donors to Fundraisers

Tuesday, May 10, 2016   (0 Comments)
By Todd Levy, CEO of Global Cloud, makers of DonorDrive Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

There's been a fundamental shift in philanthropy. And what's become obvious is that your supporters want to do more. For organizations, this is a good thing. Where the donor might give a $100 dollar donation, that same supporter (as a fundraiser) can generate thousands of dollars for the organization through their network of friends, family and coworkers. That is—if they have the right tools.

Technology now escalates giving.
Just as online giving has made it easier for your supporters to donate, peer-to-peer online fundraising makes it easier for your supporters to make the ask to the people closest to them on your behalf. Over the years at DonorDrive we've focused on creating technology that's made it easier to make the digital ask. Built-in email, social sharing tools and mobile-friendly fundraising pages that tell the story of why the fundraiser is fundraising—they have proven to be very effective at landing donations. A huge benefit of this technology is that the fundraiser's network is often touched by the story and uses the social tools on the fundraising page to share with their network as well. It's easy to see how peer-to-peer fundraising can have a viral effect, while basic donating is often a private matter.

Having it their way.
We've become a society of unlimited options. There's a laundry detergent for every washing scenario. The vast number of TV channels are being made obsolete by even more on-demand video options. And like everything else in life, your supporters want options in fundraising. They've often been given the single option of fundraising around a signature event, like a walk. By dictating a calendar date and a physical location, organizations are losing current supporters and not appealing to new ones. Since peer-to-peer can handle a broad base of fundraising activity as easily as it can handle walks, it's simple to give supporters the fundraising options they're demanding.

Empowering impact.
One reason for the continued growth of peer-to-peer fundraising continues to get more popular is our time in history. Today we have more people who are likely to take advantage of this method to express passion for their causes. Enthusiastic Millennials and idealistic Boomers now make up more than half of the adult population. These two groups want to do more than just be passive donors. They want to do more for their causes and they want to feel that they're doing more for their causes. When organizations put the social fundraising tools of peer-to-peer in the hands of these supporters, they've discovered that the supporters often want to create their own campaigns through Do-It-Yourself fundraising around their lifestyle. An example is Ray Spooner (an supporter with ALS) who created his own campaign for MDA and rode across the country to raise $77,000 in DonorDrive.

Adding peer-to-peer to how you already fundraise.
Organizations sometimes look at peer-to-peer fundraising as replacing the old way of doing things. That's not it at all. Peer-to-peer is just another option for your constituents to express their support. Organizations that have signature walks are finding that they can add a virtual walk component to attract those no longer physically able, those geographically distant and those who find the walk date inconvenient. These supporters can still be there in spirit, but more importantly, they can still fundraise for the event online through peer-to-peer. The peer-to-peer component can just as easily be added to capital campaigns or other major campaigns. Online giving is already a necessity for these programs. When the element of peer-to-peer fundraising is available, there's the opportunity to raise more, as well as introduce your cause to new supporters you meet through the fundraiser's social networks.

Fundraising for the future.
Whether we like it or not, fundraising is evolving. The art of making the ask is shifting from the organization to the supporter. It's a big leap to trust constituents with that responsibility, but organizations are discovering more and more of their supporters are exceptional advocates for the cause. Organizations can't be reluctant to pass the torch, since your advocates have already grabbed it. It's just a matter of making sure they have the tools to excel at running the distance for your cause.

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