"The word ‘integration’ is a dull one and turns off the less technical-minded fundraiser. But it belies an opportunity to allow data from every P2P campaign you run to automatically sync with your CRM, providing a near-instant 360 degree view of donor activity."
Emotion is the ultimate disruptor
People are driven by their emotions. Facts and figures are important, but emotion trumps logic every time, when you’re trying to get someone’s attention and influence their next action.
The commercial world has known this for years. Just look at the some of the adverts we’ve seen of late for brands like Dove and Kleenex. Even the most disliked group of companies – big banks – have started dabbling with emotional storytelling on primetime adverts.
The truth is that in any ultra-competitive sector, a compelling Customer Experience is the last great differentiator.
What does this mean for me as a fundraiser?
It means that supporters need to be at the epicentre of any fundraising strategy. We need to build detailed personas of the individuals in our target audience groups; not just their basic demographic info, but a detailed map of their lives: the things they do, the challenges they face and the ‘moments that matter’ for them. The importance of this is found in even greater concentration in the peer-to-peer (P2P) giving space.
The digital revolution has transformed the way we operate. However, we mustn’t forget that a true Supporter Experience is about more than just the channel, it’s about participation: creating opportunities for audiences to become part of the cause they are supporting.
This is why we have seen such an explosion in P2P fundraising. P2P is participation at its finest, creating a two-way relationship between charity and supporter, where the supporters themselves become the fundraiser. The new experience is meaningful, it’s personalised and it’s why the average donation to a P2P fundraiser is nearly £60. (everydayhero giving study, Oct 2016)
The next generation of peer-to-peer
Impressive as it sounds, in reality we’ve only just scratched the surface of P2P’s potential.
What if we could create a supporter experience that pushes this average donation to £80 or even £100?
Right now, P2P campaigns are typically executed in isolation, using platforms like everydayhero, which have revolutionised the P2P space. However, in order to try and create the integrated supporter experience, data then needs to be manually imported into a fundraising CRM. This task can be time-consuming and prone to error, and one that few non-profits would have the time or inclination to execute – certainly not long-term.
Which is why recent innovations in technology will have such a profound impact on fundraising potential.
This month, Blackbaud announced an integration between everydayhero and eTapestry – the latter being the UK’s leading fundraising CRM for smaller charities. The word ‘integration’ is a dull one and turns off the less technical-minded fundraiser. But it belies an opportunity to allow data from every P2P campaign you run to automatically sync with eTapestry, providing a near-instant 360 degree view of donor activity. Immediately from this point, those donors are your supporters, and these new supporters can quickly begin to be nurtured through your personalised and automated email communications run directly out of eTapestry.
While larger organisations using Raiser’s Edge NXT are already integrated, the biggest impact is likely to be felt among smaller charities, who are desperate for a joined-up view of their constituents.
And while the time-savings and donations themselves are obviously of great importance, the real power of P2P lies in the potential of each supporter. Not only do P2P fundraisers tend to be your most loyal supporters, they also have an engaged network that have just received a personal introduction to your cause.
Given that, on average, each P2P fundraiser attracts 10 donors, imagine the possibilities of now being able to build relationships with them individually.
That’s worth getting emotional about.
John Bird is managing director at Blackbaud Europe, the leading provider of software and services to the non-profit sector in the UK. He was formerly Managing Director at ThankQ, and began his career as a programmer knee-deep in code building fundraising software from the ground-up.