PEER Servants is a microfinance nonprofit founded in 1988 that helps the materially poor. According to their website, PEER Servants, based in Massachusetts, partners with microfinance institutions in Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas to help entrepreneurs in their countries.
2017 marks the 12th year of their signature fundraising campaign, the Kopano Walk for Economic Empowerment. PEER Servants are longtime users of Mightycause, having started their first team fundraiser in 2013 using the platform. For the last four years, the nonprofit has hosted its “kopano” (which means unity) walk fundraiser using Mightycause to ensure team fundraising success. Since the walk’s expenses are covered by sponsors, all funds raised online by registrants are used for microloan education programs and microfinance initiatives.
In 2017, Mightycause made improvements to its team fundraising tool to help people and nonprofits raise even more funds for their cause. Using the new team fundraising tool, PEER Servant’s 2017 team fundraising campaign raised $46,857 in just 3 months — nearly double their 2016 team fundraiser (which ran for 8 months). Overall, they raised $55,699 from more than 270 donors, which exceeded their $50,000 goal and helped them see their greatest team fundraising success to date.
Mightycause Updates Help with Team Fundraising Success
PEER Servants was able to take advantage of Mightycause’s new team fundraising tools in 2017 to help them raise more funds. One major change was the page design: a background image was added to the page, along with a new logo space, to help make the page pop. Plus, the thermometer was placed in a more prominent space on the page to show progress towards the goal. This design really helped to showcase their brand, and present a more professional looking campaign to donors and registrants.
The nonprofit used its brand colors to match their logo and filter color to emphasize their simple, but effective, background image. This design makes the page look polished and professional, while still showing a personalized representation of their work.
Lastly, the new team fundraising tool on Mightycause maximized their chances for success by allowing donors to give right on the team page to either the general fund or to a team member’s page with the new, prominent “Donate Now” button below the team’s thermometer. The general fund is a great way to include donors who may not have a connection to a team member on the leaderboard, but still want to donate to the cause. Donations made to the general fund appear on the team’s thermometer, but don’t appear on the leaderboard.
Blog and Social Media Keep Up Engagement
When it comes to peer-to-peer fundraising, the more people who fundraise for your organization, the more money you’re likely to raise. Peer Servants had 17 people fundraising as a team, with the average fundraiser bringing in more than $3,200.
To manage 17 team members and their fundraising activities, as well as managing a physical event like a walk, can be a cumbersome task for some. But, PEER Servants keeps up engagement with their Kopano Walk supporters throughout the spring via a blog on their website.
Using the blog, the organization posted step-by-step instructions to those who wanted to raise funds and those who wanted to donate to a fundraiser on their team. They also used the blog to thank their sponsors: Chick-fil-A, HoneyDew Donuts and more. After the walk ended on June 3, PEER Servants posted to their blog to remind donors they still had time to give until Labor Day and help them hit their goal.
Engagement is not a linear process for nonprofits – the staff at PEER Servants understand that they can’t just use social media to promote certain events and fundraisers and then stay silent for the remainder of the year. Donors want to see your work in action, and social media is a great place to showcase that. The more you engage with your followers on social media, the more likely they are to turn into donors and volunteers.
PEER Servants is known for posting photos from talent shows at their partner agencies, their tutoring club in action in the Philippines, and vibrant photos of their road trip in Burundi to meet local entrepreneurs. These types of posts help to break up the “asks” on social media and keep your supporters returning to your page for the visual posts.
For their 2017 walk, PEER Servants made a Facebook event that emphasized their goals and how to get more information about fundraising with a cross-promoted link to their blog:
They also created special posts to recognize their corporate sponsors for the walk.
Matching Grant Increases Donations
According to TechSoup, mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount. In May, PEER Servants announced it received a $5,000 matching grant from a local church and longtime supporter.
The matching gift engaged new donors, as it was offered only to those who were making a first-time gift to support the team fundraiser. Matching gifts not only increase your chances of receiving a donation, but they also help to keep up engagement – people love to know if you’ve fulfilled the grant, and the grantor often feels a stake in helping to promote the matching gift, too.
The Kopano Walk typically occurs in June, but the team page is already set well before then. The first blog post for the PEER Servants’ website starts promoting the walk in March, and by May they have their team members trained and up-to-speed on best practices.
Momentum for the team fundraiser ramps up throughout the summer, even after the walk takes place. PEER Servants allows team members to keep raising funds through September. Then, they transition into their fall fundraising effort.
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