This is part 4 of the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Guide, created with the help of the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising experts at DonorDrive.

We’ve now covered what Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) is and how it allows your community members to raise funds on behalf of the organization via their own networks. We’ve also gone over how to attract new P2P participants and the importance of making sure that each step in the participant & donor journeys is compelling and friction-free.

Now for the P2P fundraising secret weapon; Team Fundraising.

Rather than individual participants raising funds on behalf of the organization on their own, teams allow groups of fundraisers to join together to provide each other extra support, accountability, and an element of competition.

Teams Get Big Results

If you’re not already using teams, you should be seriously considering it. Here are some stats to help you understand just how powerful they are.

  • Team members raise 70% more than the average individual (1)
  • Events with teams raise 28% more than those without them (1)
  • Teams on average raise 59% of overall funds for an event (1)
  • The average team has six people (1)

Check out DonorDrive’s infographic for more stats and a great visual summary on this topic.

The Motivation Effect

When it comes to being an event organizer, more of your focus will shift to supporting team leaders. This is a great thing, as these team leaders and more experienced teammates will tend to field questions. The beauty of this, when done right, as the leaders and other members will often end up fielding questions that would have otherwise come directly to your event staff.

Teams Help Recruit Other Fundraisers (Reducing Advertising Costs)

Not only do team members raise more, but they also recruit other fundraisers. With each person they recruit, your message is carried to an even wider network. It also means that your organization has to spend less time and resources doing your own recruiting.

Common Types of Teams

In reality, teams will end up forming for a variety of reasons. That said, it is important to understand some common team types along with the unique opportunities each provides.

Teams of Primary Beneficiaries (Those Directly Affected by Your Work)

Encouraging members of your core community/base to join together with their peers is a great way to create a power-house team while also building bonds between members of your core community. By banding together with other people who have similar stories and experiences with your organization’s work they get more done than they might otherwise do on their own.

Often, teams will form organically for existing groups of friends or experienced fundraisers within this core community. This is great, but it is a best practice to encourage these teams to leave room for first-time fundraisers as well so that all of the experience and knowledge is not overly concentrated into just a handful of teams.

Your event staff should also invest time in helping connect new and previously independent fundraisers within this core audience to existing teams or with other peers with whom they can create a team (and friendship).

For teams that are made up primarily of peers in this core group, you will want to make it easy for the friends and family of these loved ones to not only directly support them, but also to promote this to their networks. This way, you help ensure that the team’s reach extends beyond just their networks but into the expanded networks of their friends and families.

Teams Rallied Around an Affected Friend or Loved One

One of the most compelling scenarios for building a team is when a loved one has been personally affected by the disease, condition, or cause an organization is addressing. The fight against ovarian cancer becomes personal when your best friend is diagnosed. Service dogs take on new importance after seeing the impact one had on your nephew who is deaf. If prostate cancer took the life of your father, you and your family might want to consider making an annual tradition out of raising funds around the 5K for prostate cancer research.

Not only are people motivated to show their support for this loved one by attending an event or donating, but if given the opportunity will often be willing to rally together and actively get others involved. The advantage of making close friends and family members actual fundraising participants is that it creates tangible progress on the results of their ask creating additional accountability and motivation for them to do more than just do a one-time blast.

When successful, one of the beautiful side-products of this type of team is the extra love and honor it heaps on the person/people they rally around.

Team Formed Around a Good Cause or Team Captain (3rd degree)

People don’t have to know someone personally affected to get involved. Often it is as simple as a friend, colleague, or family member asking them to help support a cause they care about. It could be that a friend from gym or church is passionate about combating human trafficking, and invites you to join their team. These individuals probably wouldn’t have done it on their own, but the event sounds like a good time, and for a good cause, so you say yes. These teams are more prone to $0 participants, so the strength and motivation of this central figure will prove critical for their success.

Read more: Addressing $0 P2P Fundraising Participants.

Event Activity Interest Teams (e.g., bikers, runners, fans)

Ideally the activity your event centers around will have especially strong appeal within a subculture or two. For example, if your event is an annual bike race or a run, friends or even formal teammates within that sport may choose to use this as both a training opportunity and to raise money for a good cause. Identifying partners such as local specialty sports shops, media publications, clubs, and social media influencers to help promote or rally their team(s) are all potential strategies to help encourage these types of teams.

Some of these brands also present an opportunity for formal event sponsorships. Even if a formal sponsorship package is too expensive, you can always encourage them to do a guerilla marketing approach, such as them offering free team co-branded t-shirts for people who sign up for a team while in the shop. Other ideas to further leverage these partnerships are donated or at-cost prizes, swag, or just free advertising.

For those partnerships that are businesses or have some funds set aside for promotion, event coordinators should consider helping them look for creative ways to support a good cause while also building their own brand with their audience. For example, if a formal sponsorship isn’t in the cards for a running shop, perhaps they would be willing to donate gear or gift cards as part of the prize packages.

Employer-Based Teams

For both formal sponsors as well as businesses that declined formal sponsorship but are still open to supporting the cause, creating company based teams can be a great way to give the employers a way to create a team building experience that also benefits the cause. Other tips for helping teams of this kind: Will the employer agree to match donations up to a certain amount? Can a competition be created between departments/teams? Can participants that hit certain goals be given some sort of additional incentive such as an extra half-day off?

Hybrid Teams

In all reality, it will be common for teams to be made up of a mix or hybrid of the above team types, but hopefully, this still helps get the juices flowing around ways to facilitate and foster different types of teams to participate.

The Team Captain/Leader

At the center of every great team is a great leader (or two). Sometimes leaders emerge naturally or even democratically from among a group’s own ranks. Other times, it is the leader who gets things rolling and they rally a team around them. In most cases though, it works best to have a clear team captain (or co-captains) to keep accountability and momentum alive.

An energetic captain paired with enthusiastic members is what makes a winning team. In addition to the organically generated teams and leaders, also be on the lookout to actively recruit experienced fundraisers to start their own teams geared towards welcoming solo participants or recruiting new members. Leadership matters, so find someone who not only has experience but who naturally helps and encourages others while leading by example.

If you are using incentives, consider including an additional winner category where only teams with at least 50% first-time participants are eligible. This communicates the importance of being inclusive of new people and prevents newer teams (and leaders) from feeling like they don’t stand a chance at winning.

Next…

Retention & Lapsed Participants

About DonorDrive

DonorDrive Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software helps nonprofits raise more money. With DonorDrive, organizations like MADD, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, JDRF, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NDSS Buddy Walks have raised more than $1 Billion.

Find out more at DonorDrive.com.