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Super-charge the growth of your peer-to-peer event through team-based fundraising

'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' - African Proverb

When you're considering strategies to grow your peer-to-peer fundraiser, incorporating the concept of fundraising teams should be at the top of your 'to-do' list. Fundraising teams are vital to peer-to-peer fundraising success because they foster a stronger sense of community, accountability and competition among individual team members. Being part of a team that is focused on making a positive impact is incredibly motivating and members look to each other for support and encouragement to achieve their collective goal. The stronger sense of community and accountability among team members also leads to impressive fundraising results:

  • Individual participants raise 50-60% more when on a fundraising team
  • Individuals on a team are 3x more likely to participate in your event again

So how do you harness the power of teams for your event?

Step 1: To build great teams, you must first identify great leaders

When you begin assembling your plans to build fundraising teams for your peer-to-peer event, don't feel pressure to focus on recruiting hundreds of individual participants and hope they organically create their own teams. A portion of your participants will naturally band together to form teams (and that's a great thing!), but organic team creation isn't likely to fuel the growth of your event. When thinking about growing your event through fundraising teams, focus on recruiting a smaller group of strong leaders or 'team captains' to lead the teams. These team captains will be champions for your event, recruiting others to join their team and encouraging everyone to fundraise. And when you consider the average team captain can recruit 6-10 team members, it's easy to see how participation scales quickly. Team captains are key because if you identify these leaders, you’ll get their followers, and if you get their followers you’ll get their donors. It’s that simple. enter image description here

Step 2: Identify and recruit team captains

Team captains come in all shapes and sizes, but frequently share a few common characteristics. They often have a strong connection to your cause through some form of personal experience and are motivated to rally others to join them. Team captains may be a direct beneficiary of your organization’s services, a passionate volunteer, someone living with a condition, someone who is in remission or perhaps a close friend or family member impacted by your organization. Because captains are often incredibly passionate about your cause, their enthusiasm is palpable and that energy fuels your peer-to-peer event! Team captains eagerly take on responsibility for recruiting additional team members, motivating those members throughout the event, and ensuring the overall fundraising goal is achieved. The best team captains are a direct extension of your organization motivating and inspiring their teams to achieve more!

Step 3: Educate and empower your captains

Once you've recruited your team captains, your next job is to set them up for success so they can unleash their enthusiasm on the world! Here are five quick ideas to get the most from your team captains:

  1. Get team captains signed up early so they have time to understand the event and recruit their teams
  2. Provide captains easy tools and templates to recruit and train team members (Hint: Re-use the templates you're already providing to individual participants)
  3. Create opportunities for captains to connect with each other so they can share ideas and learn from one another
  4. Ensure captains feel appreciated and recognized for their extraordinary contributions. A personal 'thank you' goes a long way.
  5. Create a little extra motivation for your captains via friendly team vs. team competition and perhaps a unique incentive for the captain of the top fundraising team

Finally, when your event is over, take time to connect one-on-one with your team captains to thank them, but also to have them assist you with one final task - share feedback about how to improve your event! Your captains see your event from a different perspective. Remember, they’re on the front lines of the event talking directly with team members and other captains. They receive feedback from team members and other participants, see opportunities for improvement and likely have great ideas to incorporate for future events. So ask your captains how they think your event can be better and then…listen!

Step 4: How to get started?

Don't overthink how to get started incorporating teams into your event. Ask each person involved in planning your peer-to-peer event to identify 3 people they believe could be great team leaders. Then, personally ask each of those potential leaders to join your event and you're off!

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Published on June 14, 2021

by Dave Costlow

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