My Pet Peeve about Peer-to-Peer

Over the past five years, peer-to-peer fundraising has more than doubled according to most industry sources.

I can certainly attest to that from my personal experience.

Imagine my excitement, as a former participant in an MS Bike ride, when that first online request came in to “support my team.”

“Sure beats carrying around that paper sign-up sheet,” I said to myself, as I eagerly went through the process to make a donation.

Diabetes foundation, I believe. The request came from the son of a client (whom I had never met, by the way).

It was the first of many. Alzheimer’s Association.  American Cancer Society. Juvenile Diabetes. The list goes  on.

The requests were varied as well. Friends. Colleagues. Relatives. Friends of relatives. You may know the drill.

Molly and I have a number of causes that are important to us, and we try to support them. We also support our friends and family … and that often means supporting the causes that are important to them.

(Can you tell I’m building up to that pet peeve part?)

Out of the multiple peer-to-peer campaigns in which I’ve participated over the past three to four years (10 – 12, at a minimum), I have yet to receive a single, unsolicited personal follow-up from the “fundraiser” himself/herself.

None. Zero. Nada. Not one.

Oh sure, I’ve gotten autoresponders from the organizations. (And follow-up appeals out the wazoo, I might add.)

But I didn’t give to an organizational appeal. And a “thank you” message from the organization just doesn’t cut it for me.

A recent Blackbaud study noted that 75% of peer-to-peer fundraising participants are lost each year.

Three out of four of this year’s supporter’s won’t come back.

Hmmmm. I wonder why?

Another Blackbaud study advises that “In order to empower individuals to be successful fundraisers, organizations must educate and coach participants about how to use the online tools.”

Yet none of the recommended “strategies”  include follow-up at all. Let alone a personal “Thank You.”

That’s unfortunate.

Fair warning, friends and family. For the past few years, I’ve defied the odds and come back to you anyway.

Rest assured, the bar just got a little bit higher!