The proverbial good old days of peer-to-peer fundraising are over.
According to Forbes, both new and legacy peer-to-peer fundraising programs have been on a steady decline since 2009. In fact, the revenue of the 30 largest peer-to-peer programs has declined by as much as $310 million, and it does not look like that trend is going to reverse anytime soon. You can blame it on increasingly short attention spans, rising expectations, the current job market and economy, or poor marketing and branding efforts, but the fact remains the same: times are changing, and the industry needs to change with them.
One recently launched philanthropy platform is proving that. Based out of Buffalo, N.Y., The Giving Project is looking to shake things up in the industry. Founded by Joseph and Nicole Castle, The Giving Project is a platform that aims to gather funds for local charities via monthly campaigns. But there is a key difference in what they are setting out to do and what others on the market are currently doing. Each donation earns the donor an entry in The Giving Project’s monthly sweepstakes. The more you donate, the more entries you receive. Knowing that it is no longer just about the gratification of helping someone else or a mere thank-you, the Castles have decided to raise the stakes in hopes of creating excitement around each cause and campaign. For instance, according to Buffalo Business First, the winner of the sweepstakes for their first campaign will receive two tickets to the musical Hamilton at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. That is just the beginning, though. In the future, they hope to have a celebrity spearhead each campaign with the aim to generate more visibility, donations, and involvement for the charity.
While the company is still in the start-up phase and it is hard to predict its future, there is a clear takeaway here. To succeed in this industry, the need is to continuously innovate and think about not only the cause, activity, and donations, but also the audience: the donors. It is easy to forget this basic concept.
So, the next time you are working on a program or campaign, take a minute to think about how you could customize or improve it. It could be something as simple as changing the life cycle, adding prizes or activities, or offering meaningful experiences. You might not be able to affect the entire industry, but through constant experimentation and an entrepreneurial mindset that we help you foster in our Professional Fundraising Program, you can create change that boosts your organization’s standing.
Hessekiel, David. “Is Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Facing A Lifecycle Crisis?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 11 July 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/davidhessekiel/2018/07/10/is-peer-to-peer-fundraising-facing-a-life-cycle-crisis/.
“Home – The Giving Project – Buffalo, NY.” The Giving Project, givingproject.com/.
Miner, Dan. “The Giving Project, a New Tech Take on Philanthropy in Buffalo.” Bizjournals.com, The Business Journals, 12 July 2018, www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2018/07/12/the-giving-project-a-new-tech-take-on-philanthropy.html.