Group activities have long been known to promote bonding. They create peer-to-peer relationships. The same is true for peer-to-peer fundraising. It is a group activity that brings friends together for a common cause. But it is hard to keep volunteers involved more than once. That’s where ongoing promotion and celebration come in. With ongoing activities that keep people focused on the event, volunteers, fundraising, and results can go a long way toward building a fundraising army that grows from year to year.
Social media is great for getting the word out and staying connected. Hey, that’s why it’s called SOCIAL media. Pictures are a fantastic way to touch past participants. Everybody loves pictures. They trigger fond memories, show happy times, document accomplishment, and cement friendships. Pinterest, the picture sharing social media platform, is a great tool to add to your peer-to-peer tool belt. Here’s an example of how it works.
THON is an annual fundraising dance marathon sponsored by Penn State University IFC and Panhellenic to raise funds and awareness to fight pediatric cancer. It has grown to become the largest student run fundraiser in the world. It’s also expanded beyond the dance marathon to be a year around series of fundraising events with THON as the crescendo.
THON has a Pinterest account and uses it to build scrapbooks of search engine friendly pictures of volunteers and events that all link back to the THON website. It’s good for keeping people connected, gets the message in front of new people, and leaves a handy trail back to the organization’s website! How cool is that?
They have boards set up to showcase volunteers that are where you can see your friends having fun at all of the THON events and share them with others by rePinning them.
There is a board that showcases all of the various events leading up to the dance marathon. This shows the army of volunteers a whole host of new and crazy ideas for more fun and more fundraising.
Perhaps coolest of all, is a board for going on around the world. It uses Pinterest’s map feature to pin each of the photos to a giant map that shows where in the world the event is taking place. This is a great way to continuously remind people just how big the event has become. It also is a great way to get people thinking about what and where they could help next — strengthening their relationship to their volunteer friends and THON.
Devin Mathias, a professional fundraiser with Marts & Lundy, Penn State alum, and multi-year THON participant says, “Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to leverage existing relationships to grow a campaign. Using social media channels, THON has found a way to stay in touch with current, past, and future participants. It helps make THON a community. Pinterest is one of the social channels that THON uses for sharing photos of all of the events that now make THON what it is today. Everybody loves pictures and Pinterest is a great tool for helping us stay connected.”
Peer-to-peer fundraising is all about capitalizing on personal relationships and extending your reach. Spreading the love for your cause, the camaraderie of participating, and the memories of a great time go a long way toward building an ongoing fundraising army. It’s armies like that that help you become a wildly successful fundraiser. Documenting and sharing the memories is key to making those connections and Pinterest is one very cool tool to make it so.