Jul/Aug 2007

Four Reasons to Use Peer-to-Peer Solutions to Empower Your Constituents

by Thomas Aitchison, Product Marketing Manager, Convio

Your constituents can be excellent evangelists to help raise awareness and money for your organization. So why not empower them with the latest tools to connect their personal networks with your organization, mission and goals?

Peer-to-peer solutions allow constituents to reach out and engage their personal and professional contacts and connect them with your organization. These peer-to-peer solutions enable an organization's members, activists and donors to:

  • Host small, local events, such as hikes, protests, dinners, movie nights, etc. in support of your organization, (Convio Personal Events - NEW!);

  • Create personal fundraising pages for events such as walks and runs and send donation or support appeals to their peers, (Convio TeamRaiser™);

  • Quickly and easily create tribute Web sites in memory or in honor of a friend or loved one to raise funds and build awareness for your organization, (Convio Tributes); and

  • Post information about your organization wherever they can publish HTML content such as social networking sites, emails and blogs with a link back to a target URL on the nonprofit's Web site, where new visitors can donate money, respond to an advocacy alert or register for an upcoming event, (Convio Widgets, PDF).

Convio's peer-to-peer solutions enable constituents to take a more active role in supporting your organization while helping you realize numerous benefits beyond the dollars raised. Here are four:

  1. Grow your house file. Once a constituent signs up to host a Personal Event, creates a Tribute page or starts a TeamRaiser campaign for your organization, they are automatically added to your online database and able to recruit friends or contacts to participate. Anyone who then registers to attend a personal event or support an individual's Tribute or TeamRaiser campaign is also automatically added to your online database. It's highly likely that these supporters may not have become involved with your organization if they had not been contacted by their peers.

  2. Build community and constituent loyalty. Each peer-to-peer solution provides your constituents with a new way to build community and increase engagement. With Personal Events, for instance, individuals that host or attend a local event in support of your organization will feel more involved with your cause and mission, and as a result more loyal to your organization.

  3. Measure commitment levels. Personal Events provides an additional view into a constituent's level of engagement and commitment to your organization. Suppose someone signs up to host 12 different Personal Events in 12 months. Given that such a commitment takes a lot of time to recruit new constituents and spread the word about your causes, you can assume this individual cares a good deal about your organization. So what are you waiting for? Now that you have identified this constituent, consider rewarding or recognizing this person for their exceptional involvement and commitment to your organization. Then continue communicating with them in a more personalized way to help cultivate an even stronger relationship. TeamRaiser, Tributes and Widgets also work in a similar way to help you identify your most ardent supporters.

  4. Influence and expand fundraising. With Personal Events and Widgets, your organization has a new way to encourage donations. Constituents who sign up to host personal events can encourage giving in their invitations and include links to donation pages in their emails to personal contacts. Constituents using Widgets on their personal networking sites can do the same. TeamRaiser and Tributes have a more immediate impact on fundraising since people in a constituent's personal network are able to make direct donations to your organization through the individual's TeamRaiser or Tributes page.

If you're looking to increase awareness, more effectively build support and ultimately achieve new levels of success, peer-to-peer solutions such as TeamRaiser, Tributes, Widgets and Convio's new Personal Events should be in your organization's toolkit. Are you leveraging your constituents and supporters to their full potential? Empower them with the right tools, and they will continue to make a difference.

Four Reasons to Use Peer-to-Peer Solutions to Empower Your Constituents | Convio