This article written by CanadaHelps was originally published on Hilborn. View
You’ve planned your peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising event down to the finest detail, prepared your fundraisers and volunteers for the challenging, fun and rewarding work ahead, and now you need to build awareness!
Here are 5 key ways to help you get the word out about your event:
1. Start with your supporters
These are the people that truly care about your cause and your event. Make sure you encourage your fundraisers so that your awareness-building through their networks is maximized. Ensure that you thank them often and provide inspirational emails, tools, and tips periodically. Your emails should contain information that they will want to share with others through word-of-mouth and social media. Just a few communications ideas include:
- Mission-focussed updates on the important work your charity will do if you reach your P2P fundraising goals, ready for your supporters to share.
- Fundraising incentives, such as a sponsor match donations for a certain period of time or sponsored prizes.
- Fundraising tips. As feasible, make sure these are as personal as possible having other participant’s share what’s working.
- Count down messages and progress updates to create a sense of urgency and build excitement.
Tip: Be sure to use videos and compelling photos that inspire action wherever possible.
2. Onboard sponsors
Sponsors can help cover costs, but they can also help spread the word. Often, they have resources, connections, and experience in the world of advertising/marketing. Securing a sponsor can be challenging, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Advertisement of their brand in general is good, but when coupled with your charity, their target audiences see that they are also a caring, trustworthy, and respectable brand.
If they’re not used to sponsoring charitable events, they may need a helping hand in learning about all the potential benefits they can gain from the partnership. Brainstorm a variety of ways they can help you advertise, from small to large, and traditional to non-traditional.
3. Look for prominent spokespeople
Explore your options in securing a local personality to endorse, donate, or participate in your P2P event. Securing an A-list celebrity may be tough, so consider well-known personalities such as mayors, councillors, MPs/MPPs, principals, business owners, athletes, chefs, social media influencers, musicians, etc. Try to choose a local celebrity that matches your cause or event. Their support can increase your awareness by letting you reach different segments of the community, by using their social media presence to your benefit, and by creating buzz around your event. Clearly establish beforehand if you’re allowed to use their name when promoting your event.
4. Public relations and local media
Start early with local media because it can take a while for the media representatives to find an opportunity to feature your event and prepare a story. To get their attention, have key messages ready and a great photo to share with them. Send news releases or even just a paragraph of information to local news outlets so they know about your event and your charity. Ask fellow staff, volunteers, family and friends if they have connections. You can contact a specific journalist directly who might be interested in your work, especially if this person often covers stories like yours. Don’t forget to invite media to your event and provide them with plenty of photo-worthy moments and have a spokesperson ready and prepped.
5. Social Media
There are three important things to keep in mind when raising awareness about your P2P event through social media. First, post regularly and consistently about your P2P event. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule some posts throughout the week to lighten the workload. Second, don’t just post but engage. Use social media as a hub where your fundraisers and donors can conveniently get in touch about the exciting things that are happening before, during and after the event. Third, make up a short, memorable hashtag and promote it in all of your communications. Since only a small percentage of your followers see your posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, consider allocating some of your marketing spend towards online advertising.
There you have it! 5 tips to ensure you next P2P event is a huge success. Want more information on launching your first P2P event? Download this free resource for all the getting-started tips and knowledge you need to successfully launch your first P2P event.