Monday, September 24, 2012

Why Peer to Peer Engagement Works

Jackie Pietka, the top camper fundraiser at the Walk this year
It was another wildly successful Walk, Roll or Stroll for Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. Started in 2008, this event has been a fun and effective opportunity for MHKC campers, supporters and the community to come together and raise vital funds for this camp for children and adults with disabilities.

MHKC was looking for ways to increase the number of participants and the amount of money raised for the event. And so they decided to go to their most vital resource for all things enthusiastic about camp: Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp campers.

People give to people.

This year they instituted a camp ambassadors program, where campers committed to register for the walk and raise money. Then as an ambassador they would talk to other campers about joining them.

The ambassadors and their families were invited to an early-June kick-off party where pizza and brainstorming were the order of the day. Ambassadors were given a bright orange t-shirt with “Ask me how to join my team” across it. And then they were given the tools and support they needed to sign up walkers.

Those campers wore those shirts all summer. And by empowering them and making them leaders in the campaign to recruit fellow walker fundraisers, MHKC reaped the benefits of their peer-to-peer engagement. The campers had fun (always an MHKC priority!) and got really engaged in the fundraising aspect of the event. They tapped their networks of family, neighbors, church and friends precisely because other people at camp were doing it too.

This program yielded the most money raised at a Walk, Roll or Stroll yet. Walks are a great way to energize an army of fundraisers for your organization, who go out and tap their networks—people you might not otherwise touch—for support. They’re already excited about what you do, give them the tools to go and spread the word.