Conference Recap: Peer to Peer Professional Forum 2014
Recently, Mike and Tara went to the Peer to Peer Professional Forum 2014 annual conference (formerly Run Walk Ride) in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you’re a pledge event fundraiser, this niche conference is the place for you. Everyone attending works in peer to peer fundraising—delegates came from across North America from organizations large and small. With interesting plenary speakers and afternoon summits broken into categories like Endurance, National, and Local/Regional, there was something for everyone.
1. Pledge events are moving beyond runs, walks and rides
A big part of the Peer to Peer Professional Forum rebrand has to do with evolution of peer to peer fundraising events. As their fun name-change video states, “In the beginning there were walks, there were runs and there were rides.” And while walk, run and ride events continue to raise a lot of money for organizations, these events are evolving to include other event concepts such as growing facial hair, swimming and sleeping in tents – and even non-event peer to peer fundraising programs.
David Hessekiel is right. This field is not about what people do. It’s about how they do it and why they do it. It’s up to you, as peer to peer event professionals, to provide your participants with the tools and support to raise more money and make a bigger impact.
2. A little competition is not bad
As Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer Executive Director Kimberly Goff shared, this important local event had major competition from the larger national Komen 3-Day Walk. The national walk had a strong presence in the community and larger advertising budgets. But despite challenges around brand confusion with the Komen 3-Day Walk, the Atlanta 2-Day continues to grow. It raised over $850,000 in 2013.
3. Segmentation is key to participant engagement
Mike and our friend, Amy Milne, from SickKids Foundation in Toronto, presented a fun and interactive session on pledge event participant engagement. They shared their best practices to keep fundraisers from feeling overwhelmed, which included using a customer service model built on multichannel communication; prizes, fundraising tools and stewardship. The key to making all this come together? Segmentation. You can download a copy of their presentation here.
LinkedIn: Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Group