The beauty of peer-to-peer fundraising is that it is based on two-way communication; it is a conversation between individuals rather than a speech from an organization. It puts your message in the mouth of the person most likely to prompt a donation: someone the audience knows. There are two useful social psychology theories at work here: liking and reciprocation.
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In a great book on these theories, Influence: Science and Practice, author and social psychologist Robert Cialdini explains liking this way: "People prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like." He says we like people who are similar to us, who praise us, who are in frequent contact with us and who share common connections to.
Pair this idea of liking with the principle of reciprocation, which states, "people give back to you the kind of treatment they have received from you." It's no mistake, says Cialdini, that a synonym for "thank you" is "much obliged." When we like someone and perceive they've treated us well, we're likely to return the favor.
Cialdini uses lots of examples from sales in his book, but liking and reciprocation are also integral to our own work as fundraisers. His work shows us that it is a fundamental part of human nature to want to help people close to us and close to our experience.
When community members rally others, and it can make it easier to make a difference quickly.
Think about who could be your best messenger - it's probably someone outside your office, in a community of their own - and ask them to spread your message.