Dollar Dash


Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Dollar Dash Book
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Change behaviors. Change lives.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) events raise more than $1.5B for the top 30 US nonprofit programs annually. This amount could be much greater if nonprofits better understood the fundamentals of human behavior. How does human behavior affect an organization’s ability to fundraise?  Why do people volunteer and fundraise for causes?

Dollar Dash is a study into the psychology behind P2P fundraising and the fuel that drives volunteer behavior. This book will teach you the keys to acquiring, retaining, and maximizing the support of donors and volunteers.

Dollar Dash takes the findings of behavioral economics and applies them to the nonprofit world. Some of what you will learn is counterintuitive:

  • Incentives don’t work – rewarding supporters with valuable gifts is demotivating
  • It’s not “all about the mission”
  • Great events don’t often raise great money

This book chronicles the stories of some of the most successful P2P fundraisers, from Relay For Life and the March of Dimes to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Along the way, there are interviews with some of the world’s greatest nonprofit thinkers. Dollar Dash is guaranteed to change forever the way you approach your P2P fundraising strategy. The result will be in your organization’s bottom line.

Katrina VanHuss is the founder of Turnkey, a 27-year-old company that is the leading source for P2P strategy and execution, with a client list that includes 15 of the top 30 US nonprofits. Otis Fulton spent most of his professional life in the for-profit sector at multi-national education companies. He works with nonprofits to leverage consumer behavior to maximize fundraising.

Advance Praise for Dollar Dash

Katrina and Otis have looked under the hood in a way no else has in regard to the peer to peer fundraiser’s mind. Their work is comparable to what is called “consumer behavior” in the for-profit sector. This is a must read!–Mark Davis, Vice President of Blackbaud, Inc.

What a gift! I’ve studied peer-to-peer fundraising for a decade, but I have never before been treated to such a fascinating insider’s look at the history and dynamics of this field. It’s a must read for everyone leading a run, walk, ride, birthday dedication, head shaving event or any other type of peer-to-peer fundraising program. Thank you Katrina VanHuss and Otis Fulton!–David Hessekiel, President of Cause Marketing Forum

This is fascinating stuff that is too long coming to nonprofit work. For-profit entities have been studying consumer behavior a long time. Now Katrina and Otis are helping bring nonprofits up to speed.–Jeff Rupp, Vice President of Association of Fundraising Professionals

You may ask, what do behavior and psychology have to do with the thousands of fundraising walks taking place each year? Everything. Katrina and Otis find the narrative that fundraisers need to read and understand so they can mobilize supporters and turn them into lifelong donors. This is a must read for every person who has been engaged by their charity to make the P2P programs effective.–John Vranas, Chief Strategy Officer of Make-A-Wish® International

Katrina and Otis have taken their extremely readable voice into book form. Dollar Dash connects the dots between peer-to-peer fundraising and social science, helping us understand how to create affinity. Read it, or have it read to you by your boss.–Sean Norris, Executive Editor of NonProfit PRO

There are two things that will stand out for you about this work: the first will be the “ah-hah!” moment when you realize someone’s finally able to explain why everything you thought was true is actually – scientifically! – true. The second is that Katrina is a very “real” person, who immediately invites you into her own mind – her own struggles, her own journey – like a Polish grandmother ushering you into the kitchen for a hearty lunch. I have been in this business over 20 years and I will be quoting excerpts from this work for a very long time. I dare you not to learn something really useful, that you can walk away with and use immediately, and every single day afterward.–Paulanne Jushkevich, Chief Philanthropy Officer of Canadian Cancer Society