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What You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

3 Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising lets your supporters take the rains to fundraise on behalf of your organization. That means this fundraising initiative is a low-cost option for your organization that just requires a bit of support to help steer participants in the right direction. 

P2P fundraisers also allow your organization to: 

  1. Better engage with current supporters. You can allow your existing volunteers, donors, and advocates to take on a unique role and become the fundraisers themselves. This helps these supporters feel more engaged in your mission and connected to your fundraising efforts.
  2. Connect with a wide range of new supporters. As your P2P fundraisers share their campaign pages via social media and email, they introduce your organization to new audience members who might become dedicated supporters themselves over time. 
  3. Raise more funding for your cause. Peer-to-peer fundraisers often lead to tremendous fundraising success because donors want to support their friend or loved one in their fundraising endeavor and they trust endorsements made by the people they love. Also, when volunteer fundraisers add a personal spin on their campaign pages, they help humanize your nonprofit and offer a compelling reason to donate. 

5 Steps to Start a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

If you’ve never planned a P2P campaign before, you might not know where to start. The following steps will help you plan and execute a successful campaign: 

  1. Your nonprofit sets a campaign timeline and fundraising goal. Determine how much you want to raise with your campaign and how long the campaign should last. Ensure your goal is realistic but ambitious. Review your past campaign data to assess how much you can reasonably seek to raise through your next P2P campaign. 
  2. Your nonprofit creates the main fundraising page. Use peer-to-peer fundraising software to design the central campaign page that supporters will use as a reference when creating their own pages. Ensure your P2P software can also track donor data, record campaign analytics, and allow supporters to make their own stylish campaign pages complete with photos and videos. 
  3. Your supporters create personal fundraising pages. Recruit P2P participants by assessing your databases to identify your most active donors, volunteers, and advocates. Use social media and email marketing outreach to encourage these individuals to get involved in your campaign. You can even offer a peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit to help first-time fundraisers understand how to set up their pages and get started. 
  4. Your supporters share their pages and start raising funds. Participants will share their fundraising pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as through email. Be sure to support participants during this process by reminding them of P2P campaign best practices, such as making the first donation to their own page, and sharing the link to their pages frequently on social media.
  5. Your organization assesses progress and thanks participants. As donations begin pouring in, make sure your organization is tracking donor data and following up with both repeat and new donors. Thank them for their contributions and share information about how they can get more involved in your mission. And finally, don’t forget to express your gratitude to your volunteer fundraisers! They contribute tons of hard work throughout the process, so they deserve special thank-you efforts, such as free merchandise branded to your organization or a handwritten thank-you letter. 

5 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign Ideas

As mentioned, you can pair your P2P campaigns with fun and engaging events that allow supporters to interact in person. Plus, when your campaign coincides with an exciting event, you’ll have an easier time recruiting participants to assist with the fundraising aspect. 

Here are a few ideas for effective peer-to-peer challenges and events: 

  1. A-thon event: This includes walk-a-thons, dance-a-thons, bike-a-thons, and any other a-thon style activity you can think of. 
  2. 5K/Fun Run race: Spark friendly competition by encouraging supporters to raise funds in order to enter your 5K or fun run race and then compete against other runners for the fastest time.
  3. Social media challenge: Like the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, your organization can create a social media challenge to encourage supporters to reach personal goals and engage their followers along the way. For instance, you might create a viral video challenge where supporters have to complete a dare or contribute a donation and challenge their friends to do the same. 
  4. Giving day event: Challenge supporters to reach a specific fundraising goal in a 24-hour giving day event. These initiatives inspire urgency among donors since they have a defined time period to get involved. You can host your event on Giving Tuesday or a day that’s special to your organization’s cause. 
  5. Competition: Whether a baking or chili cook-off competition, encourage supporters to put their creative skills to the test with a competition event. Attendees will “vote” on their favorite entry by donating to the contestant’s fundraising page. 


4 Most Important Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Tools

If you’re launching a P2P campaign for the first time, you’ll require a few software solutions in your toolkit to help make your campaign a success. These tools include:

  1. A peer-to-peer fundraising platform. Popular platforms include Donately and OneCause.
  2. Social media profiles and post scheduling tools. You’ll need established profiles on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, it’s helpful to leverage a social media scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite, to schedule campaign-related posts and progress updates. 
  3. A matching gift tool. Some of your donors’ P2P contributions may be eligible for employer matching gifts. A matching gift tool like Double the Donation allows you to identify and follow up with match-eligible donors right from your online donation form.
  4. An email marketing platform. Email is another important marketing platform for spreading the word about your peer-to-peer campaign. Email marketing tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact can come in handy when promoting your campaign or following up with participants and donors. 

Additional Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Resources

Interested in learning more about peer-to-peer fundraising and how to plan a successful campaign? Take a look at the following additional resources: