Peer to peer fundraising is one of the most profitable ways to boost nonprofit donations, mostly because it requires little money up front yet reaches a wide audience. Of course, if you want your campaign to go viral, you'll need to make donors feel like they're part of something special, which means getting creative.
Here are some popular peer to peer fundraising methods that have worked well for others. You can modify them slightly to your organization or take them in a whole new direction to make the fundraisers uniquely yours.
Make a Run for the Money
Many nonprofits choose to use events such as physical competitions to boost fundraising efforts. Perhaps you remember similar competitions back in elementary or high school where you would collect pledges from friends and family for a walk-a-thon, read-a-thon, or other type of “a-thon.”
Who said you had to stop doing that after you graduated from high school? Use your peer to peer fundraising software to collect pledges from friends and family for your nonprofit’s upcoming 5K or marathon.
Make It Multimedia
Did you know that social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined? I could rattle off several other impressive statistics on videos and marketing, but the point is that adding video to your fundraising campaign vastly improves its chances for online success.
A great example of video paired with fundraising is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign was a huge success. Over 17 million people participated, including numerous celebrities and even former presidents. They raised enough money to fund extensive research that led to the discovery of new drugs to help treat ALS.
Take the time to shoot a video promoting your fundraiser and include it with any social media posts you make. Let the video do the talking for you! It will provide much more information than 140 characters and a link ever could.
Celebrate a Personal Milestone
Personal milestones are a great opportunity to incorporate peer to peer fundraising. Instead of receiving typical gifts for events such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, participants ask friends and family members to donate to their favorite charity instead. This option is becoming so popular that even Facebook offers its users the opportunity to collect donations for a cause.
Take advantage of this current trend by using fundraising software to host your call for donations right on your organization’s website. Send out the request for donations through your social media accounts and encourage your friends to do the same.
Start a Virtual Raffle
The days of the ticketed raffle are waning, and online raffles are the new way that many businesses prefer to host their raffles. Not only does the ticket buyer not have to wait around at a physical location to see if their number is called, online raffles have the potential to reach international participants. Using peer to peer fundraising to hold an online raffle is simple.
Use your peer to peer fundraising software to set up a campaign on your site to enroll supporters in raffles. For every $10 they donate to your fundraising page, they get one entry into the raffle. To encourage more entries (thus, more donations), make sure the prize is enticing. Items such as all-expenses paid vacations or luxury items that you have donated as in-kind gifts to your nonprofit are perfect for these types of events. People are also more likely to share the link to your fundraising page when the prize is a high-dollar item.
If you want to make it more interesting and add a little competition, you could even offer prizes to the fundraiser who sells the most raffle tickets.
Finally, don’t forget to send out thank-you notes—email or snail mail—to the people who donate to your campaign! People like to know they're appreciated, and they're more likely to donate again in the future if you acknowledge their efforts.
If you'd like more information about peer to peer fundraising, please download this essential guide, which goes into greater detail on how peer to peer fundraising works, as well as how to best implement social media with your peer to peer fundraising campaign.
Kelly Yaker is the digital marketing manager for Arreva, where she gets to spend every day focusing on how to help nonprofits become more successful. Prior to joining Arreva, Kelly spent 11 years in the digital marketing world, working with a variety of companies, from an eCommerce startup to a federally funded national laboratory.