For any nonprofit with a group of dedicated supporters who have demonstrated their commitment to the organization as donors or volunteers, a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign has the potential to benefit everyone involved.
In a peer-to-peer campaign, your supporters become fundraisers for your organization by encouraging people in their personal networks to donate to your cause.
Structured similarly to crowdfunding and closely associated with social media, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns have the potential to reach wide audiences and forge stronger connections between donors and the nonprofits they support.
In this post, we’ll discuss the tools your organization needs to break into the world of peer-to-peer fundraising, from the software to set up your campaign to the strategies that maximize donations. You’ll learn how to:
- Choose the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform for your cause.
- Use prospect research to find the fundraisers among your supporters.
- Engage with social media to personalize your campaign.
- Encourage competition to boost donations.
- Host an event to build a community of supporters.
- Thank your supporters to show your gratitude.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are ideally suited to engaging donors who spend their time online, so don’t miss out! Read on to discover how to use this type of campaign to attract and retain valued supporters.
1. Choose the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform for your cause
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a method of raising money that converts your donors into fundraisers by allowing them to set up personalized donation pages in support of your nonprofit.
If you’re familiar with crowdfunding, the basics of peer-to-peer fundraising aren’t much different. However, peer-to-peer fundraising is unique in its focus on volunteer fundraisers. Your fundraisers’ customized pages feature their images and personal statements in support of your organization, and they are primarily responsible for your campaign’s success!
Thinking that peer-to-peer fundraising sounds promising for your nonprofit’s next campaign? Your next step is to select the right software for your organization’s needs. Take a look at OneCause's ultimate guide to peer-to-peer fundraising for essential tips on choosing software, and make sure that you’re considering factors such as:
Customizable features. Your supporters likely know what kinds of appeals will encourage their friends and families to donate, so select a platform that will let them get creative and personalize their asks.
Mobile and social media integration. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a tech-savvy strategy that works best when your fundraisers have plenty of options for sharing your campaign. Features to look for include embeddable donation buttons and text-to-give service.
Fundraiser training resources. Facilitate the process of converting your donors into fundraisers with coaching emails and training materials so your supporters have all the tools they need to be successful.
Event registration and management. Planning to connect your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with an event in your community? Look for a platform that offers event registration and management tools.
The right peer-to-peer fundraising platform will improve your fundraisers’ experience and provide your donors with multiple ways to contribute. But choosing the right platform is only your first step! In peer-to-peer fundraising, your supporters comprise the foundation of your campaign.
2. Use prospect research to find the fundraisers among your supporters
You’re already aware that your donors play an essential role in your organization each time they make contributions, but did you know that they can also be valuable as fundraisers? To make your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign more effective, you’ll need to identify the donors most likely to seek greater involvement in your organization.
If your nonprofit already identifies potential donors using prospect research, this is an excellent tool to determine which of your supporters may be interested in taking on fundraising roles in your next peer-to-peer campaign. Prospect research provides information on:
Donation history. Donors with a history of repeated or significant giving to your organization have already demonstrated their support for your cause in one way, so give them another opportunity to get involved!
Past involvement with nonprofits, including volunteer work. Much as your volunteers can be converted into donors, they can also be converted into fundraisers for your peer-to-peer campaign. Your mission is already important to them, so let them share their enthusiasm with their connections using personalized fundraising pages.
Personal information and interests. Prospect research can tell you whether your potential fundraisers have shown particular commitment to a cause similar to yours or whether they tend go the extra mile when dedicating their time or money to a nonprofit.
Using prospect research, you’ll be able to identify supporters that you can transform into fundraisers. They’ll be thrilled to engage with your organization in more depth by sharing their fundraising pages, which is where social media comes into play in your campaign.
3. Engage with social media to personalize your campaign
It may not be surprising to learn that 43 percent of Millennials donate to charitable causes through peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns when you consider that this method of fundraising thrives online.
In addition to traditional forms of fundraising like direct mail and tried-and-true digital strategies like email, social media is a great way to reach new audiences and take advantage of the personalized approach that peer-to-peer fundraising facilitates.
Your supporters will be excited to share their fundraising pages with their friends and families on their favorite social media platforms. Here are a few tips for making the most out of social media in your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign:
Provide regular updates. Encourage your fundraisers to keep their connections updated on developments in your campaign by posting updates every few days. Keep these posts short, cheerful, and encouraging to motivate more people to donate.
Diversify your platforms. Facebook and Twitter are popular and widely used, making them strong starting places, but they’re not your only options! Take advantage of the features and formats offered by different platforms, like sharing pictures on Instagram. Remember that potential donors are all inspired in different ways.
Bonus for Instagram: Looking for an easy way to engage your Instagram followers? If you’re using peer-to-peer fundraising software that offers text-to-give, your volunteer fundraisers can post pictures of the text messages that provide your organization’s text-to-give phone number and fundraising keyword!
Combine social media with other aspects of your campaign. Use social media to highlight the most fun aspects of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Post updates on the competition among your fundraisers, encourage participation in your upcoming event, or give public recognition to new donors.
Marketing your campaign across social media is a peer-to-peer fundraising best practice that will engage your fundraisers, attract new donors, and integrate the various aspects of your campaign. Be sure to highlight all the fun ways you’re keeping your team and your supporters involved, whether through competition or community events!
4. Encourage competition to boost donations
A little good-natured competition will encourage your supporters to increase their efforts as they vie for the title of top fundraiser for your peer-to-peer campaign. Competition further engages your fundraisers in the campaign process and is an important component of a strong social media strategy.
Need ways to incentivize your supporters by nurturing their competitive spirits? Give public recognition to your top fundraisers on your nonprofit’s main social media platforms, updating the rankings as they shift throughout the campaign.
If your organization offers branded merchandise to donors as part of its fundraising strategy, you can incorporate those items into your competition. Offer more or better prizes to your supporters as they reach milestone amounts in their fundraising and watch as they promote your campaign with new vigor!
For additional ways to encourage more intensive donor activity, check out the campaign types described in Double the Donation’s peer-to-peer fundraising guide. Time-based campaigns and peer-to-peer giving days can inspire bursts of activity much like competition among your fundraisers.
5. Host an event to build a community of supporters
To extend the competitive aspect of your campaign beyond the online activity of your fundraisers, consider hosting a community event as part of your peer-to-peer campaign. Participants can compete among each other by collecting pledges from friends and family or participate in an athletic activity like a walk or run.
While most of your fundraising will likely happen online, a community event can benefit your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in several ways:
Your supporters meet each other in real life. An event can help create a network of supporters for your cause and encourage participants to donate or volunteer again in the future.
Your cause becomes associated with a fun activity. Events are memorable ways to communicate your organization’s message to new and returning supporters alike.
Event participants can contribute additional donations. If you’ve been using branded merchandise to encourage competition among your fundraisers, set up a merch table at your event to reward participants for additional donations made on the day of the event.
An event can provide structure and a timeline for your peer-to-peer campaign. Facilitate intensive donor activity by asking that contributors make their gifts by the date of the event. Your supporters’ excitement will increase as the day approaches!
Additionally, take advantage of social media capabilities for promoting your event and gathering an attendance estimate. From outdoor activities in spring and summer to the auctions and parties associated with holiday season giving, your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign will benefit your organization at any time of the year.
6. Thank your supporters to show your gratitude
Supporters who serve as fundraisers in your peer-to-peer campaign have gone above and beyond in their efforts to help your cause. Show them how much their work has impacted your organization by thanking them and all of the donors to your campaign.
Thanking contributors is a central component of sustainable fundraising practices regardless of campaign format, and contributors to a peer-to-peer campaign are likely to appreciate traditional printed or emailed recognition of their gifts.
However, because peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns utilize social media, take advantage of the ways in which online platforms can present opportunities for more public forms of recognition. Use your nonprofit’s social media presence to thank your fundraisers, and encourage them to recognize donors on the fundraising pages they set up for the campaign.
As your peer-to-peer fundraising effort comes to a close, remember that public expressions of gratitude may be a way to convert new donors into fundraisers for your next peer-to-peer campaign!
A peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is an excellent way to attract new donors through online platforms and encourage current donors to step into new roles as fundraisers for your nonprofit. Cost-effective and wide-reaching, a peer-to-peer campaign may be what your organization needs to transform its fundraising efforts.
Kelly Velasquez-Hague brings over 20 years of fundraising, nonprofit management, and sales/marketing experience to her role as the director of content marketing for OneCause. As a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Kelly manages all of the company’s content strategy and execution. She is passionate about empowering great missions and loves that her current role allows her to continue to help nonprofits reach new donors raise more funds for their cause.