Peer-to-peer fundraising can be a savvy way to raise more money while empowering and educating your supporters. This method of fundraising encourages your current supporters to participate in your organization’s fundraising efforts.
As a result, peer-to-peer fundraising can help you magnify your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts and impact while attracting new supporters to your cause. But, a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign takes some planning and preparation to set yourself up for success. For example, finding the right peer-to-peer fundraising software for your nonprofit that will automate most of the work and will help fundraisers easily create campaign pages to fundraise for your cause.
Whether you’ve never heard of peer-to-peer fundraising or you’re a professional peer-to-peer fundraising planner, this article is chock-full of peer-to-peer fundraising tips and best practices to learn from! In this article, you will learn:
Bonus Resource –
By the end of this article, you’ll find yourself motivated and equipped to plan your own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign!
Peer-to-peer fundraising encourages your supporters including donors, volunteers, board members, friends, and family to actively participate in fundraising efforts. Instead of simply donating, a peer-to-peer participant becomes an active fundraiser for your organization. It multiplies your organization’s awareness and support, boosts engagement, and helps enrich your donor base. This can actually turn out to be the most effective way to raise money for your nonprofit and boost donations by unleashing the fundraising power of your best supporters.
But it does involve some key steps to be truly successful. In the age of social media, peer-to-peer fundraising takes consistency, trust, and follow-through. After we explain the ins and outs of peer-to-peer fundraising work, we’ll discuss some tips and ideas to help your organization grow!
Crowdfunding is a method for encouraging a large crowd of people to come together and donate money within a specific period of time to help meet the overall fundraising goal of an individual or an organization. For example, if your church wanted to host an event or someone needed funds to go on a trip, they could use crowdfunding to ask for donations to achieve that goal. Typically, a crowdfunded initiative includes a web page with the call to action, “Donate.”
Peer-to-peer fundraising differs from crowdfunding in a few ways. The main difference is peer-to-peer fundraising is a larger-scale version of crowdsourcing. It is a mass of many peer campaigns, connected to your original fundraising campaign, helping you spread the word to a wider range of people and raise money from untapped sources. It has the ability to increase donor/volunteer engagement, reach further networks, and achieve higher goals.
Here is our blog post where we closely compare the two fundraising methods.
Simply put, both crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising should be parts of your fundraising strategy. But peer-to-peer fundraising has the capacity to multiply the impact of a single crowdfunding campaign (or a fundraising campaign) in all possible ways.
The biggest benefit of peer-to-peer fundraising is the level of impact it can bring to your organization. Peer-to-peer fundraising can help in the following ways:
Peer-to-peer fundraising mostly relies on resources you already have – namely, strong relationships and passion. Just add in an easy-to-use, affordable fundraising platform like Donorbox and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in no time! It will take only toggling of a switch to enable peer-to-peer fundraising and you can invite your friends and family, volunteers, and donors right from the tool.
Ongoing/ rolling peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are self-motivated by the fundraisers, giving the participants the power to choose what best works for them. Some fundraisers benefit by having the opportunity to drive their own train and appreciate the flexibility of timing. But the major fallback of this option is a potential loss of steam.
A peer-to-peer campaign like the one below has a button at the top to encourage visitors to fundraise for the cause. Those who click it are guided to create their own campaign pages and start fundraising. This can be a good way to push the idea forward to your supporters.
Time-specific peer-to-peer fundraising efforts are usually spread over the course of a few weeks or even months. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns with a set time period are a great way to provide a beginning, middle, and end. Creating a powerful beginning by drumming up excitement, then having a midway check-in with fundraisers will help keep them engaged. Planning an end event is a thrilling way to finish the race and give your cause some urgency!
This campaign creates a sense of urgency among fundraisers and donors with an end date to their original peer-to-peer campaign.
Giving days are ambitious but can be great for organizations that love a challenge! Typically, the giving day will require a substantial amount of education and awareness beforehand so participants are ready and eager when the day comes. Giving days are quick, fast-paced ways to reach your fundraising goals.
Check out this peer-to-peer fundraising campaign created during Giving Tuesday 2021 by the High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program. You can check every peer fundraising campaign associated with this by scrolling down and clicking the fundraisers’ names.
As you have learned above, peer-to-peer fundraising can be very effective and fun for everyone!
Before we break down the steps for you, here’s a bonus resource to help you get started right away.
In this Donorbox webinar, Jena Lynch, the Nonprofit Advocate at Donorbox, discusses the ways to create a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with Chris Hammond and Brittany LaGanke from Corporate Giving Connection. Their expert views and tips will enable you to harness the power of peer-to-peer and ensure success for your campaigns.
Let’s have a look at this 4-step process:
What is your event? Who is taking the lead? What type of event do you want to plan? By ironing out all of your details, you will not only manage stress levels internally but also ensure a trusting relationship with your fundraisers.
Pro tip: While planning your event, be mindful of the other ways your organization will be fundraising throughout the year. Thinking ahead can help you inform potential donor fundraisers, choose the best volunteer fundraisers, encourage participation from others in your network, and build excitement.
Selecting a peer-to-peer fundraising platform gives you the flexibility to be creative with your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. With no contracts or startup fees, Donorbox is great support for short-term and long-term campaigns! Here’s an example of a peer fundraising campaign for your reference.
Pro tip: Being selective of your software will be instrumental in the success of your nonprofit’s peer-to-peer fundraising. Donorbox lets you quickly enable peer-to-peer fundraising for your new and existing campaigns on the dashboard. You can invite potential fundraising participants from the tool and they’ll receive email invitations for creating and customizing their own donation pages on Donorbox.
Schedule time to inform the participants, allow for questions, and reinforce the mission. Compile and distribute the tools your fundraisers will need to accomplish the goals. Take time to train your fundraising participants on the peer fundraising platform you’ve chosen to reduce the chances of confusion later on.
The resources you provide your fundraisers could be anything from a simple email template for them to customize to a package of materials to host their own event. Be sure you and your team have thought through the task you are empowering your fundraisers to complete so you are equipped to assist them along the way!
With fun events or active challenges on the horizon, sometimes the true purpose can get lost. Remind everyone involved what they are working towards. Be sure to remind all participants of your organization’s story and include it on all materials – handouts, speeches, and especially landing/donation pages!
The above 4 steps constitute the basic process once you decide to step into peer-to-peer fundraising. With Donorbox’s peer-to-peer feature, starting the campaign is a task done in a few minutes. Donorbox offers a simple-to-set-up platform for peer-to-peer campaigns. All you need to do is:
Here’s a screengrab of the peer-to-peer feature button on your Donorbox dashboard. It’s literally this easy to set up!
Turn your best supporters, volunteers, board members, friends and family into advocates of your cause in simple steps and through an automated process on Donorbox. Watch this insightful webinar here to understand the Donorbox peer-to-peer fundraising feature, quickly learn the steps, and know how to run an engaging campaign with some great peer-to-peer fundraising ideas.
Although peer-to-peer fundraising can seem to be a bit labor-intensive, the outcomes are worth it! Below, we’ll dive into the 5 best peer-to-peer fundraising software platforms.
Donorbox’s peer-to-peer fundraising feature is simple to use, packed with storytelling potential, and maximizes your campaign efforts with great add-ons. It only takes toggling of a switch on your campaign dashboard to get started.
Some key features that are specific to Donorbox peer-to-peer fundraising –
Pricing: Donorbox is free to start with and there are no monthly fees. We charge a nominal platform fee of 1.5% on your parent campaigns and 2.95% on your child campaigns. Stripe and PayPal’s payment processing fees (2.2% + 30¢) will also apply. But you have an option to ask your donors to cover these fees. Check out more about our peer-to-peer pricing here.
Gofundme is a popular online fundraising tool. Most often Gofundme is used to raise money for personal projects, trips, or a more specific goal in a smaller, more crowdfunding-like method.
Key Fundraising Features:
Pricing: Free plans charge a 1.9% processing fee plus 30 cents per transaction. Flex plans charge a 3% platform fee, plus a 2.2% processing fee and 30 cents per transaction. View pricing details here.
Boost your matching gift efforts with Double the Donation to allow donors and organizations to easily learn about and collect matching gifts from employers as part of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Donorbox integrates with Double the Donation to offer you an all-in-one peer fundraising platform.
Key fundraising features:
Pricing: The Premium plan costs $499 per year. For organizations with more than $25,000 in annual matching gift revenue, pricing starts at $3,000 per year. See all pricing info here.
OneCause is an event fundraising platform offering mobile bidding and auctions, text-to-give, and peer-to-peer fundraising.
Key fundraising features:
Pricing: OneCause provides custom pricing for each organization based on their needs. View plans for online fundraising.
Key fundraising features:
Pricing: Mighty Cause offers the Essentials plan for $69/month (or $59/month if billed annually) and the Advanced plan for $119/month (or $99/month if billed annually). View details for both plans here. Processing fees also apply.
Read more about choosing the best fundraising platform for your nonprofit in our blog post here.
While unique, out-of-the-box events may be fun, be mindful when selecting a campaign. If the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign story connects fundraisers and donors with your organization, your message will ring louder and stick longer.
This is a good time to think about your audience! Think about the people in your network and the people you would like to add to your network. These days, many people are engulfed in busyness. Activities that people want to participate in, that give them a rest from “being busy” or provide a sense of purpose, are the most successful.
Creating labor-intensive processes or strenuous activities are less likely to be followed through as they create more stress on your participants’ already stressful lives.
Pro tip: Excite your team of fundraisers by dividing them all into shorter teams. Give them each a name to make it more fun. This will help them feel more involved, engage with each other, and create strategies for meeting their fundraising goals. Whichever team raises the most money for your nonprofit, reward them with some benefit or gift. With this concept of team fundraising, every time you’ll offer a more engaging peer-to-peer experience for your donor and volunteer fundraisers.
Easy-to-build, straightforward landing pages or text campaigns make peer-to-peer fundraising easy! People learning about the organization are more likely to follow through and join the efforts if the donation and sharing process is a breeze. Once your nonprofit has selected a peer-to-peer campaign or project, you’ll want an easy, on-brand donation form for fundraisers and donors to participate.
Pro tip: Allowing fundraisers to participate virtually can be a convenient way to allow them to share via social media! Read more about running a successful online fundraising campaign here. Your hybrid fundraisers can also benefit from peer-to-peer fundraising. Involve both your online and offline attendees and donors beforehand, provide updates and necessary materials, and reward them on the day of the event for their fundraising efforts.
Take notes about what works, what doesn’t work, and the why behind both. Learn from your past efforts and the efforts of your peers. Successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are built on peer feedback. Listen to your participants and ask them how their experience has been with the chosen peer fundraising platform. This will help you make better decisions.
Pro tip: By listening to your participants, you not only make them feel empowered but you also learn how to improve and make the process easier for them which leads to a win-win situation!
There are more ways to bring your peer-to-peer up to power and it’s an ongoing effort. Keep your message crisp and your fundraisers informed! We cover 11 best practices to make your peer-to-peer campaign a total success in this post.
Also, watch our video series on best practices for your peak peer-to-peer performance.
Peer-to-peer fundraising can be a game-changer for your nonprofit fundraising efforts, more so with the right and effective ideas that can charge up your campaigns like never before. So, while you dive into the 6 best ideas we’ve written down here, also give this quick, visual resource a watch for more inspiration.
Consider activities that your network enjoys or that relate to your organization. Read-a-thons are a great way to involve all ages. Run/walk/swim-a-thons can help promote healthy habits. This method can also create friendly competition between each fundraiser to encourage reading more books or swimming more laps.
This method can also create friendly competition between each fundraiser to encourage reading more books. You can also create different reading teams, set a reading goal for each, and encourage team fundraising to boost engagement within teams and make fundraising more fun for your donors and volunteers. You can get creative with the themes, too.
Challenges can be a fun way to encourage fundraisers to participate virtually. For example, the Ice Bucket Challenge for the ALS Foundation encouraged participants to post a video of themselves pouring ice water over their heads and passing the baton by “challenging” their friends to follow suit. The Extra Life campaign encourages video gamers to play games for a cause!
Symbolic gestures are a good way to involve people by asking them to change an aspect of their lifestyle in a symbolic way. Movember encourages participants to grow out their mustaches for the month of November. The End It Movement encourages participants to mark a red X on their hands. Both of these gestures raise awareness and open the door for conversation in addition to fundraising.
Not empowering your top donors, supporters, or clients to participate in fundraising is a mistake you don’t want to commit. They can be the faces of your peer-to-peer campaign. You can trust them to represent your organization while giving them the power to tell their story. This strengthens your relationship with them and ensures they’ll continue to be a part of your mission in days to come.
Pro tip: Be sure you are thorough and communicative about the guidelines so they have some instruction to help your organization maintain consistency while allowing them to include their uniqueness.
Event management peer-to-peer fundraisers are a great way for people who love to participate in more hands-on ways. Create a handbook that includes activities and talking points to guide the fundraising host. Or consider a box of materials to give the fundraiser to provide swag items, decorative banners, or information materials to provide for the attendees.
A good example is the American Red Cross Blood Drive Scholarship. Each participant receives a handbook educating how to host a blood drive with helpful tools and tips for success.
By giving the fundraiser helpful materials, you are making the process less intimidating and more impactful.
Like a-thons, creating a specific event on a specific day managed by your organization helps fundraisers participate with less effort. A good example of this is the AIDS Vaccine 200 which encourages participants to raise money for their individual cycling rides without the hassle of hosting an event of their own. Relay for Life is another very successful example that encourages teams to come together, participate, and share experiences.
Event-specific peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are a much simpler, yet hands-on way for fundraisers to get involved!
Dig deeper into different peer-to-peer fundraising ideas and convert that inspiration into action! Our goal is to bring all the right tools and resources to help you get there. Here’s an example of a peer fundraising campaign page created on Donorbox. It’s simple and powerful! Head over to our blog post on the complete list of peer-to-peer fundraising ideas.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to engage your network of supporters, acquire new donors, boost donations, and raise awareness! Not only that, you’ll be raising more donations as compared to a simple online campaign or even crowdfunding (you never know!). With some brainstorming and planning, plus an easy-to-use peer-to-peer fundraising software – you’ll be hosting your campaign in no time!
Get started with your peer-to-peer fundraising donation platform in just 15 minutes – with no set-up fees, no monthly fees, and no contract! Sign up now.
You can check out our blog for nonprofit tips and resources.
We’re going to answer some of the commonly asked questions on peer-to-peer fundraising.
One way to encourage participation in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is to create friendly competition between the fundraisers.
Friendly competition is a great, encouraging way to push goals to the limit. By incentivizing the competition, you are likely to receive more engagement. The incentives can be social media shoutouts, gifts, or other forms of public recognition!
We may be biased, but Donorbox has it all! It lets you create customized donation pages with simple donation forms and more features for your fundraisers. With low fees, no contracts, and customizable options – Donorbox is a perfect fit for any and all of your peer-to-peer fundraising ideas.
According to Peer to Peer Professional Forum, the top 5 successful peer to peer fundraising programs in 2020 were: