Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Making the Most of Your Campaign
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful social giving tool, and many nonprofits take part in it. As an ever-growing form of fundraising, enhanced by wider networks of donors, it’s an excellent strategy to use to meet your fundraising goal.
What Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?
Essentially, peer-to-peer fundraising is when a nonprofit recruits its supporters to fundraise on its behalf. The nonprofit sets up its main campaign page with an established fundraising goal, then provides training to its participants so they can set up their own individual campaign pages.
From there, the participants each share their campaign pages with their own network of friends and family, and your campaign begins!
While it seems like a simple process, strategy is still important. Without following certain tips and guidelines, you may not raise as much as you need.
Here are the strategies we’ll discuss that can make your campaign successful:
- Your platform
- Campaign support
- Wrap around and ambassador events
Your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign can bring in tons of revenue you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Are you ready to take a closer look at how you can make yours the best possible? Let’s get started!
1. Your Platform
A large part of making the most of your peer-to-peer fundraiser is using technology that can drive it forward. That’s why it’s important to invest in a platform that offers features that will allow you to engage with your participants and your donors.
For example, your platform should offer:
- Customization. You want to create a campaign that’s completely your own and one that highlights your goals. Your peer-to-peer campaign page should represent your organization’s mission and brand.
- Social sharing. Allow your participants to quickly share their campaign pages across social media. This makes it easy to spread awareness and encourage donations.
- Integration with your CRM. As people donate to your campaign, you’ll be collecting important donor data. If your peer-to-peer fundraising platform integrates with your nonprofit CRM, all the data you collect will seamlessly flow into your donor database.
The platform you choose should also be secure and scalable, so that you can continue to use it in the future. Choosing the right platform now will save you headache in the long-run and will also help you boost your fundraising potential all-around!
The main purpose of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is to expand your network of donors. You want to connect with others through a shared support of your cause.
But how can you successfully do that if you don’t connect with them on a personal level, too? That’s where storytelling comes into play. Communicating your nonprofit’s story in an effective and compelling manner will inspire donors to give and stay involved.
Your participants can take part in this, too. By highlighting their personal connection to your cause, they can encourage their friends and family to contribute. Try out these strategies to tell an effective story:
- Connect to your mission. Who are your beneficiaries? How are you impacting the greater community? Explain why you do what you do and the ways in which your organization helps.
- Highlight the impact. Show donors how their contributions can impact the community. Help them understand where their donation goes and what it will be used for.
- Use multiple channels. Diversifying your promotional efforts will help you reach even more people with your story. Use social media and email, as these are common marketing methods, but also incorporate traditional methods like direct mail. The more people you reach, the more appeal you’ll have.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is growing substantially. Now is the time, more than ever, to highlight your nonprofit’s stories and establish meaningful connections with your supporters. The more connections you make, the more successful your current and future campaigns will be.
3. Campaign Support
Of course, having a robust platform and a compelling story won’t get you far if your participants don’t know how to leverage them. Offering support to your participants will set them and your campaign up for success. In fact, many participants may have no fundraising experience at all.
In order to make your campaign as effective as possible, try out these ways to offer training and ongoing support to your participants:
- Training materials. Virtual training sessions, in-person meetings… you name it! Provide plenty of opportunities for your supporters to get to know your platform, your mission and your goals. From there, they’ll have a great foundation from which to work!
- Templates. When your participants share their campaigns via social media and email, it’s good practice to provide templates they can use, so that you know the pertinent information is getting across. This also gives each participant an opportunity to tweak and personalize the template to add their own connection to your cause.
- Ongoing support. Some participants will out-perform others. For those who need a little encouragement, offer additional support and resources they can use. But for those who are excelling, be sure to recognize them and show appreciation for the work they’re doing, too.
Providing the proper training will keep your fundraisers confident in the task they’re carrying out, and it will also help you drive more revenue toward your goal. Treat these participants as you would your staff — they’re an important part of your campaign and should be recognized as such!
One of the most effective ways to make the most of your peer-to-peer fundraiser is through gamification tools. Gamification encourages friendly competition among your participants and inspires them to go further. Your fundraising platform should offer these tools, so you can take full advantage of their uses.
Here are a few examples of gamification you can try:
- Leaderboards. Leaderboards showcase your top participants and the amount they’ve raised. Who doesn’t want to see their name listed up there?
- Fundraising thermometers. Fundraising thermometers display the amount you’ve raised and the milestones you’re still trying to reach. When you get close to these milestones, this can encourage donors to continue giving and your participants to keep boosting their campaign pages.
- Premiums and matching donations. Offer a period of time as you accept donations where donors can get a small reward for donating. If a company or generous donor has offered to match donations, be sure to promote this as well!
- Rewards. Present rewards to the highest fundraisers to enhance the excitement around your cause. Incentives can be very effective this way, so put some careful thought into what you offer.
Gamification can inspire your supporters to put their best effort into your campaign. By rewarding your high-performing fundraisers and using visual gamification tools, you’ll positively influence their level of participation and drive the revenue you need to succeed.
5. Wrap Around and Ambassador Events
Peer-to-peer fundraisers work extremely well with events. Pairing a fundraiser with an event is a great way to tie your campaign together, recognize your participants and supporters, and have fun, all at the same time!
There are many ways you can get creative with your events. From recognition speeches to smaller wrap-around events (which are managed by teams and individual participants), try out these creative elements to make both your campaign and event successful:
- Ambassador Fundraising. Ambassador fundraising takes social fundraising up a level. It’s a form of peer-to-peer fundraising that is used in conjunction with galas, auctions and other large events. Essentially, your nonprofit’s top supporters become active fundraisers, and at your event, the fundraising culminates with a winning ambassador being selected.
- Recognition. Carve out a portion of your event to devote to recognizing your peer-to-peer participants. Showcase your fundraising thermometer for everyone to see how much you raised and attribute the results to your hardworking participants. Showing appreciation goes a long way!
- Deadlines. Make the date of your event the deadline for your participants to finish fundraising. This will evoke a sense of urgency in your participants and encourage them to finish out strong.
- Merchandise. Set up a merchandise table at your event (and hand out merchandise to fundraisers who hit certain milestones) as an extra way to raise money.
Your event is the culmination of all the hard work you and your participants have put into your peer-to-peer fundraiser. Be sure to make the most of it! Recognize your participants (and your donors), and highlight the difference this campaign is going to make in achieving your mission.
Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.