Technology Tips to Help Move Your Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Forward
Peer-to-peer fundraising virtual events and campaigns have already been gaining interest and momentum over the years. Today, these types of campaigns are more popular than ever as nonprofits take their in-person run, walk, ride and other challenge events online.
As you create and execute on virtual campaigns, remember that peer-to-peer fundraising is social by nature. So, it’s important to do all you can to make campaign participants and donors feel as if they’re part of a group.
The good news is that there are multiple technologies to help. Here are some ways that technology platforms and apps can help you maintain a sense of community in your virtual events, even when you can’t get together in person.
Must-Have Features and Functionality
Of course, your peer-to-peer fundraising platform should include basic capabilities to help participants feel as if they’re part of a group fundraising effort (but not all platforms do, so don’t take it for granted). These types of features and functionality include:
- Registration via social media credentials.
- The ability to create teams in addition to individual fundraising pages.
- Basic gamification elements, such as progress meters and fundraising milestone badges.
The "Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Landscape" can help you find the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform for your nonprofit. It includes details about features and functionality in 39 of the leading peer-to-peer fundraising platforms on the market.
Fitness App Integration
A great way to incorporate a sense of community in your peer-to-peer virtual event is to encourage participants to share their activity. Apps such as Fitbit, MapMyFitness and Strava allow participants to share how they are training for walks, runs, rides, swims, climbs and more.
Many platforms have integrated these apps into their platforms so that individuals can share their fundraising and fitness progress with their contacts. Platforms such as Funraisin, OneCause Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and TeamRaiser by Blackbaud offer fitness application integration.
Social Media Integration
Integrating social media into a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign can mean something different to each individual and each platform, so be sure to think through the needs for your specific campaign. For example, maybe you want to start simply by linking your campaign to your social media pages. This can be done natively in some peer-to-peer platforms or for free via third-party apps, including AddThis or ShareThis.
The next level of social media integration is to include default sample social media posts — such as “I registered for…” or “I supported…” — on the automated thank-you pages and emails you send out after someone registers for or donates to your campaign. Platforms such as OneCause Peer-to-Peer Fundraising take this approach a step further to display the social connections of other participants, donors and team members right on a participant’s personal fundraising page.
Speaking of social media: Whether you love or hate Facebook (there’s rarely an in-between), it’s hard to deny the power and success of Facebook Fundraising. Based on this success, many peer-to-peer platforms have added Facebook Fundraising integration. These platforms include Classy, Funraisin, GiveSignup, OneCause Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, QGiv and TeamRaiser by Blackbaud.
Getting donor biographical information for donations made via Facebook Fundraising is still a challenge, but at least the donations are applied to the participant’s personal fundraising goal within the campaign, as well as the overall campaign goal back on the peer-to-peer platform.
If your organization has a connection with the gaming community, it’s worth trying out livestream fundraising. The Tiltify peer-to-peer fundraising platform was the first to offer a true integration with the livestream platform, Twitch. Since then, several other peer-to-peer platforms, including DonorDrive and Funraisin, have added livestream fundraising to their integrations. Also, Blackbaud is in an early adopter program phase with some of its TeamRaiser clients, allowing participants to use the livestream platform of their choice within peer-to-peer campaigns.
Low-Cost and No-Cost Options
If you’re looking to move into the peer-to-peer fundraising virtual world for the first time, the good news is that you don’t have to sign your life away to give it a shot. There are several low/no-cost peer-to-peer platform options that do not require long term contracts.
For example, CauseVox, CharityWeb, Donately, Flipcause, FundRazr, Givebutter, GiveSignup, GivingGrid, Mightycause, Pledge It and Qgiv offer monthly or no contracts with no upfront configuration and low-processing fees. Using one of these options might mean you don’t have access to all of the cool tools mentioned in this article, but it can be a low-risk way to dip your toe in the water.
If you’ve been thinking about jumping in with a new peer-to-peer fundraising virtual event, or if you’re looking to take your virtual event to the next level, now’s an ideal time. The technologies you need are ready and waiting to help you succeed.
Mark founded Cathexis Partners in 2008 to help nonprofit organizations get the most from their existing technology tools, implement new technology to address gaps and find the best overall approach to using technology to support their missions. He previously served as director of IT consulting at a fundraising event production company focused on nonprofits.
Mark also serves on the editorial advisory board for NonProfit PRO, where he contributes monthly to his blog, “P2P Fundraising Essentials.”