The Tools Your Nonprofit Needs To Boost Its Peer-to-Peer Success in 2021
Over the past couple of years, the peer-to-peer fundraising world has been turned on its head. In-person events — like walks, runs, rides and other fun things we used to do in real life — had to be canceled or turned into virtual campaigns. Some legacy virtual campaigns saw a reduction in fundraising. And today, new hybrid campaigns and events are coming to the forefront.
While these changes have caused angst for many nonprofits, there’s a bright spot — organizations are requiring more robust software functionality to ensure virtual and hybrid campaigns connect as deeply with participants and donors as in-person events. In response, peer-to-peer software vendors are offering more tools for organizations and participants to engage in richer and more meaningful ways.
Let’s look at some of the types of platforms and apps on the market today and how they can help your organization run successful peer-to-peer campaigns in today’s changing world.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Platforms
The peer-to-peer fundraising software platform is the foundation for supporting your campaign/event participants. Today’s platforms can allow participants to do things, like:
- register for the campaign/event
- create teams, in addition to their own individual fundraising pages
- set and track fundraising goals
- reach out to their contacts via email, social media and, in some cases, SMS/text to ask for donations
- feel rewarded and have a sense of friendly competition through gamification elements, such as fundraising progress meters and milestone badges
There are dozens of these platforms available, and the market is evolving rapidly. For example, platforms, such as Givebutter and GivenGain, have gained momentum in the space by providing simple-to-use, low-cost options. Acquisitions continue to change the playing field as well. This year alone, EveryAction acquired SalsaLabs and GiveGab, resulting in the company adding new peer-to-peer platforms to its product portfolio.
The bottom line is that there are too many platforms to list in this article, and the list keeps changing. But your platform is the foundation for your peer-to-peer fundraising activities, so be sure to take the time to create a list of requirements and thoroughly research your options to find the right software platform for your nonprofit.
Social Media Fundraising
Some peer-to-peer platforms, such as Blackbaud TeamRaiser and OneCause Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, integrate directly with Facebook fundraising. Others connect via third-party apps, such as Boundless Fundraising by Charity Dynamics.
Regardless of how your platform integrates, you will receive only minimal information about the donors that come through Facebook. But there are solutions for this challenge, too. Tools like GivePanel and GoodUnited help you build relationships with your Facebook supporters.
And here’s another important thing to know — other social media platforms have grown their user bases and their fundraising features. For example, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube all offer fundraising options.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
When it comes to your peer-to-peer campaigns, your participants and donors are key to driving the funds that help support your mission. That’s why it’s important to include participant and donor voices whenever possible to highlight the great things they are doing.
Having user-generated content gives you a great way to allow your participants to share their thoughts and ideas. Social media content aggregators, such as Curator, Juicer, Taggbox and Tintup, help you organize and display your participants’ social media feeds. They also offer simple-to-use widgets to drop onto your campaign websites.
Campaigns, such as Extra Life from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, have had huge success using the Twitch livestream tool to take UGC to new levels by having gamers livestream their gaming while collecting donations along the way. And this type of fundraising isn’t just for gamers.
Artists and other talent — such as musicians and chefs — can do their own thing, and viewers can donate without interrupting their viewing. Consider livestreaming your next event and including fundraising functionality in the onscreen frame so that people can support your participants and campaigns from wherever they are.
These days, our smart phones know where we are even when we don’t. That’s why apps like LetsAllDoGood employ geolocation and push notifications to enhance peer-to-peer participant engagement. Just imagine having your participants at the one-mile mark and telling them to stop in to one of your sponsor’s locations to get a discount on products or services, or pointing out that a left turn is coming up and to not continue on straight into traffic — you get the idea.
If your virtual event is physical, integrate fitness apps like Fitbit, MapMyFitness or Strava into your peer-to-peer platform to help participants share how they are training for the event. Be sure to include instructions in the participant toolkit on how to use the apps to share their activity on their personal fundraising pages and via social media. Kilter helps automate all of this by allowing supporters to use their favorite fitness app to dedicate their health and wellness activities to the missions that matter to them.
If you’ve been thinking about jumping in with a new peer-to-peer fundraising virtual event, or you’re wanting 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.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the September/October 2021 print edition of NonProfit PRO as “Tools of the Trade.” Click here to subscribe.
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, “Nonprofit Tech Matters.”