When you work in the nonprofit field, fundraising is a non-negotiable activity. Whether you love fundraising, find it draining, or are somewhere in the middle, you’re probably excited to learn about new ways to fundraise that are fun, efficient, and effective. Today, we’re going to talk about peer-to-peer fundraising, which is all three!
This article will discuss:
We’ll also share peer-to-peer fundraising tips, important information on peer-to-peer fundraising software and peer-to-peer fundraising platforms and provide examples of effective peer-to-peer fundraising communications. Let’s dive in!
What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a fundraising strategy that allows your organization’s supporters to raise money on your behalf. During the course of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your supporters reach out to their friends, family members, and social network to share information about your nonprofit and solicit donations.
Today, organizations with a dedicated supporter base and a good marketing plan who utilize peer-to-peer fundraising can expect to meet their fundraising goals, gain new supporters and make an even bigger impact on the community they serve.
What are the Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?
Peer-to-peer fundraising has several distinct benefits that set it apart from traditional fundraising strategies. No matter the size of your organization or the cause you represent, peer-to-peer fundraising can help you meet your financial and community-building goals.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising helps you reach new donors and grow your base of supporters. Often, an organization’s donors or supporters are individuals who have a direct connection to the organization or the cause. When you introduce peer-to-peer fundraising, you’ll be reaching people outside of that circle and raising awareness and support as you raise money.
- New donors are more willing to give to people they know and trust. When a potential donor stumbles upon your fundraiser, they’re much more likely to give or get involved if the person who is sharing and talking about it is someone they already know and trust. This built-in credibility can help you raise more money by encouraging donations from first-time donors.
Your supports will feel personally invested in the outcome of the fundraiser. When your supporters are working hard to raise funds on your behalf, they’ll be much more engaged and excited about helping you reach your goals than if they were to simply write a check or make an online donation.
What types of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns are Possible?
- Raffles, a fundraising type in which donors purchase chances to win prizes or prizes, are very compatible with peer-to-peer fundraising. In a peer-to-peer raffle fundraiser, supporters sell raffle tickets on behalf of the organizations. With individualized and personalized fundraising pages, it’s easy for supporters to share why they care about your organization and raise money by selling tickets to their friends, families, and social networks.
- When your organization is running an A-thon, a fundraising type in which donors pledge support to participants based on a certain activity (think: walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon, read-a-thon, bake-a-thon, etc.), supporters can share the a-thon with friends and families to raise money on your organization’s behalf.
- Events can be as varied as the organizations that host them. Events can be online, in-person, or a hybrid that includes both online and in-person activities. A peer-to-peer fundraising event allows supporters to sell tickets to the event or to solicit donations from their own personalized fundraising page.
- Sales can be a fun way to raise money by selling either merchandise branded to your organizations like T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs or any other items that their supporters and donors are interested in buying. In a peer-to-peer fundraising sale, your supporters will be able to sell items on your behalf to their friends, family, and social network.
- Sweepstakes, like raffles, allow supporters to enter for a chance to win a desirable prize or prizes and can easily include peer-to-peer strategy. In a peer-to-peer sweepstakes fundraiser, supporters sell tickets on behalf of your organization.
- During a peer-to-peer crowdfunding campaign, supporters set up personalized fundraising pages and solicit direct donations on behalf of your organization. Peer-to-peer crowdfunding campaigns are a remarkably simple way to raise money and awareness for your organization without having to spend money upfront to purchase prizes or sale items or to pay for the costs associated with an event.
How do I prepare for my peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?
As you’re planning your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you’ll need to ensure that you have a well-thought-out marketing plan. An effective marketing plan will help you make the most of your campaign. An effective marketing plan will include:
- A goal: Before you launch your campaign, you’ll need to think about your goal. Do you want to run a year-long campaign that will fund a major project or initiative? Or perhaps meet a smaller but more time-sensitive financial need? As you think about your campaign, consider your goal and work from there.
- A campaign type: Peer-to-peer fundraising is an excellent strategy to maximize the impact of any campaign- you’ll still need to determine what sort of campaign is the best fit for your organization and your donors. As you consider what sort of campaign you want to run, you’ll want to think about whether you have desirable prizes to offer if you have supporters that enjoy the community-building aspects that a-thons and evets can offer, and what sort of time and staff talent you can direct towards your campaign.
- A soft launch: It’s always better to start your fundraising campaign with some money already raised. As you plan, consider who your closest circle of supporters are and engage them to donate during the soft launch. This ensures that your fundraising thermometer is not on zero when you ask your supporters to start fundraising on your behalf.
- A communication and support plan: We’ll talk more about your communication and support plan later, but it’s important to know that you’ll need to have one if you want to ensure that your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is successful. Your communication and support plan will likely need to include both communications that you’ll send directly to your supporters as well as communications that they can copy and paste to share with their potential donors.
- A publicity plan: No fundraising marketing plan is complete without a plan for publicity. Well, before you launch your peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll want to think through how you’ll spread the word about your campaign. For many organizations, this can include press releases, media coverage, celebrity or influencer mentions, or shout-outs from local businesses and establishments that are connected to the organization.
A plan to recruit your supporters: Recruiting supporters is a key step in ensuring the success of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Your supporters will be the ones raising money on your behalf, so you’ll want to recruit as many as possible and help them understand the vital role they’ll play in your campaign.
How do I set up my peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?
Choosing the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform is important. RallyUp makes it possible for any-sized organizations to create powerful, customizable campaigns, for free, in just a few clicks. With RallyUp, creating your fundraising campaign is simple, and most people can do it in less than ten minutes. To create your campaign, you’ll simply create an account at RallyUp.com and follow the on-screen directions. After selecting your campaign type and enabling peer-to-peer, you’ll add all the images and information you need to make your campaign stand out. With RallyUp, you can customize:
- The order of the sections on your Experience page.
- The colors that appear on your Experience page.
- The fonts that appear on your Experience page.
- The logos and images that appear on your Experience page.
- The URL of your Experience page.
- The tax receipts and thank you email that are sent to donors.
Customizing your fundraising experience is an important way to let your donors know your story and encourage them to give. RallyUp makes customizing simple and fast!
How do I recruit my supporters?
If you want to have a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you’ll need a core group of supporters who commit to raising money on your behalf. As a first step, you’ll want to reach out to all your active donors. An email appeal that lets them know about the campaign and calls them to participate can be effective.
In your email, let your donors know that you appreciate all that they’ve done for your organization in the past. Share the “why” of your peer-to-peer campaign (do you have a new project you’re hoping to fund? Do you need to serve more individuals than in years past? Have you formed new partnerships that demand more resources to make a change in your community?) and share the basic details of what they’ll do.
You’ll also want to be sure they know that you’ll support them as they fundraise, so sharing the ways you’re going to make it simple for them to raise money on your behalf is important.
Your email appeal might look something like this:
We’re writing today because we want you to be the first to know about our First Annual Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding Campaign. The First Annual Crowdfunding Campaign will help us get one step closer to ensuring that no child in our community will ever go to bed hungry.
The last year has been tremendously challenging for families, and we’ve seen a 46% increase in the number of families seeking regular food assistance. The funds you help raise through our First Annual Crowdfunding Campaign will allow us to expand our weekend meals program and send every hungry child home with a backpack full of food for the weekend.
The First Annual Crowdfunding Campaign is going to be a lot of fun: we’ll have prizes, incentives, and lots of ways to help you activate your network to give. We’re counting on you to take a step towards a more equitable community. Will you fundraise with us?
To sign up and receive access to a full easy-to-use fundraising toolkit, go to (website.) We’re so grateful for the support you’ve shown in the past and look forward to walking with you this summer!”
After you reach out to your existing donors, you’ll want to start spreading the word more widely. May organizations have success spreading the word and recruiting crowdfunding participants via the following channels:
- Social media.
- Local newsletters.
- Local event round-ups through the newspaper, news stations, or websites.
- Sororities, fraternities, and alumni groups.
- Aligned professional organizations.
- Other nonprofits that work in the same area or with the same population.
- Businesses and corporations with aligned strategic giving initiatives.
- Former volunteers and donors.
- Individuals currently or formerly served by the organization.
How do I support my supporters?
Recruiting your supporters gets them to sign up but supporting them ensures they stay engaged the whole campaign through.
You’ll want to ensure that the individuals raising money on your behalf feel valued and important and that the experience is simple and rewarding from the moment you invite them to the close of the campaign. To do this, you’ll want to come up with a support plan that anticipates when supporters may have questions and ensures they’re receiving information exactly when they need it.
A good supporter toolkit should include:
- A post calendar that tells supporters exactly when to post.
- Complete posts for social media that align with the post calendar.
- A FAQ sheet that answers common questions they may have bout the organization and about the fundraising campaign.
As you plan your supporter toolkit, you’ll want to think about how long your campaign will run and the different points at which you’ll want to support your supporters. For a shorter campaign, you can send the toolkit as a single downloadable document with instructions on when and what to post. For a longer campaign, you’ll want to send supporters emails that prompts them to post at set intervals throughout the life of the campaign. Each email that you send should include a campaign update, some encouraging words, and clear instructions on their next steps. Here are some sample social media posts that could be sent to supporters to copy and share at different points in the campaign.
First post, to post on the day of the campaign launch:
Hi friends and family!
This month I’m going to be raising money for a cause I care a lot about: The Small Town Family Fund. The Small Town Family Fund provides families across our state with essential items like food, home goods, and self-care products. They also help families get back on their feet after personal challenges or tragedy strikes. Throughout the month, I’ll be share a little bit about what The Small Town Family Fund does and why the organization means so much to me. I hope you’ll read, share, and donate!
Mid-campaign post, to post at the campaign halfway point.
Hi friends and family!
Today I’m going to be sharing a fun fact about The Small Town Family Fund. Did you know that this year alone, The Small Town Family Fund has provided over $100,000 of direct support to families across our state? That’s $100,000 of food, home goods, and personal care items that families would have had to do without if not for The Small Town Family Fund. I’m excited to be supporting an organization that does so much good in our area this year on Giving Tuesday, and I hope you will be too!
Campaign-close post, to post the day before the campaign closes.
Hi Friends and Family,
This month so many of you have given to an organization that brings so much positivity to our community. Every dollar you’ve given will go directly to help families in need. If you have not given yet but still want to, hurry; today is the last day that you can donate through my link. I look forward to seeing how much we were able to raise for The Small Town Family Fund!
Are you ready to get started?
Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is a fun, effective way to raise the money you need for your organization. If you’re ready to get started, all you need to do is create an account, customize your campaign and enjoy watching your marketing plan come to life!