Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Primer For Nonprofits

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a method of fundraising that leverages your supporters to fundraise on your behalf. It’s also known as social fundraising, personal and/or team fundraising, or p2p fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to get new donors and reach new networks of people.

peer-to-peer fundraising page

E.B. White’s novel Charlotte’s Web could be considered an example of peer-to-peer fundraising in literature. Charlotte saves Wilbur’s life by spinning promotional messages on her web. She gets help from friends like Fern and Templeton. I notice that although the characters rally around Wilbur, the story isn’t about Wilbur.

Likewise with your campaign. Your cause is noble and compelling, but the banner won’t carry itself. Fundraising is way of getting the resources you need to scale your social impact. Peer-to-peer fundraising happens mostly at the grassroots, and is one of the most social forms of fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising catapults your supporters and donors in your organization’s narrative; it is powerful and increasingly popular because the fundraisers become the heroes of the story.

Download your peer-to-peer fundraising planning guide below:

What are the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a power technique that features three main benefits:

  • Builds Upon Existing Relationships: Traditional fundraising—grantwriting and major donor relations—requires significant investments of time and effort. It takes time to earn their trust and cultivate relationships with them. Peer-to-peer fundraising helps scale relationship-building by tapping into your current supporters’ respective networks—their friends, family, and colleagues.

  • Multiplies Impact of Limited Resources: As a nonprofit organization, you’re all too familiar with the challenge of working within time and resource constraints. peer-to-peer fundraising helps you make the most of what you already have by raising up an army among your current supporters. These advocates are your organization’s booster squad; they’ll augment your ongoing fundraising efforts by raising funds on your behalf – and in some really creative ways.

  • Grows Awareness Organically: When your tribe of advocates champion your cause and raise funds, they’ll start with their family, friends, and colleagues. As they do, they’ll spread the word and share your story and along the way, which will carry your message and mission to new audiences in one of the most effective forms of marketing—word of mouth.

What types of peer-to-peer fundraising are there?

Peer-to-peer fundraising comes in many forms. Marathons and birthdays are common backdrops but almost any event or occasion that’ll bring people together are great ways to fundraise via peer-to-peer fundraising.

Here are a few common types of peer-to-peer fundraising.

  • Campaigns: Campaigns run for a fixed period of time and have an overall fundraising or impact goal. Fundraisers participate by setting a personal fundraising goal towards the overall goal.

  • Personal Event/Challenge: These fundraisers center around milestones, such as a birthday or graduation. They can also be a personal challenge such as climbing a mountain, or growing some form of facial hair.

  • Activity: These are activities such as marathons or walkathons for which participants fundraise in order to participate.

How do I start peer-to-peer fundraising?

Getting started with peer-to-peer fundraising is easy; it’s a fairly even blend between art and science.

Here are a few ways to begin:

  • Be Creative: Your fundraiser should be fun, engaging, and reflect the personality of your nonprofit – the possibilities are endless. For example, if your nonprofit focuses on education, brainstorm school-themed events.

  • Set Up Your Platform: Create an online fundraising site to serve as a hub for your fundraising activity and for your fundraisers. This central platform is where your fundraisers can draw from in telling your organization’s story and how their story connects with yours. This is also the place where everyone keeps track of overall progress and fundraisers can form teams thus fundraise collaboratively.

  • Coach Your Fundraisers: The great thing about peer-to-peer fundraising is that you coach your team of advocates; you’ve drawn up game plans, and even identified the captains among your team. They’re the ones who are scoring the touchdowns; you’re there to guide and cheer them along the way. Delegate and empower them by giving them pointers and tweaks to their performance.

Download your peer-to-peer fundraising planning guide below:

How CauseVox can help with peer-to-peer fundraising

With CauseVox, you create a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that integrates seamlessly with your website or brand. Our online software gives you an easy and affordable way to launch a campaign, run an event, or set up ongoing personal fundraising.

  • Reach new donors with the power of peer-to-peer fundraising: Empower your supporters to raise funds through personal & team pages for your run/walk, challenge, or event.
  • Create mobile-optimized donation pages without IT or a designer: Launch annual fund, giving day, or capital crowdfunding campaigns that match your nonprofit’s brand and website.
  • Streamline online fundraising & reduce your workload: Offload back-office tasks like reporting and receipting, so you can focus on spending more time with your donors.

Join thousands of fundraisers using CauseVox today!

This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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