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5 Effective Ideas for Better Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This guest post was contributed by OneCause and Joshua Meyer.

Fundraisers can take many forms. Several organizations take part in campaigns where they partner with retailer stores so that a portion of the proceeds go straight to them for a period of time.1 This is an effective and appealing campaign to run because it allows donors to shop as normal but also support an organization they care about. So, how else can donors support an organization they love?

In addition to campaigns like these, many organizations take part in peer-to-peer fundraisers. Peer-to-peer fundraisers also get your supporters involved in your cause and give them an opportunity to support you in creative ways.

Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign can be particularly beneficial for your organization because of how effective it is. This socially driven campaign calls on your supporters to fundraise on your behalf, allowing you to tap into new donor networks you might not have otherwise reached.

Here’s a general sense of how it works:

  • First, you set a campaign goal and create your main campaign page.
  • Second, you recruit your nonprofit’s supporters to create their own campaign pages.
  • Third, your participants share their campaign pages with friends, colleagues, and family.

But just because you decide to run a peer-to-peer fundraiser doesn’t necessarily mean your donation revenue will skyrocket just like that. In order to be successful, you need to pull together the right tools and resources so you can host a better fundraiser.

We’ve outlined some effective ideas that help you do just that:

  • Choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
  • Train your participants to fundraise.
  • Host an event as part of your fundraiser.
  • Add gamification into the mix.
  • Promote your fundraiser across multiple channels.

Take your next peer-to-peer fundraiser to new heights with these helpful strategies and boost your revenue as a result. Let’s get started!

1. Choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.

Aside from setting your ultimate fundraising goal, your peer-to-peer campaign2 starts with choosing the right platform. Your platform should allow you to manage your main peer-to-peer fundraising campaign page, as well as multiple campaign pages that your participants will create.

Using the best peer-to-peer fundraising software3 should let you:

Create an inspiring campaign page. If your platform supports additional content, like images and videos, you’ll be able to better communicate your story to those visiting your page while promoting your organization’s brand. Your participants should be able to relay their own connection to your organization on their individual pages, as well.

Track the progress of the campaign. Look for software that offers comprehensive reporting features so you can track your overall progress in addition to individual fundraisers’ success.

Integrate your data with your CRM. As you collect donations, you’ll be collecting important donor data. Your fundraising platform should integrate with your CRM so the information seamlessly flows into your donor database.

Choosing the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform can be a gamechanger4. Be sure to do your research and make sure the software you choose will fit your budget, scale with you as your organization and campaigns grow, and help you track your progress and data in a seamless manner.

2. Train your participants to fundraise.

Sometimes, the participants in your peer-to-peer campaign need some guidance and training so that they’re equipped with all the tools and resources they need to be successful.

Staying hands-on with your participants is a great way to keep them engaged and motivated. It’s also a general best practice to continue monitoring their success so you can step in and offer encouragement, if needed.

Here are some effective ways to prepare and engage with your participants:

Offer fundraising templates. Provide templates5 that your participants can use to contact their friends and family through social media and email. This will ensure you get your organization’s message across, but also allow them to add a personal touch to the content.

Provide training. Host in-person sessions, share training videos, and leverage other educational materials to make sure your participants understand how to use your peer-to-peer fundraising platform. Your platform should already be easy to use, but it’s still helpful to provide instructions, especially for those who might not be as tech-savvy.

Acknowledge successes. Be sure to update your supporters on your campaign’s overall progress and recognize those who are doing well. People like to be recognized for their hard work, so encourage them to keep going!

Motivate your participants. Keep your participants motivated throughout the campaign and look for opportunities to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for them.6

Encourage those who need extra help. For those who need some additional motivation or aren’t collecting as many donations, be sure to offer additional support and be readily available for assistance.

By providing sufficient training and showing your participants that you appreciate all the work they’ve put into your campaign, you will reach a much higher engagement level and boost your fundraising results. Keep your participants motivated and involved, and you’ll set them up for success!

3. Host an event as part of your fundraiser.

Some of the most successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are successful because they are tied to an event. When you host an event to kick off your fundraiser (or as the grand finale!) you can boost engagement among your supporters and your fundraising participants.

Here’s how an event can help maximize your campaign’s fundraising potential:

It evokes a sense of urgency in your supporters. When the deadline to donate is the day of your event, this can spring donors into action to contribute or raise as much as possible before time runs out.

It can boost revenue through Ambassador Fundraising. During an Ambassador Fundraising campaign7, ambassadors are chosen from your organization’s top and most prominent supporters to raise funds and encourage people to attend your event, such as a gala, auction, or golf outing. Then, at the event, the fundraising culminates with a winning ambassador being selected.

It brings together your community. Planning events like a walk-a-thon8 or a 5K race is an excellent way to bring your community together and rally them behind your cause. Unite everyone with a common fundraising goal and have fun in the process!

Events are effective, impactful, and totally worth the planning and organization necessary to make them successful. By leveraging events alongside your peer-to-peer fundraiser, you can have valuable in-person interactions with your supporters and maximize your results.

4. Add gamification into the mix.

Another exciting way to make for a better peer-to-peer fundraiser is incorporating gamification strategies. Gamification uses game-like elements to keep participants involved and motivated. After all, who doesn’t like a little friendly competition?

Some examples of gamification include:

Leaderboards, to show the leading participants and the amount they have raised during your campaign.

Badges, to award to participants when they reach a certain milestone or achievement.

Fundraising thermometers, to put your progress on display and encourage more giving.

You can even amp up the stakes by offering rewards like gift cards9 to the highest fundraisers. Your peer-to-peer fundraising platform should offer these gamification features so you can leverage them throughout your campaign.

It’s important to treat your participants as you would your staff. Just as you’d reward your organization’s employees10 for a job well done, you should reward your participants for the work, time, and energy they put into your fundraiser. After all, they're just as important to your cause!

5. Promote your fundraiser across multiple channels.

Of course, one of the most essential elements of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is promotion. Without sufficient promotion, your fundraiser won’t go nearly as far as it could.

Leverage your CRM to segment donors based on their preferred communication platforms. This way, you’ll be sure to reach them on the platforms they’re actively using. From there, you can encourage your participants to market across all of these channels, and even provide specific templates they can use for each one. This includes:

Social media

  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Phone calls
  • Word of mouth

While social media and email are certainly more common marketing methods for peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, more traditional methods like direct mail can also be incredibly effective. The more you cross channels, the more likely you are to appeal to a wider range of donors.

Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign takes a lot of organization, but with the right platform, you can streamline your entire process, from training your participants to hosting events and adding gamification elements. Pair this type of fundraiser with other campaigns11 and you’ll be sure to reach your fundraising goal!

If you’re looking for additional information about peer-to-peer fundraising or any of the other topics discussed in this article, check out the links below:

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