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Case study: Successful virtual P2P fundraising with Family Promise of Gwinnett

The mission of Family Promise of Gwinnett is to mobilize communities and congregations to help end homelessness one family at a time. As one of 200 affiliates of Family Promise National, this local affiliate has been in operation for 18 years, serving families experiencing homelessness.

Successful graduates of Family Promise of Gwinnett’s programs find jobs (or better employment and housing anywhere between 30 to 90 days of signing on. One of the biggest fundraisers for this organization is Night Without a Bed which came out of the COVID-19 pandemic as a virtual peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraiser developed by Family Promise National.

Similar to a walk-a-thon, Night Without a Bed solicits fundraisers to ask others to support the cause and raise money on behalf of Family Promise with the guise that each fundraiser would then sleep without their bed for a night. However, Carol Love, executive director of Family Promise of Gwinnett, didn’t feel her target donors would be up for sleeping without their beds, so she put a twist on the event.

“We gave every fundraiser a goal of $500. So, they could sign up to be willing to sleep without a bed with the goal to raise $500. Once they achieved that goal, they got to sleep in their own beds.” In the first year, Family Promise of Gwinnett raised a little over $50k and they have been successful in a variety of ways with this event through the years.

View our full interview with Carol Love and learn how one fundraiser took this peer-to-peer campaign to the next level with his ‘leveled’ asks raising a total of $12,000 during his second year of the campaign.

Interview with Carol Love of Family Promise of Gwinnett

Key takeaways

Communicate and recognize

Family Promise of Gwinnett used a variety of methods to help fundraisers spread the word about this event and tell the nonprofit’s story.

  • They made a video that explained the cause, making it easy for fundraisers to share via email and social media
  • They held monthly volunteer coordinator meetings and assigned liaisons to their congregation partners to let them know what was going on
  • They found a company that matched funds raised and featured them on social media, in their newsletter and named them as a “presenting sponsor” throughout the year
  • They provided examples of social media posts to fundraisers
  • They developed top donor recognitions such as trophies, shout-outs in the newsletter and a celebratory cookout

Know your donors

One of the great things about how Family Promise of Gwinnett establishes successful P2P campaigns is that they know their target donors—and they are not always the same. That is why they have three different P2P events that target different audiences/fundraisers to get the most out of all their audiences.

They knew they needed to find fundraisers who are passionate about their cause and then support these fundraisers as they went out and used their networks to bring awareness to the cause and help raise funds to support it. For the Night Without a Bed event, these were older donors and board members. For their golf event and bed race event, these were an even different set of donors.

Use your board

Family Promise of Gwinnet used the Night Without a Bed P2P campaign as a way for them to engage their board in fundraising. Using 4aGoodCause as a platform made it easy—their board members could share information and landing pages on social media, via email, etc. Each board member was expected to raise $1,000. Giving them a goal helped keep everyone on the same page and sparked encouragement (and a little bit of competition!)

Outline timing

For this event, Family Promise typically starts with a save-the-date about 3 months prior to kick-off. Once the P2P starts, fundraisers have one month to raise funds before the culminating Night Without a Bed event. A shortened timeline helps keep up the motivation and excitement—and each year they’ve been successful in raising between $40k and $50k in one month’s time!

Additional advice for nonprofits thinking of virtual P2P fundraiser

We closed our interview with Carol by asking her what she would say to small and mid-sized nonprofits starting peer-to-peer giving for the first time. “If you’re starting to do it for the first time, 4aGoodCause gives great instruction. Also, get out and talk to some of your supporters, board members, etc., and encourage them – find those core people who are passionate about the cause and trust that this will happen. Believe in your cause; the impact they are making in the community will last for generations.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, a simple and effective fundraising CRM that specializes in earning recurring revenue for nonprofits through monthly giving. For 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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