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Peer support: How to successfully set up peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns

Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising is a great way to get multiple people involved in word-of-mouth marketing and donor engagement. Through this method, nonprofits connect with supporters to encourage friends, colleagues and family to give to a cause typically through an online event, in-person event or extended activity such as a walk-a-thon or read-a-thon. These supporters reach out to their social networks to encourage giving back to your organization (sometimes, this is referred to as social giving).

Your goal in leading these peer giving events is to provide easy-to-use content, links, documents, copy and support to those participating in the event. P2P event participants are not professional fundraisers which means they are looking to you for ideas and copy/paste content to help spread their messages.

How to launch a peer-to-peer campaign

First, what are you raising money for? Your organization as a whole? A particular program or service within your organization? Decide the timing, cause and goals for each P2P event. Then, get your technology in place.

  • Responsive platforms. Your website and any landing pages participants will use to communicate the event or campaign should be easily accessed on mobile devices.
  • Customizable giving pages. Your participants will need a place to tell their stories and gather funds. It should be easy for your supporters to customize their fundraising pages with why they are supporting the campaign while providing their friends and family with easy giving options.
  • Fun visuals such as thermometers to track funds raised or embedded videos that show off the goals of your campaign.

As you launch your campaign, provide videos and examples of what a giving page or landing page can look like, ideas for participants to communicate with their networks, and sample content, logos or other visuals that they can customize as they communicate to their peers.

How to support donor involvement

Get your best donors (and volunteers!) involved in a peer-to-peer fundraiser by offering different levels of support as needed.

  • Make it competitive. Everyone likes a little competition. Provide small incentives, gifts or milestone rewards for those who raise a certain amount by a specific date, those who exceed baseline goals or those who have the greatest number of individual givers as part of his or her network. Online leaderboards are another way to visually show success and build friendly competition between participants or teams.
  • Create FAQ resources, landing pages or handouts. Your participants will have questions that range from technical aspects of collecting funds and setting up fundraising pages, to due dates, communication and ideas for spreading the word. Compile answers to these questions before they’re asked and make it easy for everyone participating to find links to these FAQs online.
  • Create content around a personal event. Give your participants ideas on how he or she can turn a life event such as an anniversary, birthday, sporting event or memoriam into another way to encourage those in their social networks to give as part of this P2P initiative.

The role of digital media in peer-to-peer giving

Peer-to-peer giving is not new, but the introduction of social media platforms in the past 5-10 years has really paved the way for an increase in these types of giving programs. And, for participants that are short on time, these channels make it easy to solicit their networks and provide quick information and ways to give. Support your participants by providing templates and content they can copy/paste/auto-send to their networks.

Our Peer-to-Peer Giving Campaign Digital Content Cheat Sheet is a great place to start. This cheat sheet provides you with sample templates for campaign solicitation emails, thank you emails, Facebook CTAs, tweets and Instagram posts. Modify the ideas in this template and create a similar document for your participants.

Download your free P2P cheat sheet

As part of your role in supporting participants in a P2P fundraising event, create an event info landing page where these types of templates and copy/paste content and imagery can be found. Utilize email marketing and your own social media channels to connect with event team members or individuals participating in these giving campaigns with links to where they can find additional resources for support.

Get started with ideas from our Peer-to-Peer Giving Campaign Digital Content Cheat Sheet.

Keep the momentum going with your participants by sending out weekly email updates, inviting them to group Zoom meetings or brainstorming sessions, and encourage everyone along the way. The more information and ideas you can provide at the onset, the more successful your peer-to-peer giving campaigns will be.

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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