If your nonprofit is considering a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you’ve probably read all sorts of articles about the money it will earn for your organization.
It’s an incredibly effective fundraising strategy. Peer-to-peer fundraising works like this:
First, your nonprofit creates the main campaign page through the peer-to-peer fundraising software platform they’ve invested in.
Next, supporters make their own campaign pages, personalizing the fundraising appeal based on their experiences with your nonprofit.
Then, these supporters share their campaign pages. Their friends and family donate to these pages and your nonprofit’s campaign becomes more successful.
How nonprofits benefit from peer-to-peer fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is more than just a single campaign to raise money. It’s a tool that nonprofits can use to enhance their long-term strategies. We’ll get into some of the lesser-considered, long-term benefits of hosting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for your nonprofit in this article.
Ready to learn more about how your nonprofit can make the most of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns? Let’s dive in.
1. Acquiring new donors
One of the major advantages of peer-to-peer fundraising is that it helps organizations acquire new donors. It uses social proof, which is a powerful tool for appealing to new supporters.
Social proof refers to the trust supporters feel as they give to their friend’s campaigns. Consider this: are you more likely to trust an organization and want to contribute if you know someone close to you also trusts and contributes to it? The answer is probably yes. This is social proof.
Because peer-to-peer fundraising relies on your supporters reaching out to their networks of friends and family to contribute to your cause, it’s a great way to leverage the power of social proof.
When you launch a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, be sure to:
Invest in a software solution that allows your supporters to add a personal touch to their fundraising pages. This strengthens social proof.
Have an effective way to collect data from new supporters during the campaign. Adding them to your donor database is essential for long-term fundraising and retention.
Make sure supporters can share their campaign pages on social media, by email, or on other platforms where their networks can easily access it.
Once you’ve collected the newly acquired donor data from your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, save it to your donor database and reach out to those new donors to get them further involved in your organization.
As we mentioned earlier, make sure your nonprofit allows supporters to share their fundraising pages on social media. When they do so, they’ll also draw attention to your organization’s social media pages.
If people see that their friends and family are supporting a specific organization, they may want to learn more about the nonprofit before contributing. If they see your campaign on social media, the most convenient place to start researching your organization’s services is directly from that media platform.
In order to effectively build up your social media following, you’ll need to make sure your profiles are optimized before the campaign starts.
Before your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, make sure to:
Include your mission statement on your social media pages
Post pictures that accurately represent your mission
Promote current or upcoming campaign opportunities
Use up-to-date branding on your page
Post frequent updates—at least once per week
Because social media is frequently how your supporters connect with their networks of friends and family, it should also be how you expect those people to connect with your organization.
Entice these new supporters to like your pages. Then, even if they don’t give funds straight away, you can market your nonprofit to them further on this platform and encourage them to contribute in the future.
3. Hyping events
Peer-to-peer fundraising is especially effective when leading up to events. These campaigns don’t only raise money for the event, but they also spread awareness and boost your attendance levels.
This is especially effective when your event software works hand-in-hand with your peer-to-peer fundraising platform. When the two are connected, you can more easily streamline data from one platform to the other and reach out to your peer-to-peer donors with invitations to the event.
Peer-to-peer fundraising can help your nonprofit hype events in a few different ways:
Fundraisers spread the word about the event as they raise funds.
Fundraisers spread brand recognition. As people continue to research your organization, they’ll find all your other event marketing materials.
As new donors give to your organization, your nonprofit can contact them about the upcoming event and invite them specifically.
Plus, when your nonprofit includes peer-to-peer fundraising on your event planning checklist, you’ll raise more funds to support the event. One option is to use these funds to help pay for the event itself. However, we recommend adding it to the amount of money you raise at the event, especially if your event’s goal is to raise as much money as possible. In this case, you can congratulate your donors and participants on their hard work and present them with a higher fundraising total.
4. Spreading brand recognition
Because your supporters are reaching far and wide to fundraise for your nonprofit, peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to increase brand exposure and spread brand recognition for your organization.
Brand recognition comes primarily from the visual attributes you use. While it’s great for everyone to know your mission and what you’re all about, the first step to this is ensuring people can identify brand elements as specifically yours.
Make sure the peer-to-peer fundraising software you use allows supporters to customize various elements of their campaign pages while maintaining unchangeable brand identity elements.
Some of these major attributes that your nonprofit should include on fundraising pages include:
Your nonprofit should focus on keeping these elements consistent from one digital resource to another. For instance, every page on your website should use these visual attributes as well as your fundraising pages, donation page, and more.
Positive brand identity can be a huge advantage when it comes to instilling an element of trust in supporters and prospects. They’re more likely to trust the digital giving platform if they see your logo and already trust your nonprofit, which in turn makes them more comfortable providing their credit card information.
5. Empowering donors
Donors who are able to fundraise for your nonprofit are essentially ambassadors for your cause. This helps them feel closer to your nonprofit. Think about it: when you help someone accomplish something, do you automatically feel closer to that person? The answer is probably yes. The same is true for your nonprofit’s supporters.
Helping your nonprofit raise money by participating in your peer-to-peer campaign further develops the relationship supporters have with your organization. Some tips to help develop this relationship include:
Track the personal details. Fundraisers frequently include a personal note on their fundraising pages about your nonprofit and what it means to them. Tracking the details about this connection can help you better understand each supporter’s motivations. Save this information in your donor database along with your other donor analytics.
Leverage gamification strategies. Leaderboards and fundraising thermometers show your supporters how much of an impact they’ve made toward your goals and provide a goal they can aspire to. This increases engagement levels your supporters have with the campaign and, by extension, your nonprofit.
Reach out after the campaign. When your campaign ends, don’t let that be the end of your engagement with campaign donors. Solidify your campaign engagement levels by reaching out to your dedicated fundraisers after the campaign ends. Thank them for helping your nonprofit and give them insight as to what impact they’ve made for your cause.
Relationship-building is key for nonprofits to retain supporters over time. It helps your fundraising team earn more and save more.
Your nonprofit earns more by building relationships because you’re able to cultivate donors to higher and higher giving levels. Plus, this provides an indication of donors with an increased affinity to give when it comes to raising money during larger campaigns.
Relationship-building also helps you save because the more your donor retention rate increases, the less you need to worry about reaching out to new donors. It’s much less expensive to convince donors to give again than it is to convince new supporters to give that first contribution.
Try peer-to-peer fundraising at your nonprofit
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great resource to raise money for your nonprofit, but it’s also so much more. When you have a well-thought-out fundraising campaign, you’ll see a whole slew of new benefits—these are just some of them. Conduct your campaign to see what it can do for your nonprofit.
Leigh Kessler is VP of Marketing and Communications at donor management software platform CharityEngine and a frequent speaker on branding, fundraising, data and technology. He is a former nationally touring headline comedian and has appeared on numerous TV shows including VH1's "Best Week Ever," CNN's "Showbiz Tonight," Discovery Channel, and Sirius Radio. He has overseen and informed research and branding strategies for some of the most well-known brands in America.