Oct 16, 2020

Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Right for Your Nonprofit?

You know how crucial your supporters are for your nonprofit to live out its mission. They are your lifeline! Now, imagine if your supporters not only contributed to your cause but helped raise funds on your behalf. Sound too good to be true? 

Welcome to Peer-to-Peer fundraising. 

Peer-to-Peer is a rapidly growing fundraising method in the nonprofit sector—and for good reason: when done right, it’s incredibly effective! There are a few things to consider before launching your first Peer-to-Peer fundraiser. Determine if your nonprofit is ready to begin a Peer-to-Peer campaign by learning everything you need to know to get started.

Keep reading for a brief overview of Peer-to-Peer. . .

  • Definitions and examples
  • Stats and standards
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Assessment questions
  • Action steps

Demystifying Peer-to-Peer

One-third of all online donations are now made through Peer-to-Peer fundraising. Even though this type of fundraising has become one of the most popular ways to reach donors over the past decade, many people still have no idea what it is or how to incorporate it into their fundraising strategy.

You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of Peer-to-Peer or feel unsure how to use it. Over 45 percent of nonprofits do not engage in, do not have the resources to perform, or are unsure of what Peer-to-Peer fundraising is.

You’d be surprised to find how easy and effective Peer-to-Peer can be once you understand how to leverage its strengths and create a plan to make it happen. 

What is peer-to-peer fundraising? 

Peer-to-Peer fundraising (P2P) is a fundraising method where supporters raise funds from their own networks on your behalf (Think: birthday fundraisers on Facebook).

P2P can take on many different forms:

  • P2P teams - family, friend groups, businesses, or schools rallying together
  • DIY P2P - “do it yourself” events where supporters create fundraisers that aren’t connected to a specific event or appeal your charity is doing (e.g., birthday fundraiser)
  • P2P with livestream - individuals or groups raising funds for an online fundraising event
  • P2P with in-person event - golf teams, gala tables, or endurance event participants raising funds during a fundraising event
  • P2P with a challenge - individuals or groups participating in a challenge and challenging others to participate, usually to raise awareness (e.g., ALS ice bucket challenge)
  • P2P during a campaign - an additional component to a digital fundraiser or year-end campaign
  • #GivingTuesday P2P - individuals and teams raising funds for you on December 1st

Pros of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Everybody loves a little friendly competition! P2P allows your supporters to challenge one another to raise the most funds for your cause. This engages donors in a new and dynamic way that improves relationships between nonprofits and their supporters. In fact, retention rates for P2P participants are as high as 25.1%!

P2P also fosters a sense of community for social change, bringing together like-minded advocates for your cause and widening your supporter base. Plus, P2P can be done year-round, so you can continue to build all-important social proof.

Don’t underestimate the power of social influence. Peer-to-Peer fundraisers rank as the number 1 tactic that has prompted donors to give to charity. In fact, 39% of Americans say they’ve donated to a charity based on a request from a friend or family member. 

Cons of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

There are a few limitations to P2P to keep in mind. 

First, there is an educational component to overcome. You need to teach fundraisers how to use your giving platform to be successful in raising funds for your charity. Other fundraising strategies, such as direct mail or events, don’t require this.

You also need to consistently motivate fundraisers to go out there and advocate for your cause. For most, asking friends for donations is scary! Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to give supporters the boost they need to start fundraising. Just make sure you provide everything they need to get started and keep them in the loop as the campaign goes on. 

Did you know that campaigns raise three times more when they update supporters by email every five days?

Lastly, make sure you have a platform that can run P2P and hold on to information from donors. Unless you make it easy for fundraisers to raise support on your site, you risk losing valuable donor data. Roughly two in five participants are using Facebook to solicit donations, where data is not provided to charities.

How Do You Know If Peer-to-Peer Is Right For Your Nonprofit? 

Here are some handy questions to help you assess if P2P is right for your nonprofit:

  • Do you have a recognizable brand?

This makes it easier to share your campaign and build hype around it.

  • Do you have an engaged supporter base who’d be willing to raise funds on your behalf? 
  • Do you have the right fundraising platform to successfully manage P2P? 
  • Do you have a specific amount or need to raise funds for?

Giving increases by 35% when there’s a goal tracking visual, like a thermometer, attached to the campaign.

Action steps

  • Consider if P2P is right for you with the questions above
  • Make a list of P2P pros and cons for your charity
  • Assess your team’s bandwidth, technology, and budget for a P2P campaign
  • Assess platform options to implement easy-to-use P2P campaigns

See Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser Take Off With Givecloud

Launching a new type of fundraiser can be intimidating, but we believe in you, World Changer! Here at Givecloud, our mission is to help nonprofits minimize cost and maximize donor engagement. That’s why we’ve built one easy-to-use tool to meet all of your fundraising needs.

Anxious to start your own P2P campaign? Givecloud is one of your many options to build an engaging P2P fundraising experience.