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How to harness the power of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns

Two people talking to each other with a laptop in front of them.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns have become an increasingly popular strategy for nonprofits in recent years. This approach involves supporters raising funds on behalf of a nonprofit by reaching out to their family, friends, colleagues, and others in their network. 

Think about peer-to-peer fundraising as a ripple effect: One person connects their friends, which expands into reaching those friends’ social circles, and so on. Not only does it allow nonprofits to expand their donor base; it also enables them to engage with their existing supporters in a more personal and meaningful way. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how to build and optimize your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in order to achieve success. 

1. Create a dedicated campaign page

Although peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns utilize personalized donation pages for your supporters, your nonprofit’s website is still the go-to source for all information about your cause and fundraising goals. For this reason, start by creating a dedicated and compelling peer-to-peer fundraising campaign page on your website. That way, all visitors to your website can easily find key information about your initiative.

Important elements to consider adding to this page include:

  • Your nonprofit’s mission statement: Explain how your fundraising goal contributes to your nonprofit’s overall mission by helping donors understand how their giving makes a real difference for advancing your cause. Be sure to also share how the populations you serve stand to benefit.
  • Examples of your nonprofit’s work: According to Snowball Fundraising’s guide to peer-to-peer fundraising, nearly 40% of Americans attributed their charitable donations to fundraising requests from a peer or family member. Inspire your volunteers and donors with compelling examples and real stories of how your nonprofit makes a difference in the community.
  • Transparent impacts: To build trust and establish credibility with prospective donors, highlight the measurable outcomes of your programs and your commitment to transparency. You might show this by sharing relevant awards or certifications, such as your Candid Seal of Transparency.
  • Recurring giving option: Research shows there are many benefits to providing options for donors to give regularly, including 42% more giving each year. You can benefit from this approach by presenting donors with the option to give regularly and making the sign-up process easy. 
  • Thank you page: Once donors contribute to your campaign, be sure to show your gratitude for their support after a donation has been submitted. After all, saying thank you for their generosity can go a long way towards building lasting donor relationships.

Once you’ve created your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign page, you can begin to mobilize your fundraising advocates to help raise awareness and support for your cause with their peers.

2. Help peer-to-peer fundraisers spread the word

To find and recruit peer-to-peer fundraisers, look to your past volunteers, frequent donors, fundraising event attendees, and other active supporters of your nonprofit. Explain how they can help advance your nonprofit’s mission by participating in your fundraising campaign. 

Once fundraisers have committed to supporting your efforts, think about how you can help equip them to tell your nonprofit’s story in their own words and prompt their peers to give to your cause.  Provide them with the tools, resources, and fundraising tactics they can use to advocate for your campaign with their own networks. These include:

  • Donation page guidance: Make it easy and intuitive for fundraisers to set up individual peer-to-peer fundraising pages that will resonate with their peer networks. Consider empowering them to personalize portions of their page to allow their personal connection with your nonprofit to shine through. 
  • Promotional advice: 42% of donors giving is due in part to hearing a story from someone a nonprofit has helped. So, be sure to provide your fundraisers with human stories, talking points, and other collateral describing your nonprofit’s mission-driven work. That way, they can use these materials when communicating with their networks to encourage their peers to donate to your campaign.
  • Updated information: Keep your fundraisers up-to-date about your campaign’s progress, milestones reached, and key outcomes achieved. As you meet fundraising goals, launch new projects, or make important decisions, it’s best to keep everyone on the same page. 
  • Tips on fundraising channels: Suggest fundraisers use your nonprofit’s most effective ways for reaching your current supporters and driving donations. For example, if your fundraisers tend to be more receptive to letters requesting donations, it’s likely their network of peers may also prefer to be contacted in the same fashion. Take it a step further by creating templates and toolkits that fundraisers can use to share information about your campaign on key channels like mailings, social media, email, SMS messaging, and more.

Enabling your fundraisers to authentically convey the real-world impacts of your nonprofit’s mission-driven work with their peers can unlock significant support and donations for your fundraising campaign. 

3. Thank your campaign’s fundraisers for their support

Thanking your peer-to-peer fundraisers for their support and acknowledging the outcomes they helped your nonprofit achieve is a key aspect of a successful fundraising campaign. Not only does expressing gratitude create a sense of community and teamwork among peer-to-peer fundraisers, but it can also encourage them to continue supporting your current and future fundraising efforts.

As your campaign draws to a close, upon achieving a key milestone, or another important update, consider showing your fundraising campaigns original supporters your appreciation by:

  • Sending an email. According to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics, 55% of donors in the United States prefer to be thanked for their contributions via email. Think about sending a personalized email that includes specific information about each supporter’s fundraising results, such as how many people contributed to their donation pages.
  • Posting on social media. Who doesn’t enjoy being acknowledged for the positive impacts of their charitable contributions? Publicly celebrating your fundraisers on social media, your website, or newsletter can help invite your entire community into the recognition. It gives an opportunity for staff, volunteers, and other supporters to express their gratitude, appreciate your fundraisers for their efforts, and help increase the odds of sustaining their ongoing support.
  • Leveraging direct mail. Handwritten letters or cards are among the most personal ways to thank your supporters. Show them how much you care by sending direct mail with a note that specifically lays out what they accomplished and how that furthers your mission.
  • Giving a gift. Branded merchandise in particular is a great gift to send supporters since they’ll likely enjoy representing your brand. Not to mention that receiving a tangible gift can help them feel extra appreciated in today’s digitally-dominated world. 

Remember to highlight the importance of your fundraisers’ contributions to your campaign by showing your gratitude for the results of their support. This public acknowledgment can further strengthen your relationship with your current fundraisers. An added bonus is that their network of peers might also even be inspired to get in on the action.

Partnering with your nonprofit’s fundraising advocates can grow your audience of potential donors and supporters. In this way, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns can not only act as a collective catalyst for expanding awareness and support for your cause. They can also transform into a ripple effect, bringing in increased waves of donations to help you advance your nonprofit’s mission.   


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  • Max Harris says:

    April 8, 2023 1:40 pm

    Lots of good suggestions there. For direct mail thanking sending handwritten cards or notes can be very impactful. To make this process easier you might want to check out (we have nonprofits pricing). It lets you automate the process by integrating it with your CRM or other software or apps. Or it can help you with one-off projects and custom cards.