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An Introduction to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

An Introduction to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Social media has revolutionized the way we raise money, stay engaged with our current donors, and cultivate new donors. Peer-to-Peer fundraising is a great way to accomplish all of this at once.

Friends of your supporters: your untapped resources


If you’re a social-media-savvy Development Director of a nonprofit, you’re probably posting pictures of volunteers to your organization’s Facebook, announcing new fundraising campaigns, and occasionally sharing a compelling story. Basically, you’re blasting content to your supporters to make sure they don’t forget to send you their checks every month. However, you’re not tapping into your supporters’ networks--their friends, parents, aunts, cousins, colleagues, or alumni groups. These are potential donors for your organization! It’s time to extend your social media reach by raising money from your supporters’ networks with peer-to-peer fundraising.


What is peer-to-peer fundraising?


Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as “team fundraising” and “personal fundraising,” is a low-cost and creative method of fundraising that gets your current supporters involved in raising money for your organization. While some peer-to-peer fundraising occurs between friends over coffee, or family at Uncle Frank’s barbeque, it’s largely accomplished online, particularly through social media. Here’s how it works: your board member, Kelly, creates a custom, online personal fundraiser on behalf of your organization and then announces the fundraiser to her peers via email, Facebook, Twitter, text message, LinkedIn, and any other platform she uses which will include the link to her fundraiser. Kelly’s peers may not even know your organization, but they love Kelly and want to support her in everything she does, so they follow the link and end up donating to your organization through her personal fundraiser.


Perks of starting a peer-to-peer fundraiser


  • Anyone can do it--current donors, board members, staff, volunteers, local businesses, and students.
  • Your current donors will feel more engaged, which can increase loyalty and spark a greater passion for your organization’s mission.
  • It’s highly profitable: since it’s mostly online and conducted by supporters, your donor database will grow without you having to spend much money. According to some estimates, nearly one-third of all online donations last year were made through peer-to-peer fundraising. Makes sense, considering roughly 90% of people report that they are more receptive to tips coming from friends and family than to any other form of marketing.


How to get started


It is crucial that your organization’s leadership team effectively empowers its supporters to raise awareness for causes and to start their own fundraisers. Without intentionally inspiring and coaching your donors to these ends, you’re not going to raise much money, so be sure to keep your supporters armed with fresh, inspiring content to share with their peers about their favorite cause, and How-to articles that teach them how to raise funds.


Since peer-to-peer fundraising largely takes place online, make sure your website is up-to-date, visually pleasing, and has links to your organization’s social media. Your current donors, board members, and other fundraisers should be able to easily start a fundraiser directly on your website, where their peers can easily stay onsite to donate money. If your fundraiser redirects them to another website, like PayPal, that donor will probably just be a one-hit-wonder. Allow these new donors to fall in love with your organization by taking a look at what else is on your website once they’re done donating.


The very best peer-to-peer fundraisers are successful because they’re integrated with modern online fundraising & CRM software. You’ll be generating a lot of new donor information, so it’s best if your website has the capability to automatically record all of this information into your CRM database for you.


If you'd like more information about peer-to-peer fundraising, please download our guide, which goes into greater detail on how peer-to-peer fundraising works, as well as how to best implement social media with your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.