Are you struggling to find new donors? If so, peer-to-peer fundraising is a perfect fundraising strategy for you to try out this year.
With peer-to-peer fundraising, donors raise money on your behalf by leveraging their personal networks. This strategy encourages your supporters to engage with each other and their friends and creates further awareness for your nonprofit by spreading your mission to new audiences.
Here are a few tips and best practices for hosting a successful peer-to-peer event.
1. Come up with an exciting fundraising event idea.
In order to attract fundraisers to participate in your campaign, you first need to come up with an exciting theme to build your fundraising event around. If you’re not sure what kind of event to host, think about what your donors all have in common. Do many of your donors own pets? Are your supporters artistic? Do they love music? Also, think about your mission. Are there event ideas that you can come up with that tie into it?
Once you’ve identified those things, design your peer-to-peer event around one of those interests or areas. You could turn seasonal activities like 5k races or walk-a-thons into an engaging event.
2. Gamify your fundraising event.
Keep your fundraisers engaged with your peer-to-peer campaign by gamifying your event. Encourage your fundraisers to start and join teams to compete for fundraising badges like the top fundraising team and the team with the most donors.
Help everyone keep track of where they stand by adding fundraising thermometers and live donation updates to your website. For example, A Gift for Teaching used a fundraising thermometer and leaderboard on their 2021 Back-to-School Drive webpage to drive donations and keep fundraisers updated on the latest status of their fundraising campaign. Check out their website and the image below for inspiration.
3. Use branded donation pages.
Studies show that branding your donation pages and creating event-specific graphics will increase your donations significantly.
For example, donations made on a branded donation form are, on average, 38% larger than contributions made through a generic PayPal page. Supporters are also nearly 70% more likely to give a second donation if they made their first donation on a branded page.
4. Promote your peer-to-peer event on social media.
In addition to branding elements, your donation pages should also include things like social sharing options so fundraisers and donors can share the pages with their friends and family members.
Including hashtags on your posts is an easy way to organize any social media activity related to your event. Come up with a short, unique, and easy-to-remember hashtag for all of your fundraisers to use when they’re sharing about your event online.
To make things fun, consider hosting fun social media challenges that your supporters can complete under your hashtag. Check out City Year Philadelphia’s Giving Tuesday campaign for an example of a quick and easy social media challenge that kept their donors engaged.
5. Prepare your fundraisers.
One way to set your organization up for success is to educate your fundraisers and provide them with the resources they need to create an engaging donation page and make effective appeals.
For example, Qgiv uses welcome quests to help fundraisers get started, introducing them to the world of fundraising and providing them with important insights on how peer-to-peer campaigns work. To encourage social sharing, you’ll also want to provide them with sample posts and any resources (videos, etc.) that you created for the campaign.
6. Encourage your fundraisers to set personal goals.
Once your fundraisers create their pages, have them set a personal fundraising goal. Once they’ve established a goal, encourage them to make the first donation themselves to get the ball rolling. This will further let friends and family members know how committed they are to your cause.
7. Engage your fundraisers.
Make sure your fundraisers are all on the same page by regularly communicating with them. Email campaigns are an easy way to reach almost all of your supporters. Send out emails to participants who haven’t met their goals with tips and tricks for attracting donors, and congratulate and thank fundraisers who are exceeding their goals.
If you and your supporters prefer a more direct communication method, you can send text messages. Give your participants a short code and keyword that donors can text that will take them to a donation page. You can also send out general updates on how much money you’ve raised so far and how they can help you reach your goal.
8. Have a plan to retain new donors.
If they’re unfamiliar with your cause, your new peer-to-peer donors are typically more invested in supporting one of your participating fundraisers than in your mission. So, how do you turn a virtual stranger into a long-time supporter of your nonprofit? It all comes down to your donor retention strategies.
When someone gives to your peer-to-peer campaign, make sure their information is captured in your donor database. After your campaign has concluded, stay in touch by sending them relevant, personalized communications about the work you do and future fundraising campaigns they can support.
Don’t forget to send a personalized thank you email after each donation! Take this opportunity to educate your donors by including information about your organization’s mission and the impact of their donation.
Another way to increase your retention rate is by asking the donor to turn their one-time donation into a recurring donation. Be careful with this method, as being too aggressive can lower your retention rates. Rather, find ways to gently ask donors to upgrade their one-time donation with nudges or ask your fundraisers to suggest that their donors turn their gifts into a recurring gift.
From organizing a peer-to-peer event to finding ways to keep your supporters engaged and invested, there’s a lot to stay on top of throughout your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. However, with a little creativity and a few fun ideas, your peer-to-peer fundraiser can be a wild success.
If you’re looking for more ways to take your peer-to-peer fundraiser to the next level, explore these additional peer-to-peer fundraising resources:
Tiara Stephan is a Content Marketing Specialist at Qgiv. She’s a writer by trade and a passionate supporter of nonprofits by nature. When she's not typing away at her keyboard for hours, you can find her dancing (if you can call it that) at concerts, drinking copious amounts of English Breakfast Tea, and daydreaming about traveling the world.