Peer-to-peer Fundraising

How to host a successful peer-to-peer campaign

July 9, 2020

Get your supporters involved in fundraising for your mission and increase your organization’s budget by launching a peer-to-peer campaign

Peer-to-peer fundraising allows individuals to raise money online for a cause they love, by participating individually or in a group. They become champions of your cause and fundraisers for your organization! Each individual reaches out to their social network to get support, maximizing your organization’s total visibility.

So, why are peer-to-peer campaigns so successful? Because people are four times more likely to donate if they have been encouraged to do so by someone they know (Sanders & Smith).

Here are the main steps to creating a successful peer-peer campaign:

  • Setting your goal
  • Choosing the activity
  • Identifying fundraisers
  • Using a simple campaign model
  • Providing a toolbox for communication

#1 Set the goal for you and for the fundraisers

Before setting up your campaign, you need to clearly define what you are trying to achieve. Whether it is for a specific project, or to fund the regular activity of your organization, you will need to set a specific amount that you want to raise. Once it’s set, verify that it’s realistic. You can do this by estimating:

  1. The number of potential fundraisers you have
  2. How many person they can reach in their network
  3. How much you think each one will donate

The target you share should be equal to or above your real goal, so that your teams believe they can attain the goal and stay motivated. You want each team to reach the goal and then go even further!

For example :

  1. I can get 50 fundraisers as I have a team of 100 super involved people in my charity network
  2. They will bring in 25 donations each
  3. The average donation is 100$

This means $2500 will be raised per campaign and a total of $125 000 for your charity. Having made this estimation, be conservative and share a total goal of $100 000 for the total campaign and $2000 for each individual campaign.

Next, you’ll need to create your campaign page. With Zeffy, you can easily set up peer-to-peer campaigns. Customize the goal, the donation options and the description of your campaign. Your supporters will be able to create teams in minutes and you won’t be charged anything as the platform is 100% free.

#2 Choose an activity for the campaign

As an organization, you can add an activity that will get participants excited to join. The different possibilities are endless. It can be:

  • Sport based: Run, Walk, Bike, swim and more! Donors pledge a certain amount depending how much of the activity the participant does.
  • “Extreme activities” such as cold water plunges and shaving heads.
  • Lifestyle habits. For example limiting alcoohol during a month, or producing zero waste.

Don’t be afraid to ask your members! Send out a survey with different activity options and leave a space for suggestions. Your future fundraisers will feel like they are part of the process and the activity will be personalized to your community’s interests.

Once you have these results, you can go with the option that was most popular. If you consider original suggestions, keep in mind that you want to make the event as accessible as possible, so consider if the activity is right for your entire community.

If you can, choose an activity that is closely tied to the cause. This will make people more inclined to participate and donate. For example, an organization supporting cancer research may have a campaign to raise money by cutting hair and creating wigs for patients. The close connection between the activity and the cause will touch supporters and motivate fundraisers and donors.

#3 Identify fundraisers

Next, you will need to identify who will be promoting your cause. You are not just trying to get donors. Each person fundraising for your mission will raise hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You want your most enthusiastic supporters to join the fundraising campaign and get excited about it.  Get fundraisers by:

  • Asking your board members
  • Targeting your key supporters
  • Asking each major donor individually
  • Encouraging and championing your fundraisers
  • Marketing the campaign in all your channels

Make sure you actually ask your supporters to register for the activity and fundraise, rather than simply mentioning the campaign. You need to be direct and to the point. You are asking your supporters who have already donated, to do even more. Reach out to your 100 most active supporters individually. Use messaging like:

“Our mission would not be possible without you. And now you can help us do even more!”

“We have a new tool that can amplify your impact.”

“A new way to support our cause!”

Convincing your supporters will take more than just emailing. You must specifically call them and let them know how valuable they truly are to your cause. Let them know they are part of the process by asking them for their input about the campaign. Creating a sense of collaboration will improve your campaign and broaden your relationship with your community.

Then, use additional methods like social media and your website to encourage others to register and fundraise. You can also target larger actors that have been supporters in the past, or that you hope will support you now. This could include groups of employees, sports teams, students and more. Also, don’t forget to ask each member of your board to participate.

#4 Make it simple

Once people have registered to participate, be sure to follow-up about how they can set up their own campaign. Send them a short and clear explanation about how they can create it. The images below are helpful to explain!

Using Zeffy, participants can easily register for events and set up their fundraising page directly through the main campaign. Their fundraising page can be set up as an individual or team in less than 2 minutes. By clicking on fundraise, participants can set up their personalized campaign.

peer-to-peer campaign
peer-to-peer campaign fundraise

Be sure to provide copy describing the event and your cause, which participants can use on their own page. You should encourage them to personalize it, but giving guidance on points they should include will help make better and more consistent campaigns.

#5 Provide a fundraising toolkit

Your supporters will be super enthusiastic about fundraising for your cause, but that doesn’t mean that they will know how to. They need to put effort into the campaign and for some, go outside of their comfort zone by asking their network to contribute. Share your expertise in fundraising so that their campaigns can be successful. You can do so by providing fundraising toolkit to help guide them through the process.

  • Remind them of the organization’s mission. When they have the cause fresh in their mind, they will better convey it to others.
  • Encourage them to explain why they are participating and why the cause is so important to them.
  • Provide various campaign posters, email templates and team portraits that they can share on their platforms. Get inspired by these examples:
  • Suggest they set a reasonable goal. The more realistic it is, the more motivated they will be.
  • Encourage them to post updates about their progress on social media. When they share the success they are having, those around them will be more inclined to donate.
  • Plan a meeting or video call for all of them together so they can ask questions or share any ideas.

This infographic provides great summary of the tips they need to make the most impact with their campaign.

Once you set these steps into motion, you will be on your way to having a successful peer-to-peer campaign, and your cause will reach even more people!