How is Zeffy free?
How is Zeffy free?
Zeffy relies entirely on optional contributions from donors. At the payment confirmation step - we ask donors to leave an optional contribution to Zeffy.
Learn more >
Fundraising Tips

Peer-to-Peer fundraising: The Definitive guide (2024)

December 4, 2023

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising, (or P2P fundraising), is when individuals raise money on behalf of a nonprofit organization. Instead of an organization soliciting donations, P2P fundraising empowers its supporters to become fundraisers..

A schema with different peer-to-peer campaigns explaining what it is

How does peer-to-peer fundraising work?

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a kind of communal fundraising technique. First, individual fundraisers create their own campaign pages with compelling stories and goals, typically on a fundraising software. Then, participants share them through various channels to ask for contributions. 

Nonprofit peer-to-peer fundraising leverages personal connections to expand an organization's reach and inspire giving. And it’s one of the most popular ways to give. According to research, 2.2 million people took part in peer-to-peer fundraising programs in 2020.

Peer-to-peer fundraising vs. crowdfunding

Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising and crowdfunding are similar. But they have distinct differences:

Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising

Different p2p campaign pages that lead to a communal fundraising

Crowdfunding

Both involve reaching out to a network of people for financial support. P2P fundraising, though, usually has a nonprofit focus. And, it includes individual fundraising pages. In comparison, crowdfunding can cover a broader spectrum of projects and fundraising purposes.

What are the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising?

P2P is one of the best ways to mobilize supporters from all over the globe. And, it’s one of the best ways to fundraise. Peer fundraising offers:

CTA: Start your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising now for free with Zeffy

6 examples of peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is not a one-size-fits-all fundraising solution. Nonprofits can customize their peer-to-peer fundraising events to fit their exact goals and their organization's mission. Here are just. a few examples of peer fundraising campaign ideas:

Disaster relief and emergency funds 

Example of the American Red Cross Emergency peer-to-peer campaign

P2P campaigns are a great way to aid humanitarian crises. In these situations, nonprofits encourage donations to raise funds for affected communities.

The American Red Cross is a great example of emergency P2P fundraising in action. Their nonprofit invites supporters to create fundraisers on their behalf to aid crises.

Birthday fundraisers 

Examples of birthday fundraisers to raise money for nonprofits

Instead of asking for birthday gifts, lots of nonprofits encourage supporters to give back. To do so, supporters set up personal fundraising campaigns and ask their social networks for contributions.

Charity: Water allows people to celebrate their birthdays by creating peer-to-peer campaigns. Funds raised support clean water projects in developing countries.

Charity walk/runs

Charity

In this peer to peer event, participants set up a personal fundraising page, which they often share via social media platforms. The walk itself is often a physical, in person event where participants gather to complete it.

AIDS Walk events are held in various cities worldwide. Participants create fundraising teams and complete the walk— the money raised goes to HIV/AIDS research.

Social media challenges

3 mobile screenshots of fundraising efforts from supporters on social media

In this kind of P2P fundraiser, supporters document their efforts on social media. They use relevant hashtags and tags to create a buzz and encourage others to join in. Perfect for amplifying a nonprofit's social media presence, this kind of social fundraising is a great way to actively promote your online campaign, raise awareness about your cause, and encourage participation.

After the death of George Floyd in 2020, a surge of P2P fundraisers emerged on social media. Funds raised supported racial justice organizations, bail funds, and the families of victims.

Giving days or special occasions

Feeding America's Children Giving Tuesday peer-to-peer fundraising campaign

Holidays or other special giving days are perfect opportunities for nonprofits to fundraise. Many nonprofits, for example, try and make the most out of Giving Tuesday.

Feeding America's Children runs a Giving Tuesday P2P campaign every year. The campaign encourages peer to peer fundraisers to ask friends and family to help raise money for hungry children.

Specific mission-related initiatives

University of Montreal tripled its fundraising goal through a peer-to-peer campaign

Sometimes, successful P2P events aren’t tied to a specific time of year or challenge. Lots of nonprofits run P2P fundraisers to help raise money to meet specific goals and to help further individual programs and initiatives.

The University of Montreal tripled its fundraising goal through a peer-to-peer campaign. The funds raised supported Multiple Sclerosis research.

How to start peer-to-peer fundraising in 7 steps

When it comes to peer-to-peer fundraising nonprofits should follow a few basic steps.

Step 1: Set organizational fundraising goals

Organizing a fundraising event always requires goal setting and resource allocation. 

Before launching your P2P campaign, be sure to answer the following questions:

Step 2: Choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform

When it comes to peer based fundraising, it’s essential to have the right tools. When comparing what peer-to-peer software is right for your nonprofit, consider:

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to other top peer-to-peer platforms →

CTA: Start your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising now for free with Zeffy

Step 3: Recruit fundraisers

Once you’ve set the right foundation for your fundraiser, it’s time to invite supporters.

Identify and recruit individuals who are passionate about your cause. These could be:

When recruiting volunteers, don’t be afraid to step outside of the box, too. Advertise your P2P campaign at in-person events, or through a newsletter. Or, even consider an influencer partnership.

Step 4: Create participant campaign pages and set goals

A Campaign page of a peer to peer fundraising made with Zeffy platform

Once you've recruited fundraisers, individual supporters should create their own donation pages. Each individual fundraising page should include:

Step 5: Fundraisers share their campaigns

With custom fundraising pages published, it’s time to spread the word. Fundraisers can share their pages through:

Step 6:  Engage and motivate fundraisers

Zeffy fundraising leaderboard to engage and motivate donors

Your nonprofit should be in constant communication with fundraisers to keep them engaged and motivated. To keep your supporters excited and active in their efforts for your cause, be sure to:

Step 7: Follow up

After the campaign ends, it's essential to thank your fundraisers. This practice is important for both stewardship and maintaining engagement for future fundraising.

Show appreciation for their efforts and the impact they've made by:

Best peer-to-peer fundraising tips and best practices 

Like any fundraiser, nonprofits should keep a few peer-to-peer fundraising best practices in mind. When launching your campaign, remember to:

10 best peer-to-peer platforms for nonprofits 

Zeffy

Zeffy's website for free peer-to-peer fundraising


Zeffy—the only zero-fee fundraising platform for nonprofits—empowers changemakers to make the most impact possible. With free, unlimited customer support, a full suite of fundraising tools like P2P fundraising, donor management, and even raffle and e-commerce capabilities, few fundraising platforms compare. 

Best features:

Price: While every other platform takes fees away from your mission, Zeffy delivers 100% of it to your nonprofit.

Here’s how it works: When someone makes a donation on your fundraising form, they have the option (but are never obliged) to give to Zeffy. Not everyone gives every time and that's okay. Enough donors, though, leave a contribution that covers overhead and fees, so nonprofits never pay a cent.

In short: Customers never have to worry about paying for a feature or transaction with Zeffy—ever.

CTA: Start your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising now for free with Zeffy

Classy

Classy solution for peer-to-peer campaigns

Classy is a comprehensive fundraising platform that includes some robust P2P fundraising capabilities. Used by several well-known nonprofits—like Livestrong and Hope for Haiti—Classy customers can use the platform to create branded P2P campaigns, engage supporters, and track donations all in one place. 

Price: Custom pricing plus 2.5% + 30¢ in processing fees

Pros: 

Cons: 

GoFundMe

Gofundme platform

GoFundMe is a popular crowdfunding platform that allows both nonprofits and individuals to fundraise for causes. For peer-to-peer fundraising, their social integration and huge reach is key: individuals can set up and share pages easily online, and share with thousands of people who use and know GoFundMe. 

Price: $0 platform fee,  2.9% + 30¢‍ in processing fees

Pros:

Cons: 

DonorDrive

Donordrive for peer-to-peer fundraising

DonorDrive, a P2P fundraising platform designed specifically for nonprofits, offers a range of features, including customizable campaign pages, social sharing tools, and real-time analytics. Because the platform is specifically created for charity use, nonprofits have access to tons of tools and gadgets to help amplify their P2P efforts. 

Price: Not publicly available

Pros:

Cons: 

QGiv

Qgiv software

Qgiv is a versatile platform that includes several fundraising tools, including P2P capabilities. With branded campaign pages, supporter engagement tools, and event registration features—and a lot more—the platform is a great choice for nonprofits that need a bit of everything.

Price: $259/month, up to 4.95% + $0.95 processing fees

Pros: 

Cons: 

Givebutter

Givebutter user-friendly campaign

Givebutter is known for its user-friendly platform that supports a variety of fundraising campaigns, including peer-to-peer, crowdfunding, and event fundraising. It is designed to for highly social fundraisers, making it easy for donors to share campaigns on social media and engage with the community. Plus, supporters can see who the top fundraisers are on the built-in leaderboard.

Price: $0 platform fees, up to 2.9% + 30¢ processing fees

Pros

Cons: 

CauseVox

Causevox for easy peer to peer fundraising

Known for its user-friendly interface, CauseVox is a powerful fundraising platform that supports custom P2P fundraising campaigns for nonprofits. It provides tools for creating branded pages, setting fundraising goals, and tracking donor activity—all in one place. 

Price: $0 - $315 /month, platform fee up to 4.25%, processing fee up to

2.2% + 30¢

Pros: 

Cons: 

Fundly

Fundly

Fundly is designed to make crowdfunding accessible and effective for a diverse range of fundraising needs—whether users are seeking support for personal causes, creative projects, medical expenses, or charitable initiatives.

Price: 0% platform, up to 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee

Pros: 

Cons:

Donately

Donately platform

Donately, an all-in-one fundraising solution, is designed to simplify the online fundraising experience for nonprofits of various sizes. The user-friendly platform offers a range of tools, including P2P software. Nonprofits can take advantage of social media sharing, customizable fundraising pages, and really nail visual storytelling. 

Price: 0$ - $49/month, up to 4% platform fee, up to: 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee

Pros:

 

Cons:

Bonfire 

Bonfire merchandise software for p2p

Bonfire, an easy-to-use merchandise platform, allows individuals and nonprofits to design and sell custom apparel to support their causes. A unique take on P2P fundraising, the platform simplifies the process of creating and selling custom apparel so anyone can sign up and start designing and selling straight away.

Price: $0 platform fee, up to 8% processing fees

Pros: 

Cons:

Launch your peer-to-peer campaign for free with Zeffy

Peer-to-peer campaigns are a powerhouse of possibility. Whether your nonprofit is looking to raise funds for a particular program, or looking to establish an evergreen, year-round fundraising opportunity, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are one of the best ways to bring in more donations and expand your reach.

With Zeffy, nonprofits can launch peer-to-peer campaigns with customizable campaign pages, gamification tools like leaderboards, flexible payment methods, and tracking and reporting tools — all for free. Plus, with free built-in donor management tools and ticketing software, nonprofits can accomplish all their fundraising goals without ever leaving Zeffy.

CTA: Start your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising now for free with Zeffy

A few other interesting articles about peer-to-peer fundraising:

Peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit: How to get companies to sponsor you.

Preparing for your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign

How to Fundraise for a Peer-to-peer Campaign in 6 Steps

How to host a successful peer-to-peer campaign

Fundraising for Nonprofits : Essential Guide + 12 ideas