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Nonprofit Marketing: Why Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Still Works

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a type of crowdfunding, aka social fundraising. Unlike traditional crowdfunding, peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising allows participants to raise money for a nonprofit using their own fundraising pages. It leverages existing supporters to fundraise on your organization’s behalf, making use of social networks to raise awareness and funds for a specific mission.

Does it work?

Yes! Peer-to-peer marketing can help achieve a number of goals. P2P is a great strategy to bring in new donors and reach new audiences and networks of people. People trust people they already know and are more likely to donate if someone in their social circle is asking for donations, rather than a stranger.

It’s a cost-effective way of encouraging donors to engage in fundraising (in an organic way) by relying on their own relationships. Plus, it strengthens relationship with donors. Because they can customize their own donation page, they often feel more connected after personally advocating for your nonprofit. An added bonus – it’s easy to integrate with other online fundraising platforms.

Click here to download the complete guide to a nonprofit digital marketing strategy.

How it works: the basics

A single fundraiser – let’s call her Polly Peer – sets up a personalized fundraising page for accepting donations. (I’m sure you’ve seen this on Facebook. People often host fundraisers for their birthdays.) On this page Polly explains her connection to the nonprofit and why she chooses to support its mission, or even a specific program or campaign that the nonprofit is running. She then shares the fundraising page with family, friends, coworkers, and community members and, presto! The nonprofit has reached a new audience of potential donors and supporters, all while empowering an individual.

How your nonprofit can leverage P2P

The beauty of peer-to-peer fundraising lays in its versatility. Here are a few strategies and ideas for maximizing the impact of your campaigns, both on- and off-line:

A rolling campaign, or year-round campaign, revolves around life events such as a birthday, holiday, or sport event (yep, you can implement P2P fundraising for your fun runs and walkathons!). Any occasion can be turned into an opportunity to fundraise and could be a permanent suggestion on your website as a way to take an active role in your mission.

Giving days, i.e #GivingTuesday, are mini campaigns that challenge donors to raise as much as they can in a given time period (say, 24 hours.) It’s typically very easy to share the campaign, through social platforms, email communications, and specialized landing pages. The sense of urgency in this type of campaign is important in inspiring friends/family/colleagues to support. There’s nothing like an impending deadline to inspire people to take action.

In a similar vein, P2P can help organizations launching time-based campaigns, where the organization has a certain amount of time to raise funds. This helps rally support to your cause for the timeframe that you’ve specified and can be in support of a specific theme, holiday campaign, or program. Maybe try encouraging team fundraising! (A bit of competition can go a long way!)

Your P2P fundraising campaign needs the right visuals: high quality images that fit your nonprofit’s brand voice, style, and personality. Provide an inside look at what people are supporting by showcasing your programs and the people directly affected by your work. Focusing on people helps foster an emotional connection. Consider sharing tips on fundraising, sample social posts, pre-made graphics for social, and videos. Yes, your fundraisers are the ones doing the asking but providing these tools and resources to fundraisers helps them to be more successful.

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Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great technique for raising money, growing your donor base, and engaging existing supporters. It’s perfect for nonprofits as a way to expand into social circles beyond their immediate following and to get supporters directly involved in the fundraising process.

Need help launching your P2P fundraiser? Contact us to see how we might be able to help.

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