Leveraging Online Donor Engagement: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Guest Post by Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President of DonorSearch

As a member of a nonprofit fundraising team, you always have your eyes on a fundraising goal and are working to improve your online donor engagement strategy. 

Fundraising, however, can take many different forms, so it can be difficult to know which is best to improve your online donor engagement. Because you can’t just rely on prospect research, you need a fundraising campaign that is not only far-reaching but can still connect to each donor personally. This is where peer-to-peer fundraising comes in.

Let’s start with the very basics. Similar to crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising is a fundraising method that involves leveraging personal networks to proliferate the message of your mission as well as raise an impressive amount of money quickly. 

By letting each volunteer create an individual donation page, they can easily post it on social media and ask their friends and families for support. Campaigns like this are extremely successful for some organizations, especially ones who have a strong social media presence. Because these donors are personally connected to the person who is fundraising, they are in turn more engaged with your campaign and nonprofit’s mission. 

There is plenty of peer-to-peer fundraising software out there that can help you. Look for features like:

  • Event pages that can be fully customized to your campaign
  • Registration pages and forms that are accessible through the event page
  • A donation thermometer to help keep track of how much has been raised so far. Click here for a free template.

If you want some more guidance on different types of nonprofit software, check out DonorSearch’s list of best online giving tools.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Steps

So, how should you get started? The process is actually very simple: 

Step 1: Your nonprofit sets its fundraising goals.

Step 2: You choose your peer-to-peer fundraising platform. 

Step 3: Your nonprofit recruits its supporters to help fundraise.

Step 4: Participants create personalized fundraising pages. 

Step 5: Participants share their pages on their social media pages. 

Step 6: You track participant performance and reap the rewards. 

Start thinking about what your nonprofit wants to accomplish in the context of this year and set your fundraising goal!

Tips & Tricks

Now that you have the foundation, you can really begin to think about your peer-to-peer fundraising strategy. Below are some strategy tips to guarantee you hit that fundraising goal:

  • Start with a small goal. Raise it once it has been reached. Starting with a smaller goal means you will hit your target faster. Once your supporters and donors see you hit one donation benchmark, they’ll be inspired to continue to give as your goal increases. Participating in a fundraiser that continues to succeed gives your donors a sense of community and encourages them to continue to be a part of it.
  • Encourage your participants to personalize your event to themselves. Each of your recruits is going to be posting your fundraising event on their own personal networks. If you give them the option to individualize their pages, it will emotionally connect with their friends and family better! Urge your volunteers to explain why your nonprofit’s cause means so much to them.
  • Turn your peer-to-peer fundraiser into a viral trend. Take advantage of social media like Instagram or Twitter to make your campaign go viral. You can be smart about your volunteer recruits and see if any of your supporters are social media influencers.
  • Make your peer-to-peer fundraiser a game. When you gamify your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign you are galvanizing your volunteers to increase their fundraising efforts. You can have your recruits compete against each other to see who gets the most donations or give them incentives for every personal target they meet.
  • Set a fundraiser deadline to motivate your supporters. People won’t really care about a cause if they know it’s not time-sensitive. Emphasizing a deadline in your marketing strategy will remind people that they need to give now.
  • Encourage your participants to continuously post progress updates on their event page. Since your volunteers are fundraising to their own family and friends, personalizing their page in any way will help their networks care about your cause. Prompt them to post positive updates on their page to show donors how their donations actually affected your cause.
  • Hold a fundraising event. To get people excited and psyched during your peer-to-peer fundraiser is to launch it right before a big event. Pair the events together to really get people going. A fun event is also a great way to thank your volunteers for their hard work!
  • Want more? Click for additional tips.

How you engage with your donors online will greatly influence your ability to hit your fundraising goals. Set your nonprofit up for success by devoting time and resources into ensuring your nonprofit’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is successful. 

Author: Sarah Tedesco is the Executive Vice President of DonorSearch

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