New to peer-to-peer fundraising?

What is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) fundraising?

As a concept, Peer-to-Peer fundraising is nothing new. Long before smartphones, tablets and wifi, volunteer fundraisers used all of the tools at their disposal to solicit and collect funds for a cause. In fact, kids would often take the lead, schlepping a Unicef box door-to-door to collect loose change on Halloween; or motivating relatives to give a cash or cheque sponsorship towards their school’s readathon.  At their core, these are Peer-to-Peer campaigns distilled down to the most basic principles.

The idea is simple: a person commits to raising money for a charitable cause and asks their friends, family, and community members to donate towards the chosen initiative.

Of course, today Peer-to-Peer fundraising has evolved, adopting new digital tools, heavily reliant on email and social media as its primary communication channels. However, the key to its success remains the same: The engagement of advocates who are passionate about a cause and who will reach out, inspiring their personal and professional networks to lend their financial support.

By leveraging a digital Peer-to-Peer platform, your fundraisers will have an easy time of educating their friends, family and colleagues about the need for donations. To further illustrate their commitment, they can imbue their unique passion or story into the “ask”, and personalize their support page and solicitation request.

What are the Advantages of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

Peer-to-Peer fundraising is built on relationship networks and the premise that potential donors are much more likely to respond when a friend or colleague asks for support, as compared to a non-targeted mass appeal or campaign.

Peer-to-Peer fundraising can also serve to enhance and expand the “brand” of an organization, since our opinions and loyalties are highly influenced by those in our social networks, whom we trust and assume to share our values. Expect new donors to learn about the cause and stay connected over time.

Another advantage of Peer-to-Peer fundraising is its efficiency and cost effectiveness.  Fundraisers can set up personal request pages 24/7 and solicit their networks instantaneously via email and social media. The charity’s message is amplified at no extra cost, and since donations are made on-line and tax receipts are automatically generated, administrative expenses are drastically reduced.

Lastly, Peer-to-Peer campaigns can be easily customized and used as a platform for a wide variety of initiatives such as: Giving Days, specialized campaigns, large scale events such as community walk/run, and smaller occasions like personal milestones or endeavours. Participants can take part as individuals or join fundraising teams, which can enhance fundraising success.

Do Peer-to-Peer campaigns actually work?

Yes! Peer-to-Peer campaigns allow organizations to ignite their core supporter base and expand their capacity to reach new pools of donors.  This approach ensures that a personal connection is at the heart of every gift and that these new prospects are warm to further engagement by the charity.  This makes Peer-to-Peer fundraising a very effective outreach strategy.

Statistics show that the Peer-to-Peer response rate is much higher; 25% compared with direct-to-donor campaigns where the response is 1 – 2%.[i]  Evidently, successful Peer-to-Peer campaigns can be very effective and efficient fundraising vehicles.

So…what are the keys to a successful Peer-to-Peer campaign?

Follow our next installment in the Peer-to-Peer fundraising series where we will explore the most important components of a successful Peer-to-Peer campaign including:

  • Using an effective P2P platform
  • DIY and 3rd party fundraising
  • Technological requirements
  • Providing the right tools to your fundraisers
  • Igniting a charity’s board and stakeholders
  • Thanking and retaining your donors