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Do you remember selling chocolate to raise money for your class field trip back in elementary school? Or how about asking your family to purchase gift wrap as a way to raise funds around the holidays?
This form of fundraising is called peer-to-peer fundraising, and it's not just for kids.
With crowdfunding sites taking the business, art, and nonprofit world by storm with exponential growth since 2009, it's easy to overlook peer-to-peer fundraising. But, with a 60 percent increase in the use of peer-to-peer fundraising between 2012 and 2013, peer-to-peer is on the rise. It can be a greater fundraising strategy than just creating a campaign.
With peer-to-peer fundraising, you don't have one fundraising page — you potentially have hundreds, with all the personal fundraising pages raising funds on your behalf.
Here are five steps that will equip you to construct and implement your own unique peer-to-peer fundraising strategy.
Is peer-to-peer fundraising the right strategy for you? Before thinking of events or campaign pages, ask yourself these essential questions to determine if you have the makings of a flourishing peer-to-peer fundraising campaign:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're ready to move onto the next step to create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign!
Having a fundraising strategy that coincides with your goals and audience will help grow engagement organically. Consider these three types of peer-to-peer fundraising strategies to determine what works best for your nonprofit.
This fundraising strategy runs for a fixed time and has an overall goal; personal fundraisers set their own personal goals to work toward the overall goal. For example, the Carlisle Family YMCA raised $83,607 to provide scholarships for children in need to participate in its programs by setting a goal and engaging individuals to raise money with personal and team fundraising pages.
This fundraising strategy has no fixed time and no overall goal; personal fundraisers set their own fundraising and impact goals. For example, a group of friends called Team Christian raised $27,000 on CauseVox for physical therapy sessions.
This fundraising strategy has a fixed period up to the date of the activity and no specific overall goal. People often organize into teams to participate and raise funds, and physical action is required. For example, in 2014 WOD for Water raised $212,174 around a CrossFit workout event to bring clean water to villages in India, Cambodia, and south Sudan.
Not all strategies work for every nonprofit, so assessing what kinds of campaigns your supporters would be more likely to participate in will help guide you in the right direction.
Your nonprofit has an amazing story to tell, but how you communicate that story can make all the difference. To tell your story in a way that resonates with your audience, keep in mind the following pointers:
Stories are incredibly powerful in the way that they move people. Use yours to engage and empower your audience!
A key aspect to running any kind of peer-to-peer fundraising strategy is creating your website to effectively convey all the information you want to communicate to your fundraisers and donors. It's important that your site contains
When you have a site that communicates to your audience clearly and allows people to join in to donate or raise funds on your behalf, your campaign is in an optimal place to flourish.
Setting up your campaign is only half the battle. The other is about reaching out to your audience to get them on board to raise funds or donate. The key is to use multiple outlets to best promote your campaign:
Now, with all these steps completed, you're ready to launch your own peer-to-peer fundraising strategy!
Still need more information? Download The Ultimate Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.
Check out CauseVox's donation program for online fundraising and crowdfunding so you can harness the power of peer-to-peer fundraising.
Image: Steven Depolo / CC BY