Crowdfunding & Peer-to-peer Fundraising

Peer to Peer Fundraising Best Practices

If you’ve decided to host a peer-to-peer event, utilizing Peer to Peer fundraising best practices is sure to boost your fundraising success. In fact, the ability to motivate your participants, volunteers, and board members will determine your success. Putting them first is central to peer to peer fundraising best practices. When embarking upon a crowdfunding event, start with the thought that your supporters believe in your cause and find joy in giving. Motivating them is the best way to succeed in your shared passion.

Peer to Peer Fundraising Best Practices

5 Peer to Peer Fundraising Best Practices

1. Motivate Individual Fundraisers

One of the most important peer to peer fundraising best practices is to give your individual fundraisers a voice. They chose to partner with your nonprofit because they have a personal investment in your cause. Encourage them to share it via their social media profiles.

SeaPaddle NYC, a 26 mile marathon paddle around Manhattan, is acknowledged as one of the premier crowdfunding events in the country. It’s raised more than $3.12 Million by drawing hundreds of participants from all over the world. Their top fundraiser was featured on their peer to peer fundraising website and earned $58,000 dollars in 2018. His personalized fundraising page reads, “I LOVE this event!”

“This is my 6th consecutive journey around a great city for a great cause. SEA Paddle has become a major part of my family’s mission to provide for the lives of special needs men, women and children. Please check out all of the great organizations you’ll be supporting, help my fundraising efforts and – most importantly – share this with all of your networks. A little goes a long way, and 100% of your donation goes straight to the charities.”

Don’t forget the prizes!

Everyone loves prizes and awarding top fundraisers will certainly help in your fundraising efforts. Individual and team top fundraising prizes should be considered and often in-kind donations can be used as prizes. Prizes are especially recommended for child-centered and school crowdfunding campaigns, but don’t discount how hard adults will also work for incentives.

Prize money is given to the top fundraisers of SeaPaddle NYC, as this is a particularly challenging event in which participants train year round to navigate the waters. An after party is held on a yacht by their supportive event managers. Such motivating factors only inspire more devotion by your fundraising participants.

2. Make it Easy for Participants

Offer guidance and create peer to peer resources to make it easy for your participants. After all, they are busy and volunteering their time. While they represent your mission, stand behind them with supportive tools.

  • Start with the best website for your event. Choose a fundraising software platform that is easy to use and personalize.
  • Make sure your staff and volunteers are available for questions on registering and designing a personal fundraising page.
  • Hold a gathering on creating fundraising appeal videos. Statistics show that fundraisers are more successful by having one for their marketing venues. Show them some great examples of appeals.
  • If participants don’t want to create their own videos, provide inspiring videos of your work for them to share.
  • Encourage participants to personally update their supporters. This keeps their donors interested in their success and progress. Emails and social media are the best venues.
  • Send participants regular fundraising tips and words of encouragement.
  • Provide access to your crowdfunding banner for their social media pages. This is a great branding tool, and saves them the trouble of creating one.
  • Send them fundraising letter examples that they can customize and send to their supporters.
  • Provide pledge form templates that they can print and take to work.
  • Give supporters a personal reason to champion your cause. Start early with field trips and visits to your programs to learn more about your work. This is of the most impactful peer to peer fundraising best practices.

3. Ignite Board Members

A donation from just one board member has the potential for great momentum in a crowdfunding event. Start as early as a year in advance in asking for your first contribution. Since board members are truly invested in wanting your event to succeed, they’ll invest in this opportunity. Many board members are business people and understand how investments work. When an investment is popular, more donors are attracted. Instead of simply asking them for the first donation, speak to their business sense.

Highlight your initial, well-connected board member’s donation. Create a brief video and story about them and their reason for investing in your nonprofit. Advertise widely online. It would be fantastic if this board member and others would speak at public speaking engagements. Find more information on how nonprofits find public speaking engagements in one of our recent articles.

As they create peer to peer fundraising teams, new supporters are brought to your charity organization. They’ll speak to their friends, contacts and followers about the event. The need comes directly from them to fill their fundraising team. Host a social event for board members to invite their friends to learn more about the crowdfunding event and get to know your staff. Strengthening these important relationships and making new ones is certainly one of the most powerful peer to peer fundraising best practices.

4. Seek Matching Gift Opportunities

Optimize your fundraising website for matching gift donations. Add matching gifts information to your Ways to Give page, or add a page entitled Matching Gifts. Your donation confirmation page is another place. Advertise opportunities for matching donations in emails and social media pages. Keep your email list of folks interested and tempted to invest in your nonprofit by sharing your progress.

Crowdfunding beforehand parties are good times to promote mobile giving associated with a limited time matching opportunity. Create a special matching opportunity with a corporation that’s only available before the main event. Add an element of excitement.

The Wink Hunger Walk has a matching program and has raised nearly 1.5 million dollars through their walkathon fundraiser. The most profitable fundraisers work diligently on establishing such relationships with corporations. Start laying the ground work now. Believe your event has the potential for success by seeking to double donations through matching.

5. Brand Crowdfunding Events

Peer to Peer fundraising best practices definitely includes thinking about your non-profit branding. Work in partnership with a volunteer graphic design team found at high schools and universities.  Create and sell groovy t-shirts, hoodies,hats and coffee mugs to advertise your event. Make them available at the coolest places in town. Ask your design team to offer trendy ideas of things to sell. They’ll create irresistibly hip items and help you sell them while branding your event.

Everyone likes a little recognition, so give some to your donors. Use your crowdfunding website, email updates, newsletter and social media pages to highlight donations. Thank you videos using your smartphone are a nice touch. Others will be encouraged by seeing the initial success of your crowdfunding event. Stoke the fire and brand your charity..

Clearly outlay to sponsors the benefits included for various sponsorship levels. A PDF on your homepage that’s also attached to your emails does the trick. Get a sponsor onboard early, perhaps 6 months before the event. Promote a video of them speaking to their enthusiasm!

Invite your community properly with an invitation. Sprinkle some creativity in to trigger the special feeling of receiving an invitation. A low cost way to accomplish this is through email. Creating printed invitations is more costly yet has the same positive impact in branding your event.

Creating a theme brands your event. Use special holiday fundraising seasons to create memories. Everyone will look forward to your event at that special time of year. Bring new donors and volunteers to your nonprofit organization through annual events that hold magic.

In summary, your nonprofit acts as the facilitator in peer to peer fundraising. While crowdfunding is peer to peer based, you are the parents.Your supporters rely on you to lead and take little of the credit. Keep this good humor close as you manage all of the moving parts of a successful crowdfunding event.


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Maureen Peine

About Maureen Peine

Maureen has been writing and marketing for DoJiggy for over 7 years, and has a strong background in nonprofit fundraising. While with The Nature Conservancy for 7 years prior to DoJiggy, she learned the inner workings of marketing to the State of California within the external affairs department. Her heart is in her writing as she believes in the power of change through nonprofit organizations.
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