Launching your P2P Campaign: the Complete Guide

p2p fundraiser

Peer to peer fundraising is when your supporters solicit donations on your behalf. You’ve probably seen this done with Facebook fundraisers, especially on someone’s birthday. It helps spread awareness of your organization and bring in some donations. 

So how do you master your P2P campaign and get your donors to advocate for you? That’s what we’re going to share in this complete guide. 


Benefits of Peer to Peer Fundraising

There are a ton of benefits to peer to peer fundraising like: 
  • Increasing your organization’s visibility as more people share your message
  • Supporters are encouraged to work with each other as a community to reach one goal and have a clear message to share with peers.
  • Your nonprofit organization reaches new donors through the power of social media, networking and viral sharing. Social sharing buttons can easily turn a campaign 5 people know about to 5,000.
  • Your supporters can campaign year-round, and become your biggest ambassadors. If you have the right tools and processes in place it also requires less administrative support. 
  • You can center the fundraiser around a fun event that keeps people coming back year after year! 

Figure Out What P2P Campaign You Want to Run

There are 2 different types of peer-to-peer campaigns that you can choose from: time-based or ongoing. Within each of these categories, there are many different ways of executing a campaign, like adding other elements or activities, keeping signups open or closed, sharing your progress, or creating fundraisers’ teams. 

There are so many options, and you have the opportunity to get creative with the type of campaign you want to have. 

Time-Based Campaigns

Time-based campaigns revolve around a specific project or event like a run, and fundraisers work to raise funds before the deadline. The length of time you have registration open can be upwards of a year (or more as we are seeing now with COVID cancellations) the majority of activity often occurs in the preceding  6-8 weeks.  If you are short on time, don’t let that stop you - successful campaigns could be shorter than 30 days. It all depends on your nonprofit’s goals and capacity to marketing and engage with your supporters and their network. 

Athletic Event

This is a classic peer to peer fundraiser. It can be any type of athletic event like a run, climb, bike or walk where participants ask their friends to sponsor them to participate. 

Participants can be charged a registration fee or to fundraise a certain amount to participate in the event. People are often excited to join in athletic-based fundraisers to challenge themselves and their network and get excited to get friends and family involved. 

The Climb for Cancer is an excellent example of a virtual athletic P2P event. They usually have the Climb in person, but COVID changed their plans. Driven helped The Climb by building a virtual best in class P2P fundraising site in a few weeks so supporters could still participate in the event from a safe distance. 

24 Hour Fundraiser

A 24-hour fundraiser or giving day is a short campaign to leverage timeliness and urgency to drive donations over a short period. The most famous of all the 24-hour fundraisers is Giving Tuesday. It’s one of the busiest days of the year and happens after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, kicking off the giving season. 

Giving days are a way to get people involved with a high-energy fundraising event that motivates people to get involved as much as they can before the day ends. It’s a great way to rally people together around an ambitious goal and, if promoted beforehand, has the chance to be a huge success. 
 

Third-Party Fundraisers

In this model, your supporters will create their own personal fundraiser and reach out to their network to raise donations on your behalf.  These fundraisers will usually set their timelines and structure their campaigns around personal events like birthdays, graduations, or personal goal challenges. However, the primary campaign itself remains open indefinitely, so each fundraiser can begin and end participating as they please.

There are a ton of third-party fundraisers your organization can participate in, like the ones listed below: 

Special Occasion

The most common example of this campaign is the Facebook Birthday fundraiser. For a holiday or special occasion, people will ask others to donate to their favourite cause or charity in place of getting them a gift. It’s a win-win for both you and your donor because they feel great, and their family and friends get introduced to your organization.  
 

Personal Fundraiser

This type of fundraiser is very similar to the special occasion campaigns but requires no reason to fundraise. These campaigns are held just for fun or because someone just really wanted to support your mission, or add a special touch to their dinner party

Personal fundraisers can be ongoing and encourage your supporters to feel good and have fun by supporting a great cause! 

Board Fundraiser 

The best part of peer to peer fundraising is how versatile it is! You don’t just have to limit yourself to your supporters. Get your board involved as well! 

Board members are already investing in your organization’s success, so try to get them involved in fundraising! For P2P campaigns, you have your board members develop business sponsorships with a landing page they can customize with a direct call-to-action. 

If you need help creating an excellent landing page for your campaign, the Driven team would be happy to help! We have lots of experience quickly setting up fast and effective campaigns that make donating easy for your supports. Reach out to us to learn more! 
 

Find a Robust P2P Platform

Like any other fundraising campaign, you need a website to serve as the hub for all your fundraising needs. This central platform is where your supporters can get more information on how to hold and set up their campaigns. 

It’s also essential for you and your team to keep track of your overall progress and so fundraisers can find and form their teams. 

If your software is clunky, hard to use and not flexible enough to handle your organization’s needs, drop it immediately. When looking for a P2P fundraising platform, you need some that are going to: 
 

Raise More While Doing Less

Your fundraising platform should make it easy to raise money. If you need to spend hours training, learning code or jump through hoops to access the software’s benefits, drop it. 

When we made our fundraising platform, we spoke with many different nonprofits and found that ease of use was one of the biggest things missing in their software. We made Driven’s peer-to-peer system very accessible for even the most inexperienced technology users

After a walkthrough, your team should be ready to hit the ground running! If not, we offer hands-on support and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.   Your team can even create new, beautiful full peer to peer sites in only a few clicks. 
 

It’s Mobile and Social Media Friendly 

Everything nowadays needs to be phone accessible. Especially with all the virtual peer-to-peer campaigns currently in the market, people want to stay connected in real-time from wherever they are. Make sure you ask if your P2P option can go mobile and integrate with your favourite social media platforms. 

Be Creative And Match Your Branding

Your fundraising software should be able to match your organization's unique branding, messaging and design without needing any web coding experience. Driven’s software is easily customizable and can create a clean fundraising platform that perfectly matches your current website design. 
 

Best Practices That Every Great P2P Campaign Follows

Tell a Story

A significant benefit of P2P campaigns is that allows your supporters to share your message with others, but you need more than awareness to get people to donate. Donors need a compelling story that connects with their interests and values to motivate them to support you.

You need a story that compliments your campaign, something that will motivate others to get excited about supporting you. It also gives your supporters something to talk about when bringing up their campaign to family and friends. 

Some nonprofits choose to have pre-written text copy that participants can use in their social posts. Others give a prompt that encourages supporters to share their connection with the organization, such as asking people who have adopted from your shelter to share a picture of their furry friend and how finding them has changed their lives. 

Sharing personal stories will have a more profound impact on those who come across your nonprofit on someone else’s page because it’s genuine. Storytelling is necessary to convince a lot of people that your cause is one worth supporting.  Don’t assume that people know how to tell their story.  Provide some guidelines and best practices. 

Also, coach your supporters on how to fundraise.  Guide them to have a strong call to action (Help me reach my goal and donate now!), and have them suggest donation amounts.  Often people aren’t sure what to give and don’t want to disappoint the person asking. By providing a fundraising guide, coaching emails or even calls, you will give the tools they need to be successful (see the next section for more tips!).

Give Your Supporters All the Tools they Need to Be Successful.

To make the most of your participant’s experience, provide everything they need to host a successful fundraiser. This means having email templates, graphics, images and social copy available on your website. 

The easier it is for people to participate, the more likely they are to do so. Have information and support like an email or phone available and easily accessible if a problem pops up or if people have questions on how to participate.  Let them know that they have a full cheerleading team ready to coach and guide them to hit their goals. 

Suppose you’re centring your peer to peer campaign around a big event. In that case, you should also be active on social media and in your email communications sharing, where participants can access these resources. It may even help to have a short training session outlining all the information they need to participate. 

Keep Track of Donor Retention and Acquisition

Even though you’re not actively doing the fundraising, you need to keep track of your new donors and welcome them to your organization! Following up with a welcome email or package is especially important within a peer to peer campaign because there could be a chance they donated to support a loved one rather than your organization. 

So even though you got them in the door, it doesn’t mean they are here to stick around. But they should! Your nonprofit is doing incredible things, so communicate the impact their support is generating to your new donors. Throughout the peer-to-peer campaign, encourage them with emails, pre-events, prizes and the opportunity for special VIP treats.  They are likely some of your most passionate, engaged supporters, so shower them with love and gratitude! 

Share other ways to get involved through attending another event, volunteering or simply following your nonprofit on social media. It’s always important to send out a prompt acknowledgement email to keep your organization top of mind and boost donor retention. 
Make sure to update information in your donor database, keeping track of your most loyal supporters. This way, when another more intense campaign comes along, you know who to contact first when holding another P2P event. 

Examples of Some Great Peer to Peer Campaigns

CLIMB Hamilton

The CLIMB Hamilton is an organization doing great things to support the health of those in their community. Their annual fundraising event, CLIMB Hamilton, is an athletic peer to peer fundraiser focused on overcoming community challenges keeping people from accessing food, healthcare or education. 

Driven worked closely with CLIMB to get their peer to peer campaign up and running within a few weeks. Participants were able to choose how they wanted to participate in the CLIMB and record their progress within the P2P platform. 

Their website provided all the information they needed to register, support others, and learn about the organization itself. Their donation page is integrated with their social media to show real-time updates of their social posts, donations and fundraising activity.  The participant center provided all the tools they needed including an email tool, communication templates and donation tracking and management so they can see who donated and who they have thanked. 

PWA’s Friends for Life Bike Rally 

The People With Aids Friends For Life Bike Rally is a volunteer-led week-long bike ride that brings people together to support HIV positive. In August, they completed their bike rally in a COVID safe fashion that still got participants engaged and fundraising for a great cause. 

The best part about the rally is their campaign page. They have a ton of information, videos and images that communicates their story and how the rally works. Supporters can easily register online, donate to a rider or crew member and get details on what it’s like to take place in the experience. They have graphics, fundraising letters, templates, everything anyone would need to fundraise on the organization’s behalf. 

For more information on the rally, we interviewed Micheal Reid, the Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager at PWA Toronto, who explains how they put together their cross-province Bike Rally. 

Movember

You’ve probably seen a lot of guys walking around with mustaches in November, and that’s all because of this one sensational peer-to-peer campaign. Every November, men around the world put their razors away and try their best to grow out their facial hair, posting photo updates along the way in exchange for donations to prostate cancer. In 2019 alone, they raised over $109.8 million for men’s health. 

Their fundraising site is just as impressive as the event itself. The organization’s website gives information on the importance of supporting men’s health, participating in Movember, and downloading their mobile app. Their fundraising concept is simple, fun and effective, and that’s what makes Movember so Iconic. 

Region Ready

Region Ready's P2P fundraiser was a COVID fundraising response for three hospital foundations in Ontario. They wanted to combine Time was the most pressing and immediate concern for Region Ready and wanted to get their peer to peer fundraiser off the ground quick. 

In just 48 hours Driven was able to get their website up and running with a matching gift campaign and P2P platform that people could donate on. After launching Region Ready was able to raise $500,000 to help hospitals prepare for the COVID crisis. 

This goes to show that even though great campaigns do take a lot of planning, a great idea can really make all the difference. The team at Region Ready had a clear vision and with some help from the Driven team were able to execute it practically overnight. 

Conclusion

If you want to support, you need to give support. Having resources readily available for your fundraisers, along with a robust fundraising platform, is your ticket to success. P2P campaigns are known for their reach and ability to bring many new supporters and revenue to your organization. 

Don’t slow yourself down with a below-par fundraising platform. Invest in software that will give you the most back with little setup and training time, great functionality, mobile app and reporting features. Driven does offer an all in one solution, and we would love to help you reach your maximum potential in your next P2P fundraiser. 

We have templates for sites, emails and more that will allow us to easily help you get your campaign up and running as fast as possible. We helped organizations like Region Ready and the CLIMB for Cancer find success in their campaigns and would love to do the same for you. 

Reach out to us to talk more about your next peer to peer fundraiser! 

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