What is peer-to-peer fundraising?
Peer-to-peer fundraising is friends asking friends, usually using an online platform on your own website or another fundraising website, that allows individuals to create fundraising pages to collect donations for your charity. Your supporters can personalize their fundraising page with text, pictures and videos and share their page with their friends easily through email and social media.
The benefits are huge. First, by getting your network the tools to fundraise on your behalf, you expand your reach exponentially. Every charity has power fundraisers in their midst – people that love what you do and are happy to spread the word for you. More and more donors are not content with sitting on the sidelines and writing a check; often people want to get more involved in the causes they love and this is a great way to do that. Some of your charity’s greatest fans may not be major donors; in fact, they may have a very limited capacity to give in terms of money, but they may have great, untapped potential and enthusiasm to spread your mission to others and to fundraise on your behalf.
All your organization needs to do is to give your supporters the tools they need to become fundraising all-stars. You also need to thank them and recognize their efforts, large and small, and share their stories to inspire others to follow their lead.
10 reasons why your charity should add peer-to-peer fundraising to your mix:
- By getting your network to fundraise on your behalf, you expand your reach exponentially, growing your charity. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to find new donors and prospects;
- It gets results: Peer-to-peer fundraising gives high fundraising yields and increased donor acquisition. According to one study, each “active” fundraiser (where active = raises $1 or more) brings in $568 through his or her fundraising page and brings in an average of 7 donors, of whom 4, on average, will be new to your charity;
- You get great response rates: friends asking friends to donate results in something like 10 times higher response rates and 52% higher donations than cold calls and emails;
- Peer-to-peer fundraising adds diversity to your fundraising mix and helps to make your organization’s funding more stable. it makes good sense to add another string to your fundraising bow, provided that it has good return on investment in terms of time and money. Peer-to-peer fundraising can have a much better ROI than events;
- It’s a simple way to transform every birthday, holiday and other milestone into an opportunity to give to your charity. charity:water’s birthday campaign using peer-to-peer giving has raised over $9 million in a few years and over 40,000 people have pledged their birthdays to the cause, giving a steady revenue stream throughout the year. The average amount raised by a person’s birthday campaign at charity:water is $770. (See more about the peer-to-peer birthday campaigns below);
- It brings your greatest fans closer to the organization. Peer-to-peer fundraising allows your supporters to get more involved with your organization and its mission. It also allows helps you forge a deeper connection with supporters by linking fundraising to the special events in their lives;
- It provides an opportunity for those who love your organization to do more than just give money, especially if they are already giving to their maximum capacity. Many of your supporters may be cash poor but enthusiasm rich and you can tap into their enthusiasm and creativity. At an organization I used to work at, we had one donor who wanted to do more but was uncertain about how. One thing she knew she was good at was baking bread, so she wondered if she could teach others how to bake. After discussing her wish with me, I helped her create a personal giving page called “Dough for Dough” where her friends could make a donation as a thank you for her baking lessons. Her initial fundraising goal was about $350; to date, she’s raised over $5800 and brought about 127 donors to the charity. She now feels closer than ever to the organization and its mission;
- The example of one person’s act of generosity will inspire other people so that more and more people will create giving pages, if you communicate the story well. In the example given above, the donor was initially inspired to do more after reading a newsletter article I wrote about an 8-year-old who collected bottles for our cause;
- It’s low-cost, and easy to manage and administer once you’ve got the pieces in place such as your online platform. There’s a wealth of online tools such as Razoo, Crowdrise, Canada Helps and more that are free or low-cost and that can be set up very easily and quickly for your organization;
- Other charities are using it so your organization risks getting left behind.
OK, you want to start peer-to-peer fundraising…