When it comes to executing a fundraising campaign, two heads are better than one. And if you want to sail past your goal, you'll need a whole team of people working for your cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising (or P2P fundraising, for short) is a campaign strategy where you target the networks of your existing supporters.
By encouraging your loyal supporters to fundraise on your behalf, you can hit your campaign goal in a fraction of the time.
At Givebutter, we've witnessed how P2P fundraising can help raise funds for a good cause. Below, we explain what peer-to-peer fundraising is, the tools you’ll need to launch a successful campaign, and how Sprout Social used it to raise money for 10 nonprofit organizations.
What is P2P fundraising, exactly?
Peer-to-peer fundraising, or P2P fundraising, is a strategy where you leverage the networks of your existing supporter base. With a P2P campaign, loyal supporters share an organization's campaign with their family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, thereby attracting new donors to the organization.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a multi-tiered fundraising strategy. Individual donors pass on your campaign to their friends and family, who then pass it on to their networks, and so on. Soon, a whole army of supporters helps raise money for your good cause — rather than just your internal staff and volunteers.
When you organize a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your immediate goal isn't to attract a wide audience or start a viral social media campaign. Instead, your focus should be on capturing the hearts and attention of your most loyal supporters — so much so that they'll feel compelled to pass it on to their networks. Once you pass your campaign off to existing donors, you'll want to supply them with the right fundraising tools and resources to easily pass it on to their friends.
With the right strategy, P2P fundraising is an affordable, simple way to pass your message on to a wider audience.
Soon, you can deepen your connection to your existing donors and easily attract new supporters.
Why for-profit companies should implement P2P fundraising
For-profit companies are using P2P fundraising techniques to raise money for causes their employees care about. Why? Because studies show that companies that do good — like raising money for charity — have a better chance of attracting top talent.
In fact, studies show that 81% of Millennials state they want to work for (and buy from) companies that are good corporate citizens. To attract new job candidates and retain their existing employees, many companies are launching corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Within these programs, companies can offer paid leave for volunteer work, sponsor fundraising campaigns, and purchase from green or sustainable companies throughout the supply chain.
Launching a peer-to-peer fundraiser is a great component of any corporate CSR program. You can have your employees nominate various nonprofits they want to sponsor, then host a giving day (or giving week!) at your company. Your employees can invite their friends, family, and neighbors to give, thereby raising more money for a good cause.
How Sprout Social launched a P2P fundraiser at their company
Want to know how to launch a P2P fundraising event at your company? Rather than reinvent the wheel, start by looking at companies who did it right.
Sprout Social is a social media technology company based in Chicago. Deeply committed to giving back to society, the company puts on an annual Philanthropy Week to raise funds for a good cause. Each year, they commit five days to give back to the charities they care about and better the communities they live in.
In their 3rd annual Philanthropy Week, Sprout Social chose to sponsor ten different charities. By the end of the week, they collectively raised $19k for charity on Givebutter alone. Here are just a few peer-to-peer fundraising tools they used to hit their goal:
- Branded pages 🎨: Each charity was given its own dedicated campaign page to boost their fundraising efforts. That way, each team member could direct their friends and family to a personal fundraising page to learn more about the cause they care about.
- Customizable links 🔗: Each donation page had its own custom URL and sharing buttons, making it easy for teams to share the campaign with friends. Plus, team members were able to invite their networks via trackable links to ignite a little friendly competition between employees.
- Giving hub 🏡: Since Sprout Social raised money for 10 different charities, they took advantage of the Giving Hub — a central landing page for the entire Philanthropy Week. A Giving Hub provides a high-level overview across the entire crowdfunding campaign, creating space for people to make a general donation, offering an about and FAQ section, and showing off peer-to-peer events, forms, and individual fundraisers all in one place.
- One-click social sharing 👯: Each day, Sprout Social had a dedicated event or goal. For example, on the first day they created a "Why my charity?" movement on social media where team members create videos talking about why they chose the nonprofit they did. Using the one-click social sharing feature made it easy for team members to share with their social networks, leading to 103,000 impressions throughout the week.
- Content templates ✍: Sprout Social encouraged their employees to be active on social media each day to drive awareness to the campaign. Therefore, they provided content (in the form of social media and email templates) to make it as easy as possible to drive their social network to their campaign.
- Matching gifts 🎁: Sprout Social decided to opt-out of including an optional fundraising goal with their campaigns. However, Sprout Social and Morgan Stanley offered extra incentives through matching gifts, bringing the grand total raised to $43,329.
- Leaderboards 🏆: To boost their online fundraising efforts, Sprout Social created a leaderboard for their campaign. Teams competed by winning points from attending events, participating in social fundraising activities, or donating to their charity of choice.
- Active supporter feeds 🎥: To create a successful peer-to-peer campaign, you need to excite new and existing supporters alike. Each of Sprout Social's 10 campaigns contained extremely active feeds where donors shared stories, GIFs, videos, and images to show their support.
- Email and text invites 🖥: To help guide friends and family to their charity of choice, Sprout Social employees used SMS and email invites. That way, they raised a significant amount of money in a short time frame.
P2P fundraising can take your campaign to the next level
Peer-to-peer fundraising — or P2P fundraising — transforms loyal supporters into individual fundraisers for your campaign.
With this approach, existing donors drive their friends and family members to a given charity, helping to reach their donation campaign goal.
For-profit companies, like Sprout Social, can use P2P fundraising ideas to raise funds for their cause of choice. But before you launch a campaign, you need the right peer-to-peer fundraising software to help you reach your goal.
Givebutter's peer-to-peer fundraising platform has 70+ features to help drive new donors to your campaign. Through one-click social sharing, custom URLs, branded pages, SMS and email invites, and leaderboards, you can create a fun, competitive campaign to raise funds for a good cause.
Ready to see how Givebutter can help you reach your fundraising goal? Sign up for a free account today to start planning your next peer-to-peer campaign.
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.