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8 min read

Your Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Success

vector illustration of peer to peer fundraising

So your organization has its eyes set on a campaign goal, and are looking for ways to promote it. How do you get your team members to join in and spread the word about your mission? There are many ways to do so, but peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the best, and most fun ways, to hit your goal and get others involved.

Use this guide (and the quick links below) for tips and ideas on how to create the best peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

What It Is and The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a type of campaign that uses your team members and supporters to raise money on your organization’s behalf. Your organization creates a main page about the campaign, then your volunteers sign up to create their personal page that connects back to the main page.

Also called social fundraising or just P2P, peer-to-peer is crowdfunding and personal fundraising rolled into one. It is a great way to hit fundraising goals and get your team and the local community involved. It utilizes the popularity of online giving through the power of word-of-mouth and social media, while giving each campaign member a creative way to hit their own goal for the larger cause.

For all your donors, whether they are family, friends, or strangers, the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns includes the creation of strong advocates and everyone working together. It puts many faces to the name of the organization, and gives donors an immediate connection to the cause. It’s personal, shareable, and allows for an extensive amount of creativity to raise money together.

Campus Outreach leveraged all the benefits of iDonate Peer-to-Peer and saw tremendous success. Watch the video below to see how their Summer Beach Project became easier and more empowering for everyone. 

HubSpot Video

Campaign Ideas

The great thing about P2P is that it can be used for just about anything. It is designed to bring many people together for a single cause while giving each member their own page to tell their own reason why they are supporting it. It’s ideal for larger events so you can hit a bigger goal, but it is still great for smaller campaigns to support a more specific focus. As well, any P2P campaign can also be for a virtual event so to still connect people even if they can't meet in person.

Below are some quick ideas where peer-to-peer fundraising can be used.

  • Birthdays — In lieu of gifts, get people to raise money for a cause you are passionate about. If they were already going to spend $10 on a gift card, instead have them give money to a local animal rescue.
  • Races (fun runs, 5K, 10K, etc.) — Races are always a great way to bring the local community together. It directly connects donors to a cause in person, but also with the added benefit of fun exercise together.
  • Crisis support — In times of crisis, the true spirit of generosity always kicks in. These tragic events pull the heartstrings of anyone looking to help, and the best way to spread the word is through peer-to-peer.
  • National giving days — Days like the International Day of Charity in September or Giving Tuesday in November are two of the biggest days of giving around the US and the world. These are days specifically designed for worldwide generosity, and what better way to be a part of a global event than with a peer-to-peer campaign?

See how Belmont Abbey College and Alabama Baptist Children's Homes used iDonate Peer-to-Peer to boost their Giving Tuesday success. → Read More

Set Up Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Right

Whatever P2P campaign idea your organization chooses to go with, setting up your peer-to-peer fundraising page is the same for all. Keep these tips in mind to start off on the right foot.

Set Your Fundraising Goal

Big or small, a fundraising goal gives you and your donors something to strive for. We suggest a minimum of $200. Remember, this can be changed anytime you want during your campaign.

Tell Your Story

Everyone has their own “why” – why they decided to take action and raise money. Our stories are what connect us. Sharing your personal story is an effective way to motivate others to donate on your behalf or join in on the fun and raise money themselves. You will help inspire a more personal connection to why this cause is important - that’s why what you have to say is important.

Add a Photo or Video

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video can show your personality. Find a picture or video that captures your story and share it on your P2P fundraising page. The best is one of yourself volunteering with the organization or for the cause you are raising money for, or something of your entire team at a group event. If possible, have a phot or video that matches with the story you told from above. Find a way that shows the reader the real action of the cause.

Brand Consistency

As you’re building out your P2P page and figuring out how to promote it, keep your brand and messaging consistent across all channels. Use the same link, logos, and colors.

See the success that America's VetDogs and The Guide Dog Foundation had with iDonate Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. → Read More

Let’s Raise Some Money

Now that you have your P2P page ready to go, it’s time to get it rolling by starting with these tips.

Make the First Donation

It is scary to be the first donor to a fundraiser. Seeing $0 on your page can be very intimidating (especially if you have a big goal) and a lot of donors will tell themselves, “I will come back and make a donation later,” but never do. To show your personal commitment to your fundraiser and encourage others to donate, we suggest being the first donor on your peer-to-peer fundraising page.

Reach Out 1:1

We all have those friends, family members and co-workers that would do just about anything for us – help us move, babysit our kids, ditch their plans to meet up with us last minute, etc. Make a list of the people you can always count on and reach out to them personally via phone/text or email to make a donation. Again, it is important to make this a 1:1 ask because we want them to feel special.

Send Emails

After you have completed the above, it is time to reach out to everyone in your contacts. 

A successful peer-to-peer fundraising email includes these things:

  • Make it personal — Tell your story. Introduce yourself and clearly communicate what are you doing and why is it important to you. Reiterate the story you told on your peer-to-peer page.
  • A picture or two to connect your audience
  • A heartfelt ask to make a donation on your behalf. Be sure to say what the money is for. Give them even more of a reason to trust you and the nonprofit you are working for.
  • The link to your fundraising page
  • Other options — “If you are unable to donate at this time, would you please consider forwarding this email to help share my story?”

People tend to gloss through emails quickly, especially if they get a lot of them. Keep it brief, but remember to focus on engagement. Tell your story in a quick, yet powerful way that grabs the reader's attention immediately. Also make sure to update this email list throughout your campaign. Communicate often about your progress and your upcoming P2P fundraising deadline and goal.

Post on Social Media

We know our friends and family spend time on social media, so why not share your P2P fundraiser with them there? Post images and a brief description of your fundraiser on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or TikTok. What might be more fun is sharing a short video to social media – sometimes it is easier to verbally communicate your story as opposed to writing it.

As well, social media is usually the best place to get your P2P fundraiser out beyond your family and friends. By using hashtags and even tagging other people, you can grow your fundraiser to the entire world and make it a true crowdfunding event.

Make sure to share your peer-to-peer fundraising link with your post. We recommend adding the verbiage “link in comments” at the end of your post and pasting your personal fundraising link to the first comment on your post. This will ensure more people see your post (thanks algorithms!).

Raise Even More

Sometimes, people may need a little more of a push than just a single post or email. Give them a convincing reason to donate with these fun ideas.

Use Incentives

Get creative with your fundraising and find ways to engage with your network. This also will help create urgency around your campaign, and urgency = fundraising success.

Here are a few of our favorite fun incentive examples:

  • For every $25 you donate, you will be entered in a drawing for a prize (could be big or small, a coffee gift card, a free lawn mowing, etc.).
  • I will share a photo/video once we reach $1,000 (a photo of a head shaving, a video of your first attempt at ice-skating, etc.).
  • My goal today is to raise $500 and I will not get off this treadmill until we hit that number.

Also let them know that their donation could be matched by their employer. Corporate matching gifts are a great way to effectively double their donation with just a couple clicks.

Make It a Competition

Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Get your friends and family to help you raise the most money by the end of the week vs. your fellow competitors, and maybe the last-place finisher gets a pie to the face. Just remember to keep your eyes on the true prize, and that is hitting the target goal for the organization’s campaign.

Support Your Teammates

Even in the midst of a competition, it is still a good idea to support your teammates. The benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising go beyond just the monetary numbers. It's about connection. Everyone who is a part of the campaign is supporting the same cause and all money raised is going to the same place. If a friend is aiming for a certain goal or especially if they have hit a certain milestone, be sure to share their link to your own audience to further spread the message.

Find the best ways to increase online giving with powerful tools and optimizers from iDonate, including Peer-to-Peer. → Read More

When and How to Share Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Page

Once people have donated to your P2P campaign, giving them and everyone consistent updates builds constant and stronger connections. This is what truly puts the “social” in social fundraising. How should you use email and social media to share these updates?

  • When you start your campaign – This is the time to announce what you are doing and why it is important to you.
  • Each time you hit a campaign milestone or have an update to share – This could be a fundraising or activity milestone or one about the campaign as a whole.
  • Final fundraising push – Communicate how much longer the P2P campaign is and/or how much fundraising you have left. For example “we are only $350 away from our goal” or “only 3 more days left to make a donation.”
  • Day of your event (if applicable) – The day of your campaign is a great time to engage with donors. This is the time to show that you are really doing the activity you have been talking about. For social: we recommend posting several times this day.
  • End of your campaign – A time to say thank you and give a final update on your campaign.
  • A personal thank you message for each donor – We recommend posting a special thank you to donors and tagging them in the post to make them feel special and give your campaign more exposure.

Say Thank You

Last but not least, saying thank you to your donors goes a long way in showing gratitude for their donation. You can call/text or email, but make sure you send a personal thank you to every donor.

If you have heavily used social media, tag them in a post or two to further call them out. Better yet, try and go the extra step and make a video of you thanking everyone by name. Whichever way you choose, thanking your donors shows their donation was more than just another transaction, but that you personally felt the impact of their generosity.

Have Everything?

Use this checklist to make sure you have everything in order to best set yourself up for peer-to-peer fundraising success.

  • Personalize your peer-to-peer fundraising page — Let everyone know what you are doing and why are you doing it. Add in photos, videos, and consistent messaging and colors to match with your brand.
  • Set a fundraising goal — Big or small, a fundraising goal gives you and your donors something to strive for. We suggest a minimum of $200.
  • Make the first donation — Show your personal commitment to your event by donating on your fundraising page.
  • Spread the word — Send emails, texts, and post on social media.
  • Track your giving — If you’re able, track where you are sending your link and how many are clicking on it. Adjust your messaging and timing to see if there is something you can optimize on your page.
  • Say thank you — Above all else, say thank you; not just at the end of your campaign, but after each donation. Tell your donors what each gift means to the cause you are fighting for.

Now that you know the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising, are you ready to the next level? iDonate has the powerful tools and support to amplify your giving through P2P. Click the link below to contact us and get started.

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