What You Need to Know About Creating a Successful Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaign
Posted by Guest Blogger at Jun 04, 2014 07:01 AM CDT

This article was written by Lisa Nichols, web developer, Firefly Partners.

Online peer-to-peer fundraising is a hot topic these days, with reports from Network for Good’s Digital Giving Index showing that peer-to-peer (P2P) giving has grown as much as 250% over the past four years. Chances are good that your organization has discussed implementing your own P2P campaign, if you don’t already have one in place.

In some ways, implementing a new P2P campaign is like creating any new multi-channel fundraising campaign: you’ll want to set goals, devise a strategy, determine how to track success, etc. With P2P, there is a whole new layer of possibility (and complication) to consider. What do you need to know before you start? Let’s take a look:

What Are the Goals of Your Campaign?

One of the key benefits of a P2P campaign is that it can do more than just raise funds for your organization. Did I get your attention? P2P campaigns are uniquely suited to raise awareness and also recruit new supporters while bringing in donations. Setting comprehensive engagement metrics should figure into your goal setting for the overall campaign.

In addition to your monetary goals, maybe you want to increase your email subscriptions by 10%, or sign up new volunteers. With P2P fundraising, your supporters aren’t just asking their peers for money, they’re telling people about your organization, and your goals can reflect that.

Identify Your Likely Participants & Their Communication Channels

You know who your donors are, but which of them are most likely to sign up for P2P fundraising? A good rule of thumb is to look at which of your donors are active on social media, like Facebook and Twitter. The more actively your donors communicate online, the more likely they are to participate in your P2P campaign. 

It’s easy to assume this means your younger donors, but that may not be the case. For example, the fastest growing age bracket on Twitter in 2013 was the 55-64 year olds, and that’s a trend that holds true across most social media sites. And definitely don’t forget the value of email, which is as valuable a tool for P2P fundraisers as it is for your own in-house campaigns.

What Is Your Campaign Participant Story?

Yes Virginia, every campaign needs a story – and P2P has as many variations as there are participants! While your overall organization’s call to action should be clear and compelling, you want to encourage your supporters to share theirs as well. Provide prompts for your participants to share why they have chosen to run 5K for your nonprofit, and suddenly your particular issue seems personal and close to home.

Your campaign communication plan should include ways to invite your supporters to chime in, whether through their individual fundraising pages, via social media, or through testimonials.

Do You Need A Rocket or A City Bus?

Ah yes, P2P fundraising tools. There are a whole bunch of them out there. Part of developing your P2P strategy will involve determining what actions you want your supporters to take. Do you want them to be able to post their own stories? Share things across social media? Send email? As crucial as it is to find an online tool that does the things you need it to do (like building comprehensive reports and creating outbound communication), don’t forget for P2P it’s equally important to make sure your tools can do what you want your supporters to do too!

Fresh, interesting content is the key to success in any online campaign, so you’ll be feeding the content beast throughout the event lifecycle. Whether it’s providing updated event information, a blog post, or spotlighting participants – you’ll want something that brings your supporters (and their donors) back to your site multiple times. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that whatever tools you use are tailored to your team’s technical abilities (and that plenty of training is available so you can keep the content on your site regularly updated).

I hope this gives you some things to consider as you get ready to dive into the world of P2P fundraising.

Do you have any tips to add? Please share them in the comment section below.

Looking for examples? See Firefly Partners’ recent P2P case study for VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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