How Hackensack University Medical Center and Eli Manning Built a Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign – Fast!

Believe it or not, getting a site up and running for a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign doesn’t have to take months and months.  I’d like to tell you a story about a nonprofit that was able to get a creative peer-to-peer fundraising campaign up and running both quickly and successfully.

The Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) had a great opportunity: For the 2016 season, Eli Manning, quarterback for the New York Giants football team, committed to match community donations to the nonprofit’s fundraising campaign, Tackle Kids Cancer. HackensackUMC Foundation needed to get the Eli’s Challenge website up and running within just a few weeks to be able to take full advantage of Manning’s matching gift offer and the 2016 football season.

The site gave individuals the options to:

  • Raise funds on behalf of Eli’s Challenge
  • Create a team, recruit others to join, and fundraise as a group
  • Join an existing team and fundraise as a group

HackensackUMC Foundation turned to Cathexis Partners to build the site on their TeamRaiser peer-to-peer software platform, getting the campaign site live in just two weeks. The campaign raised more than $150,000 (exceeding the goal of $100,000) within five months.

Now, sure, having Eli Manning associated with the campaign most likely helped the campaign results. But the Cathexis Partners team helped HackensackUMC Foundation employ some approaches and best practices that helped to get the campaign running both quickly and successfully:

  • HackensackUMC Foundation used one of Cathexis Partners’ responsive TeamRaiser templates versus starting the site design from scratch
  • The site offered clear registration directions, FAQs, and information about the cause
  • The site incorporated milestones that were related to the campaign’s football theme
  • The site provided suggested messages for participants to use when reaching out to their friends and family for donations

After the speed and success of this campaign, HackensackUMC Foundation is now using the same approach for additional TeamRaiser-based peer-to-peer fundraising events, including an endurance event. (And, by the way, Eli Manning won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2016 for his charitable work.)

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaign sites certainly can take more time to build than this one. In fact, the scope and complexity of a campaign may warrant more time and custom development. But, keep in mind that if you need to launch a campaign quickly, and still incorporate best practices, it can be done. HackensackUMC Foundation proved it!


by Laura Higgins, Strategic Consultant, Cathexis Partners
Laura specializes in fundraising and community-building events, and has worked with nonprofits for more than 15 years.

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