Creative Approaches to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about creative approaches to peer-to-peer fundraising (and likely not the last). I typically try not to repeat subjects often, but I was recently asked by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (aka DMAW) to present the webinar Beyond the Event: Creative Approaches to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, and we continue to receive requests from nonprofits for more content on the topic. AND, peer-to-peer fundraising is one of our favorite topics at Cathexis Partners anyway. So, why not?

Here’s something for you to consider:  you may be missing out on creative and effective ways to use peer-to-peer tools and approaches beyond traditional events. Don’t get me wrong. Traditional run, walk, and ride events are highly effective. But, non-traditional peer-to-peer campaigns have an important place in fundraising, too. They’re typically less expensive to pull off than traditional events. And, they can be an effective way to supplement traditional peer-to-peer events year-round, especially in the periods between events.

Here are a few examples of approaches to get your supporters involved beyond traditional events:

  • Alumni campaigns — If your organization is an educational institution, consider create online campaigns that allow your alumni to raise funds for the programs at your organization that mean the most to them, such as athletics, scholarships, and research.
  • Challenges — Set up an environment in which your supporters can sign up to do X if their friends and family donate a certain amount of money. Think “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” and you’ve got the idea.
  • Special days — Ask your constituents to “donate” their special event — for example, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and other events — to your organization by asking friends and family to donate to your organization in lieu of presents.
  • Tributes/memorials — If you have a mission tied to supporting the fallen, injured, or lost due to disease, disorder, injustice, or war, provide your constituents with online tools to raise funds in the name of someone who has touched their life.
  • Virtual drives — If your organization is a food bank or does drives (food, clothing, etc.) as part of its mission, get your supporters involved by asking them to create their own virtual drives. Provide them with online tools and suggested email content to help them use emails and social media to ask their friends and family to donate. Set up the campaign on your website so that your supporters’ friends and family can place items in a virtual shopping cart that represent what you can do with the money they give with their donation amount.

There are so many ways to use the peer-to-peer fundraising model to raise funds and engage with supporters. Here are a few ways to learn more:


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