3 reasons peer-to-peer fundraising is a nonprofit necessity

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Date Published
02/24/2014

Despite the fairly straight-forward nature of peer-to-peer fundraising, many nonprofit organizations still struggle to incorporate this strategy into their overall outreach efforts. This can be detrimental to the growth of a charitable organization considering the wide ranging benefits P2P fundraising can provide. The key element of this fundraising tactic is it gives nonprofits the ability to access donors they’d likely not have access to using traditional acquisition or prospects lists. At the same time, it draws organizations and contributors closer together because they’re essentially working toward a common goal. In addition, social networking sites have made P2P fundraising an even more convenient way to appeal for donations.

1. Reaching new donors
Software for nonprofits has expanded rapidly to accommodate philanthropic groups and public broadcasters aiming to expand their donor lists. With a peer-to-peer strategy, an organization can essentially transform their existing donors into fundraisers.

“We’ve found that with our clients this is a really good way to get brand new donors that may be interested in donating, but just have never done it,” explained Sonja Jensen, Allegiance Fundraising. “The stations that use it will dedicate a pledge break for each challenge, and all the money that their friends have pledged will show up during that break and just gives a lot of incentive to keep it going”

The platform that Allegiance provides to nonprofit enterprises works through many of the digital channels that organizations and donors have come to use with increasing frequency. During a pledge drive, nonprofits can appeal to board members or major giving sources, which can include business leaders and well-known individuals in a given community. This can be really beneficial for pledge drives.

2. Extending the relationship

From there, donors are given a unique URL that links to a giving page that the individual can customize using text and pictures. The nonprofit ultimately has editorial control over the content. However, the person who has set up their distinct fundraising page is able to leverage their website, email and social networking sites to disseminate their individual link to family, friends and colleagues. 

“Every donor has their own unique link,” Jensen said. “So if I send out a tweet with my link or put it on my Facebook page, any of my friends that clicked on it would just see my photo and my text and my matches that have come in.”

In this way, nonprofits and donors are working in tandem to generate interest and greater participation. Donors can set up a challenge or match drive and ask for others to participate. Friends and colleagues who click on the link can see the people who have already contributed to the fundraiser and how much money has already been raised toward the goal.

3. Integrating social networks
Through social media, this can bring about astounding results. The photo or image a donor chooses to incorporate can be an effective medium to spawn increased visibility. Fundraising Success magazine highlighted the case of Human Rights Campaign where the organization’s Go Red for Marriage Equality project ushered in a tremendous amount of support on social media.

Concurrent with a Supreme Court argument involving marriage equality in March 2013, Human Rights Campaign pushed Facebook users to support the cause by changing their profile pictures to incorporate a red image. On March 26, the number of people who changed their profile image increased by 2.7 million compared to an average Tuesday. Accordingly, the image that donors integrate during a fundraising campaign can significantly influence the outcome.

Peer-to-peer fundraising provides numerous possibilities for nonprofit organizations. In addition to seeking out new donors, there’s also an added benefit of strengthening the relationships charitable groups have with their existing contributors.

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