4 Key Benefits of Using Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software - Heller Consulting

4 Key Benefits of Using Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software

For nonprofits, peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective way to engage your community, connect with both new and existing supporters, and bring in donations, all at the same time. During a peer-to-peer campaign, individuals or teams of supporters reach out to their family members, friends, and other social connections to fundraise on your behalf.

Unlike other donation drives, such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraisers are fully supporter-led. In order for your nonprofit to create the best possible experience for participants and give them the tools they need for success, make sure to use software designed specifically for peer-to-peer fundraising.

In this article, we’ll walk through four specific benefits your nonprofit can gain by using peer-to-peer fundraising software, including:

  • Allowing community members to personalize their fundraising pages.
  • Integrating peer-to-peer fundraising into your organization’s events.
  • Spreading awareness of your nonprofit’s mission and initiatives.
  • Tracking your fundraising results more effectively.

As your nonprofit launches its next peer-to-peer campaign, research peer-to-peer-platforms in order to choose the right software for your organization’s needs. A good peer-to-peer fundraising platform will be easy for your supporters to use, allow you to stay connected with donors, and give you oversight in the fundraising process.

Allowing community members to personalize their fundraising pages.

In a peer-to-peer fundraiser, supporters take care of the work of soliciting donations for your nonprofit, allowing you to focus on your overarching fundraising goals. To get your supporters started, you’ll use your chosen peer-to-peer fundraising tool to create the main page for your fundraiser. Your supporters can then design their own pages and share them with their friends and family to collect donations.

When supporters create their fundraising pages, they can tell their own story of why they’re involved with your nonprofit. Maybe they personally benefited from your organization’s work, support your cause on behalf of a loved one, or have observed the impact you make through past volunteer opportunities. Stories like these are more engaging and memorable than facts alone since readers can connect emotionally, and that emotion often inspires action.

Personalized fundraising pages created through peer-to-peer fundraising software can also attract donors who might not have considered giving to your nonprofit otherwise. For some, receiving a link to a peer-to-peer fundraiser may be the first time they hear about your organization, and a referral from a friend or family member may improve your organization’s credibility in their view.

Integrating peer-to-peer fundraising into your organization’s events.

In addition to being a great standalone fundraising option, peer-to-peer fundraisers pair well with a number of nonprofit events. Whether your event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, adding a peer-to-peer component can help your organization raise more funds and spread greater awareness about your mission. 

By adding a peer-to-peer fundraising component to your next event, you’ll get more people involved with your organization by leveraging your supporters’ networks to attract more participants than you would have otherwise. Using specialized software will also allow you to track the revenue you bring in from the peer-to-peer side of your event effectively and reach out to supporters to show appreciation.

Some of the best events to use peer-to-peer fundraising software with include:

  • 5K or other races. Grassroots Unwired’s guide to successful 5K fundraisers encourages including peer-to-peer fundraising as a monetization strategy for races, in addition to charging entrance fees for participants and selling merchandise or concessions. Using peer-to-peer fundraising software can help attract participants and create friendly competition between race teams to drive fundraising.
  • A-thon style events. Participants in a-thon style events (walk-a-thons, bowl-a-thons, etc.) will be more motivated to walk more miles, bowl higher scores, dance more hours, or read more books if their friends and family donate to support them, which the right peer-to-peer fundraising software can track effectively.
  • Giving days. Take Giving Tuesday or the anniversary of your organization’s founding to the next level by linking it to a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Since your goal is to bring in a lot of contributions in a short period of time, peer-to-peer fundraising software will help your nonprofit spread the word even faster than your organization could alone.

Using peer-to-peer software to promote and bring in donations for your events can help to generate more discussions about your nonprofit and its mission, keeping donors and attendees engaged after the event ends.

Spreading awareness of your nonprofit’s mission and initiatives.

Besides the extra support that peer-to-peer fundraising provides for events, these campaigns can also help to spread the word about your organization’s ongoing efforts. When supporters share their peer-to-peer fundraiser pages with their social network, they market your nonprofit as they ask for donations. Their friends and family may then research your mission and other opportunities for involvement that they wouldn’t have heard about otherwise.

Adding this outreach channel not only expands your reach, but it also works toward building an engaged nonprofit community. Supporters come together around your cause, leveraging their social networks to build stronger connections between your organization and its donors.

If your organization focuses on advocacy, you can also use peer-to-peer fundraising software to create new connections that can help you mobilize a larger group for action. When you bring in donations through peer-to-peer fundraisers, you’ll get the contact information of newly interested, socially connected, local supporters who you can then reach out to during community advocacy initiatives.

Tracking your fundraising results more effectively.

Your peer-to-peer fundraising software can track a variety of data that you’ll be able to reference as you design future campaigns. Through your peer-to-peer platform, you’ll be able to see all of the donations that come in in real time, as well as which supporters are bringing in the most funds through their pages.

As this data comes in, you’ll want to review it carefully so that your nonprofit can reach out to recurring donors and major giving prospects to keep them involved. Some ideas that you can try when conducting this outreach include:

  • Showing appreciation and gratitude. Send a personalized thank-you message to each donor, including their name, contribution amount, and an example of the positive impact their donation will make. At the end of the fundraiser, thank all the supporters who made fundraising pages—potentially by sending them a gift—and provide them with a feedback form to help improve their future experiences with your organization.
  • Using supporters’ preferred methods of communication. While email will likely be the easiest method of sending your initial thank-you to donors, include a short survey asking whether they’d like to receive future information about your organization via email or another communication method (phone calls, text messages, etc.). That way, supporters will likely be more responsive to your messages over time.
  • Suggesting other opportunities for involvement. After you thank each donor, send a follow-up with information about upcoming events or volunteer opportunities so that they can easily continue engaging with your organization.

Peer-to-peer fundraising software can also contribute to your nonprofit’s overarching fundraising strategy. Re:Charity’s guide to using technology in fundraising strategies lists a number of related improvements, including lowered geographic barriers and data-driven decision-making. Peer-to-peer software can expand your nonprofit’s reach to new locations and help you identify strengths and areas for improvement in your strategy, especially during events.

If your organization is planning to run a peer-to-peer fundraiser, start by investing in peer-to-peer software. With the right software, you’ll allow your volunteers to express their personal connections to your cause, promote events more effectively, spread awareness about your mission, and collect data that you can use to improve your fundraising efforts in the future.

About the Author:

Russ’ first experience in the world of grassroots organizing came when he was an infant and his mother pushed him in a stroller door to door to collect signatures for the Impeach Nixon movement. Eighteen years later he embarked on his college career in Washington, DC and during that time developed a passion for campaigns and elections that started with an internship on the campaign of the first woman ever elected to Congress from the State of Virginia. 

For the next 15 years Russ lived and breathed campaigns, running field operations in a wide range of races and for a number of coordinated campaign efforts. When it became obvious to Russ that the technology existed to make field efforts drastically more efficient and accountable but the solutions did not, he launched Grassroots Unwired and has worked every day since to keep GU on the cutting edge, pushing new features and enhancements to meet the needs of every evolving grassroots organizing efforts.