Leading by Example: Five Organizations that Kick-Ass at Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Updated: Jun 9
This is a guest blog and is posted with permission from Funraise.
Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) is an opportunity for nonprofits of all sizes to leverage the incredible social power of their supporters' networks to raise funds. According to the 2019 Global NGO Technology Report, nearly 40% of nonprofits have successfully taken advantage of peer-to-peer campaigns to augment their existing fundraising strategy. Which means... there's a huge opportunity for the remaining 60% of nonprofits that have yet to launch a peer-to-peer fundraiser and get their piece of the fundraising pie.
If your nonprofit is ready to start peer-to-peer fundraising, it's important to consider these four fundamentals for a successful campaign:
Urgency Create urgency for your campaign by creating a timeline, offering incentives, or providing matching grants.
Goals Set clear goals with specific dollar amount and outcome
Emotion Tug at supporters heartstrings with stories that inspire action and build emotional connections
Momentum After you launch your campaign, make sure to build momentum with constant communication with your supporters.
Once you've got these fundamentals down, you're ready to get started! Here's some inspo to help set you up for peer-to-peer fundraising success.
Five Nonprofits That Kick-Ass at Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Dressember is an organization that aims to end modern-day slavery. Their preferred method of raising funds? Peer-to-peer fundraising, of course. Every year, Dressember rallies their advocates to fundraise on the organization's behalf while doing so in style—by wearing a dress every day during December. In 2018, Dressember created a sense of urgency by focusing on the month of December (although their campaign runs all year long). They also set a clear goal of $3M, told powerful stories and created an emotional connection. To add to the excitement, they built momentum through live progress bars, as well as featured the advocates and team fundraisers on their campaign page. If you want to start a peer-to-peer campaign, Dressember is definitely #p2pgoals.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Now, we're not saying that getting a celebrity to be the spokesperson of your campaign is necessary, but it doesn't hurt (depending on the celebrity, of course). Step With Jillian is a part of the larger USA for UNHCR Step With Refugees peer-to-peer campaign. The Step With Jillian Challenge challenged participants to join Jillian Michaels in completing 100 miles during July to raise funds for refugees. This campaign has it all: the goal of reaching 100 miles, the urgency of completing the goal in July, and powerful and emotional storytelling.
Barbells for Boobs
Barbells for Boobs aims to redefine the standards of breast health and improve the quality of life of those impacted by breast cancer through fitness education and programs. They created a stunning peer-to-peer fundraising campaign page that embodies the spirit of the organization and the dedication of its supporters. Their page features a progress bar showcasing how much they raised with the help of their supporters and teams who are also featured on the page. What's different about Barbells for Boobs' page is that their campaign is ongoing and has no set goal; however, it remains timely since their recent donors are highlighted.
To add icing the P2P cake, the organization used Funraise's Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Toolkit for Nonprofit Supporters to send their supporters who signed on to fundraise on the organization's behalf. Overall, this is a great example of how to launch a general, ongoing peer-to-peer campaign that can serve as a year-round way to meet your fundraising goals.
While they're not a U.S.-based nonprofit, Polished Man's peer-to-peer campaign is definitely on the top of our list of effective peer-to-peer fundraisers. The organization focuses on trauma recovery and prevention services for children who are at-risk of or have suffered violence. The organization urges men to paint one fingernail during October to raise awareness of violence against children. Their peer-to-peer campaign page pulls you in with striking imagery and highlights how much the org has raised thus far. What's great about this campaign is Polished Man's clear messaging, their use of video storytelling, and their transparency in explaining how the funds are used.
Claire's Place Foundation
Claire's Place Foundation provides emotional and financial support to families living with cystic fibrosis. Every year they host a Glow Ride to help raise funds for their organization using a peer-to-peer campaign to power their fundraising. The organization encourages participants to get your “glow on” and "help light up the night" on a night bike ride from the Hermosa Beach Pier to The Manhattan Beach pier and back. This is a fun example of how organizations can creatively use P2P to raise funds—in this case, host an awesome event that gets your local community involved.
Now that you've gathered all the intel on nonprofits doing it big in the peer-to-peer fundraising space, it's time to start planning your own peer-to-peer campaign. If you're still not sure where to start, check out Funraise's guide, Mastering the Zen of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, and start raising more dollars for your nonprofit.