3 Examples of Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns


Every nonprofit organization is different. From the causes and charities they support to the way the organizations themselves are set up on the backend, there are many different ways to be successful in the nonprofit world.

While there are different paths to success, there are definitive templates to get there. Nonprofit organizations can look to other successful teams to see what they did right, what they did wrong, and where their strategies can be replicated.

This is also true with peer-to-peer campaigns. While many nonprofits come to the peer-to-peer game through runs, walks, and golf outings, there are plenty of creative ideas out there to choose from.

Nonprofits are often hesitant, however, to go too far outside the box in fear of raising fewer donations. That is why turning to successful stories of previous peer-to-peer campaigns can be a good way to get your creative campaigns off the ground.

Here are three creative examples of successful peer-to-peer campaigns to learn from:

  1. Well Aware & Shower Strike
  2. Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation
  3. Hill Country Ride for AIDS

Well Aware & Shower Strike

Well Aware & Shower Strike

Founded in the mid-2000s by Sarah Evans to help deliver water to underserved villages in Africa, Well Aware provides nearly a quarter million people in Africa with access to safe, clean drinking water.

elephantFrom the beginning, Sarah and the Well Aware team have turned to fun, out-of-the-box ideas to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

To fund their very first water project, Sarah and her friends went on a ‘shower strike’ where they stopped showering to raise money until their fundraising goal was complete.

Today, hundreds of people around the world take place in this yearly Shower Strike and together they have raised more than $1.5 million.

Although the Shower Strike is definitely out-of-the-box in the world of peer-to-peer campaigns, it actually shares the same backbone of other peer-to-peer fundraisers, namely:

Photo Courtesy of Well Aware

Participant Engagement:

The Well Aware Shower Strike now brings together over 320 participants that bring in donations and go on ‘strike’ to raise money. These engagement numbers also include one particular student-run page that encompassed hundreds of students in 2019.

Competitive Fundraising:

Top TeamsWith OneCause as their competitive peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Well Aware allows their participants to break into ‘leagues’ and fundraise as a team.

By calling on local businesses, partners, and sponsors, these leagues fundraise against each other in a competition to raise the most money.

Through a combination of social media, networking, and leaderboards, the competitive aspect of Shower Strike drives a significant portion of the campaign’s donations.

Matching Gifts:

Thanks to Well Aware’s large network of sponsors, donors, and participants, the team came up with even more ideas to maximize donations and amplify the power of every single dollar raised on the platform.

Well Aware proactively reached out to donors directly to see if they would match their donation for a specific league initiative. Altogether, matching gifts contributed to over $100,000 in donations to the Classroom to Clean Water league.

Targeted Communication:

One of the most powerful fundraising tools for the Well Aware Shower Strike is the ability to be highly personalized and targeted in messaging and donor communication. Using the OneCause peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Well Aware was able to engage more donors by connecting on a deeper, more emotional level.

With OneCause powering the Shower Strike peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, Well Aware achieved:

  • 191% growth in participants
  • 111% increase in league participation
  • 201% growth in team member participation in campaigns
  • 163% increase in total funds raised

Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation

Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation

Founded in 2016, the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation was started by Alyssa Lego and Amanda Witkowski when they were just 13 and 18 years old respectively.

MMM Foundation

As an organization dedicated to raising awareness for those on the autism spectrum, both Alyssa and Amanda have deep ties to the autism community and have dedicated their young lives to raising money and shining a spotlight on those with autism.

Now more than three years later, the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation is still going strong thanks to the dedication and attention of Alyssa, Amanda, their families, and their loyal supporters.


The organization’s biggest fundraiser, Shop Sell Strut!, has become an international phenomenon in its own right.

Event attendees buy and sell clothes and accessories they no longer need, and as the event has grown, the peer-to-peer engagement opportunities have grown as well.

As an organization with two high-school-aged founders, the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation started looking to make an immediate impact without too many overhead costs.

In order to give the Shop Sell Strut! event the professional polish it needed to dive more donations and bring in more attendees, Alyssa and Amanda turned to OneCause peer-to-peer fundraising software to take their event efforts to the next level through:

Photo Courtesy of Allanite

Event Management:

Nonprofit events can be a crash-course in crisis management and stress. For a small team like Alyssa and Amanda, dealing with the logistics, ticketing, billing, and auction items just wasn’t something that anyone had time for.

The right peer-to-peer management platform allowed the team to:

  • Successfully plan a large-scale, multiyear event
  • Maximize time and efforts for event management
  • Execute ticking, billing, and auctioning with ease

Ambassador Fundraising:

An innovative campaign within the peer-to-peer space is Ambassador Fundraising, in which a nonprofit’s most loyal supporters spearhead fundraising initiatives and act as the face of the peer-to-peer campaign.

Here were some of the 2019 Shop Sell Strut! Ambassadors:


Ambassador Fundraising solutions allowed the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation team to mobilize an army of teen fundraisers that created individual fundraising pages under the Shop Sell Strut! banner.

Social Networking:

With easily shareable peer-to-peer fundraising pages, Ambassadors, family members, and donors alike have been able to spread the word about Shop Sell Strut! and the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation with their social networks.

This social experience has been paramount in increasing brand awareness.

With a dedicated team and OneCause technology, the Shop Sell Strut! campaign:

  • Utilized social media to make #IStrutForAutism a trending topic worldwide
  • Empowered 39 Ambassadors for the Morgan, Marie, Michael Foundation
  • Increased Ambassador-led donations by 500%

Hill Country Ride for AIDS

Hill Country Ride for AIDS

While Shower Strike leverages an innovative fundraising concept and Shop Sell Strut! targets a specific audience of social media-savvy millennials, The Hill Country Ride for AIDS (HCRA) uses a traditional run, walk, ride approach to peer-to-peer.

HCRA has been around for over 20 years and supports multiple organizations that serve those affected by HIV and AIDS in Central Texas.


HCRA has raised over $9.4 million for AIDS-related charities during this time and has grown year-over-year. In order to appeal to the new riders and keep the ride fresh and fun every year, the HCRA team needed a way to bring the ride into the new, digitally focused future.

To jump-start donations and provide new donors with the engaging nonprofit experience they were looking for, HCRA turned to OneCause for all of their peer-to-peer campaign ideas, including:

Custom Fundraising Pages:

HCRA gave their participants and donors the power to create custom fundraising pages, share with their networks via social media, and personally connect with other riders.

Brads Network

Detailed Online Giving Pages:

By driving a majority of donations online, HCRA is able to connect with donors more efficiently and effectively. Donors can sign up for the ride, make a donation, and find all relevant information about training rides, social events, and community updates.

Competitive Giving:

With automatically-updated leaderboards and comment walls, donors and participants can see who is in the lead, what others are saying, and have fun with the competitive aspect of charitable giving.

Overall Leaders

With OneCause facilitating all HCRA’s peer-to-peer fundraising strategies, the team was able to:

  • Increase online donations by 13.13%
  • Increase the amount raised by 17.1% for a total of $1.22 million
  • Increase social media reach to 163,000