3 Examples of Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

Every nonprofit organization is unique. From the causes you support to the donors you attract, there are many different ways to stand out and be successful in the nonprofit fundraising world.

A powerful path to success for any nonprofit trying to tap into today’s donors is peer-to-peer fundraising. The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch! Your nonprofit can look to other successful causes to see what they did right, how they executed their fundraiser, and where their strategies can easily be replicated.

Enter peer-to-peer campaign examples from OneCause! While many nonprofits expand their reach through traditional peer-to-peer runs, walks, and rides, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your social fundraising.

That is why turning to successful stories of well-executed peer-to-peer campaigns can be a great way to get your creative campaigns flowing and reinvigorate your fundraising.

Here are three innovative peer-to-peer examples to learn from:

Step Up for Down Syndrome

Step Up for Down Syndrome Event

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis (DSAGSL) is on a mission to serve, support, and celebrate the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Each year, DSAGSL hosts Step Up for Down Syndrome, an awareness walk and community festival.

Step Up for Down Syndrome raises nearly half of the organization’s annual budget and allows them to provide life-changing programs and services to over 2,000 individuals.

In order to dive more donations and bring in more attendees, DSAGSL turned to OneCause peer-to-peer fundraising software to take their campaign to the next level through:

Competitive Fundraising

With OneCause as their competitive peer-to-peer fundraising platform, DSAGSL allowed their participants to break into groups and fundraise as a team.

By calling on local businesses, partners, and sponsors, these teams competed against each other, creating both fun and fundraising, to see which team could raise the most money.

Through a combination of social media, networking, and leaderboards, the competitive aspect of Step Up for Down Syndrome helped drive a huge portion of the campaign’s donations.

Personal Fundraising Pages

The 2023 Step Up for Down Syndrome event brought over 3,000 people together to walk, fundraise, and raise awareness for the DSAGSL mission.

With the OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution, each participant was empowered with easy-to-use fundraising software that allowed them to:

  • Create custom personal fundraising pages.
  • Easily share with their networks via social media.
  • Personally connect with other riders and share motivation.

DIY Events

Many nonprofits have tapped into the power of DIY fundraising! It’s one of the fastest-growing ways to:

  • Extend the life of your peer-to-peer campaign.
  • Increase momentum leading up to your main event.
  • Bring your supporters together.
  • Raise more for your mission!

Leading up to the Step Up for Down Syndrome event, DSAGSL and participating teams hosted various DIY events, including a Yeti drawing and a pool party, which not only brought in donations but brought the community together as well before the big event!

In the end, OneCause peer-to-peer allowed the DSAGSL team to:

  • Raise over $437,000 for their mission.
  • Reach and exceed their fundraising goal – raising 111% of their original goal.
  • Bring together 840+ members of their community to fundraise on their behalf.

Hill Country Ride for AIDS

The Hill Country Ride for AIDS (HCRA) is the largest fundraiser in Central Texas for HIV/AIDS services. A family-friendly and festive bike ride through the beautiful hill country, the Ride raises funds that are given directly to nine local nonprofits that help those in their community affected by HIV/AIDS.

In the past 23+ years, the ride has raised over $12 million. It’s also been voted “Best Ride” in Austin twice by the Austin Chronicle and the “Best Cycling Event” by Austin Fit Magazine for three consecutive years. It is a beloved community event with an amazingly loyal and supportive following.

Hill Country Ride for AIDS

Since 2018, HCRA has used OneCause peer-to-peer software to power its fundraising. 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.


In order to appeal to the new riders and keep the ride fresh and fun every year, the HCRA team added elements to drive more participation and engagement, including:

Matching Gifts

Thanks to HCRA’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.

HCRA teamed up with Vivent Health to promote a matching gift campaign of up to $10,000 – which will provide one month of support for residential living costs for 20 families. Sometimes a matching gift is that little extra boost someone needs to hit the donate button, and HCRA was proactive in finding a partner to help make it happen!

One of the best parts? OneCause made it easy to set up and promote the matching gift campaign to maximize success.

Hill Country Ride for AIDS

Impact Language

According to the 2023 Giving Experience Study, one of the main reasons people participate in or donate to a peer-to-peer campaign is because the organization helps them understand the impact of their contributions. That’s why HCRA focused on emphasizing impact via:

  • Video on their event page
  • Impact statements
  • Social media
  • Event day tools
  • And more!

As you browse their event site, you’ll see impact language used on every page – making it easy for people to want to get involved.Hill Country Ride for AIDS

Event Tools

A supported fundraiser is a successful fundraiser! HCRA provided their participant with the tips and tools needed to succeed.

Here are some of our favorite tips passed on to participants from the HCRA team:

  • When you get a donation from anyone, post on social media thanking them. Write about how you know this person and how much you appreciate their friendship. Include a link to your Ride Center page to make it easy for anyone reading to donate also.
  • Send a second request, or a “reminder” or “update” to those who don’t respond to your first request! Many people just need to be asked two or more times or need a friendly reminder.
  • Immediately after Ride Day, send a “Ride Report” to everyone you asked to donate, whether they supported you or not. Tell them how well you did on the Ride and what you achieved with your fundraising. Keep it positive and include another thank you to everyone who supported you.

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

  • Raise $416,000 to support their mission.
  • Put on an event for over 500 riders.
  • Engage 36 fundraising teams and bring in close to 4,000 individual donations.

Push Paddle Pedal

Turnstone is on a mission to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing comprehensive services and programs. The organization was founded in 1943, meaning this year was their 80th birthday!

To celebrate, the Turnstone team created Push, Paddle, Pedal – an event that started as a COVID-friendly summer challenge and quickly turned into a wildly successful fundraising campaign. This year, Turnstone partnered with its supporters to continue the event’s goal of movement and connection with even more accessibility and inclusion.

Turnstone used the OneCause peer-to-peer platform to promote:

Movement Challenge

Push Paddle PedalPush Paddle Pedal is a movement challenge created to celebrate Turnstone creating possibilities for people with disabilities for 80 years. Not only are participants working to fundraise for an important mission, but they’re celebrating that mission by moving their bodies and getting active!

OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution integrates with the Strava app to showcase movement minutes or miles right on your event page. It’s an awesome way to bring your community together, and the Turnstone team took full advantage of these capabilities. They’re now able to track the progress toward their goal of 80,000 minutes of movement!

Community Events

Because most fitness challenges take place over time and supporters participate on their own, it can be difficult for nonprofits to foster the feeling of community with those helping support their mission. That’s why the Turnstone team added “Move Around the Community” events to bring participants together and help them reach their movement goal!

The events included:

  • Trek the Trails: Group rides around Fort Wayne.
  • Train4Turnstone: Group training sessions with Turnstone staff and clients.
  • Fort4Fitness: Fall festival with various races.

Targeted Achievements

To help keep participants engaged and motivated, the Turnstone team introduced targeted achievements.

As supporters move their bodies, raise funds, recruit more participants, and share on social media, they are able to earn badges on their profiles. How cool is that?!

Push Paddle Pedal - Targeted Achievements

With the support of OneCause Peer-to-Peer software, Turnstone was able to:

  • Send personalized emails to their supporters to encourage them to sign up.
  • Track the progress towards their fundraising and movement goals.
  • Recruit 15 fundraising teams and 41 participants (they are just getting started).

Wrapping Up!

Peer-to-peer fundraising events will be an important part of nonprofits’ strategies going forward.

With the right technology and strategies on your side, your nonprofit can begin building out an exciting calendar of peer-to-peer events – maybe even tapping into one of the ideas above – to secure more support this year and beyond.

Using comprehensive software like OneCause makes it easy to plan and execute a complete peer-to-peer strategy, including events, ambassadors, and gamification.

For more tips and tricks, visit our Peer-to-Peer Resource Center.