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Most modern fundraisers are more than aware of peer-to-peer fundraising. P2P fundraising campaigns combine the sense of mission with the social and competitive aspects of charitable giving, making it one of the most engaging – and most successful – methods of fundraising out there.
While you may have heard of the more popular P2P campaigns like 5K runs, Walks and Dance Marathons, there are many more campaigns you can use to leverage the power of P2P fundraising for your cause.
Hosting a run or walk is one of the most popular P2P fundraising campaigns for a good reason.
These are fun, large in scale, and can bring together multiple groups (and their networks) to fundraise for your cause.
One of the basics of any P2P campaign is giving participants tools that are social, mobile, and fun to raise donations on their own for the cause.
Participants form teams or fundraise on their own, giving them options for how to be involved.
When designing your run/walk, be sure your team thinks through the following fundraising questions:
Golf outings are a great way for nonprofits and their supporters to raise money for a cause before the event, using traditional P2P methods, and then take the competition to an even higher level on the course itself.
An easy way to use social fundraising for your golf outing is to add competitive elements to up the ante and the fun.
This allows participants and businesses to leverage their social networks far beyond the golf course!
As biking becomes more and more popular with Americans, bikeathons are a growing way for nonprofits to raise money and engage supporters.
One of the best things about bikeathons is that many riders participate as teams instead of individually.
Riders can either raise money as solo participants or have a team fundraising page that highlights all of the riders involved.
Here are five must have “easy to fundraise” elements that are make or break to bikeathon success:
Ambassador fundraising is a subset of P2P fundraising that takes the competitive nature of P2P campaigns to new levels.
By identifying a handful of top supporters and highlighting them as Ambassadors, nonprofits can maximize incoming donations.
These Ambassadors do a bulk of the social and in-person fundraising, and at the end of the campaign a big party reveals which Ambassador raised the most money.
Top three keys to fundraising success with Ambassadors include:
Who doesn’t love a social pub crawl, especially if it comes with a charitable twist?
Nonprofits can turn to local restaurants and bars to see if they offer discounts or percentage nights (for example, 10% of sales would go to a nonprofit organization) and then plan a pub crawl around these locations.
Participants can take the excitement to the next level by breaking into teams and competing in challenges at each location as a way to raise more donations. Or create wrap around events that tie into a larger peer-to-peer campaign.
Here are 4 wrap around event ideas to boost your fundraising efforts:
Read more on how Hill Country Ride used wrap around events to exceed fundraising goals.
While this is technically an ‘easy’ peer-to-peer fundraising idea, it is also the goal of every single nonprofit organization to go viral.
Think of the Ice Bucket Challenge benefiting ALS or the Bottle Cap Challenge promoting recycling.
By creating a challenge on social media and using organic shares and networking to promote this campaign, nonprofits can raise money without investing any overhead funds.
Innovative ideas for a social media campaign include:
Bonus! The best viral campaigns also serve as a way to increase brand awareness and get a nonprofit noticed, which can have long-term benefits and create new, dedicated supporters.
We all want to feel like James Bond sometime in our life, and casino nights are the perfect place to give your donors a taste of the high life.
While casino fundraisers might start off as traditional nonprofit events with online ticket sales and online donations, what happens at the event really takes the P2P elements to the next level.
Participants can set up online giving pages where others can donate to the nonprofit, and the attendees who raise the most get more chips to use at the tables. To really amp up the donations, keep these tips in mind:
One of the great parts of being involved in nonprofit fundraising is getting to flex your ‘creative chops’.
By bringing creativity to the forefront, there are plenty of ways to use your nonprofit’s mission as a jumping off point for creative P2P campaigns.
Just look at Well Aware, a nonprofit dedicated to providing people in African countries with access to safe, clean drinking water. Running with the water theme, the Well Aware team launched Shower Strikes as a fun, creative way to raise money through P2P fundraising.
Today, the Well Aware Shower Strike campaigns:
In the last few years, this bucket of P2P has become more and more popular thanks to the growth of social media and digital platforms.
Personal challenges are when individuals raise funds on their own to benefit a charity, and at the end of the campaign period they take on a challenge of some sort – such as running a marathon barefoot or walking across an entire state.
Challenges like this require P2P fundraising pages that are easily shareable across multiple social media platforms, since many times these campaigns are shared and reshared with many networks.
A staple school fundraiser that children can participate in, Penny Wars, have been around for decades.
Schools can upgrade this traditional campaign and make it P2P-friendly by turning simple Penny Wars into Classroom Wars!
Here are the 5 steps to running a successful Classroom War:
Giving Days are great for schools since there are quite literally hundreds to choose from throughout the entire year.
Whether your school wants to have its own Giving Day or take part in a larger charitable cause, Giving Days are an easy way to mobilize your students into an army for good.
To really maximize your school’s giving potential, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
For school-age children, celebrating a birthday is fun and exciting. Plus, it’s also a great occasion to fundraise for a worthy cause.
Any nonprofit can turn birthdays, or any other big event, into exciting fundraising opportunities (and teach kids about fundraising) by adopting a charitable birthday party strategy.
Instead of celebrating birthdays and memorials in the traditional way, a classroom or any nonprofit can set up a P2P fundraising page that:
Once your classroom hits its P2P fundraising goal, celebrate by making a donation to your favorite charity (or giving back to your school) and have a fun party to thank your students for their hard work.
Hosting shopping events are a fun and social way for nonprofits to raise money for cancer research while bringing together supporters in a casual environment.
There are two different ways to host a Shop for a Cure:
If you really want to maximize donations, open up your online auction page to people not in attendance, which will bring in more donations from outside sources.
Just make sure to share your event information on social media and across other platforms to spread the word!
One tried-and-true P2P fundraising campaign is the head shaving fundraiser, because it combines multiple aspects of traditional P2P campaigns, including:
To run a successful head shaving fundraiser, have participants sign up online and create a personal P2P fundraising page to share with their networks.
People can donate and vote on what kind of haircut they want participants to receive.
Then, on the big day, thank the donors and participants and reveal which haircuts everyone is going to receive – whether it’s a full shave or a mohawk!
Dance Marathons are traditionally associated with children’s hospitals and children’s cancer research, making them the perfect P2P fundraising idea.
Because they require lots of participants, most Dance Marathons are often hosted by schools and universities with a built-in participant population.
Students set up individual or team P2P fundraising pages and leverage their extensive social networks to raise money for the cause.
Having a strong online presence (including on social media!) throughout your Dance Marathon promotion and fundraising stages ensures your organization: