3 Ways to Supercharge your Competitive Social Fundraising

If your nonprofit fundraising team is looking to up the ante this year with your giving campaigns, it’s time to start thinking about competitive social fundraising.

Competitive social fundraising is a type of peer-to-peer fundraising that has individuals, teams, and/or groups compete to raise funds and awareness for your cause. These fundraisers provide a world of opportunity for you to create a community around your fundraising efforts by leveraging supporters’ social networks to drive donations.

Planning a competitive social fundraiser involves preparation. Check out these 3 helpful strategies that leverage the OneCause Peer-to-Peer software to create a competitive campaign fuels success.

  1. Craft a flexible campaign
  2. Engage and excite your supporters
  3. Drive proceeds for your cause

1. Craft a Flexible Campaign 

When planning your competitive fundraising campaign, brainstorm ideas and potential software features that provide flexibility and organization. With donors’ needs and expectations constantly evolving, you’ll want to be able to create customizable campaigns that excite your supporters and increase your reach.

OneCause Peer-to-Peer software to the rescue! Here are a few of the built-in engagement features you can use to streamline your campaign and provide a unique supporter experience.

Empower Affinity Groups

An important aspect of competitive social fundraisers is how your supporters organize themselves inside your campaign. In most cases, campaigns are organized around individual participants and teams.

OneCause Peer-to-Peer not only makes it easy to manage, create, and join teams, the software adds a layer of connection between participants through Affinity Groups. Affinity Groups link individuals and teams within the campaign that have shared commonalities, creating associations beyond just the supporters within a team.

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Groups are a flexible structure that increase participation, competition, and – most importantly – revenue. As you think about competition and social organizing, decide what types of Affinity Groups you might implement within your campaign to expand involvement and foster connections.

Here are a few top examples:

  • Graduating class
  • Company
  • Department
  • City
  • Personal friend group

Create Multiple Engagement Events

Because you are planning a virtual experience you’ll need a strategy to keep the connection to your cause strong. More engagement means more opportunities for supporters to feel tied to your mission.

These additional events can take any form such as:

  • Training classes for your dance-a-thon
  • A weekly trivia game
  • Post-event celebration party

Secondary events provide engaging opportunities for participants with different interests, while encouraging regional involvement around your campaign.

Leverage these secondary events as part of your peer-to-peer campaign strategy to provide a flexible and optional experience for all.

2. Creatively Engage Your Supporters

Every competitive social fundraising campaign relies on supporter participation to fuel campaign progression. Adding variety to the event experience keeps participants excited all campaign. Here are a couple of ways OneCause Peer-to-Peer software can level up your next competitive social fundraiser!

Tap Into Activities and Personal Events

Activities and personal events create unique experiences that participants can get involved in outside of just donations.

Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Hosting fitness challenges
  • Encouraging social media blasts
  • Sharing stories about your mission
  • Promoting personal photos of your cause

These activities help share the excitement around your campaign, increase engagement, and spread the word to others via social media! From hosting a yoga class or teaching a cooking lesson, these personal events empower participants to get creative and feel more connected with the campaign.

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When participants accomplish these activities, your supporters have even more impactful experiences to share, which supercharges engagement and fundraising potential.

Celebrate Participant Success

To drive fundraising, it’s important to celebrate the success of your participants. An easy way to display this recognition is through badges and milestones.

Badges and milestones are personal, customized reward features that participants receive on their fundraising page when they hit a fundraising goal. Giving them achievable goals allows participants to not only see the value of their efforts, but feel validated in their fundraising achievements.

A few examples include:

  1. Hitting half or all of their fundraising goal.
  2. Raising a certain amount of money.
  3. Promoting their page on social media.

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Utilizing this feature in your next competitive social fundraiser will help your participants feel recognized and appreciated, therefore enhancing your engagement strategy.

3. Drive Proceeds for Your Cause

With a better understanding of how to creatively structure your campaign and engage with participants, you can now focus on how to leverage unique tactics for driving proceeds and fueling your mission.

Like the name suggests, competition is a big driver in the success of competitive social fundraisers. Competition encourages participants to work harder in their fundraising efforts, while increasing the impact of your campaign. Here are fundraising technology tools that drive this sense of competition.

  • Leaderboards: A pure form of competition, leaderboards work to drive people to do more to be on top. With leaderboards for donations, recruiting efforts, social posting, and activities, your participants are rewarded for different aspects of their fundraising efforts.
  • Contests & Drawings: These both motivate and reward participants for accomplishing certain challenges within your campaign.
    • Contests reward teams and/or individuals through timed fundraising challenges to raise the most money or get the most donations.
    • Drawings are a way to encourage people to accomplish something on their own to become eligible for a prize.
  • Head-to-Head Team Competition: Do you have teams that are serious about competition? Set up a public head-to-head competition that allows teams or individuals to compete to bring in the most donations and drive proceeds for your campaign!

Implementing competitive tools within your next social fundraiser provide participants additional ways to measure and achieve success in their fundraising efforts. Consider adding these features to your next social fundraiser to spur excitement around your campaign!

BONUS CONTENT: Competitive Social Fundraising in Action

Now that you better understand the concept of competitive social fundraising, let’s see these concepts in action. The Indy Tech Gives campaign is a great example. Let’s check it out!

Indy Tech Gives is a fundraising campaign that was created by OneCause in 2019 to empower other technology companies to raise money for the Indianapolis community while using the OneCause Peer-to-Peer software.

In June 2022, twelve Indianapolis-based technology companies began to raise money for eight Central Indiana nonprofits. Over the course of six weeks, this campaign saw success through creating:

    1. Flexible structure
    2. Creative engagement
    3. Powerful fundraising initiatives

Flexible Structure

With many different companies participating, it was important that the structure of the campaign was adaptable. The ability to connect all of the businesses through the campaign highlighted the importance of Affinity Groups.

Affinity Groups allow for 3 levels of competition:

  1. Participant vs participant
  2. Team vs team
  3. Company vs company

This sense of community and dependence empowered participants to go above and beyond in their fundraising efforts for their nonprofit!

Creative Engagement

Now that hundreds of employees were registered, the Indy Tech Gives team needed an engaging strategy to keep supporters locked in and fundraising.

Personal events played a huge role. They empowered participants to engage their supporters in ways that are personally meaningful to them.

Some events that participants hosted over the six week long campaign included line dancing lessons, a virtual bake sale, and a yoga class. Each of these personal events helped excite participants and supporters to raise money for the cause by creating giving experiences that were personal, fun, and unique.

Powerful Fundraising Initiatives

Beyond engaging participants through a flexible campaign, a successful competitive social fundraiser needs to equip their supporters with the power of fundraising. The Indy Tech Gives team implemented powerful fundraising through drawings and campaign leaderboards.

To prevent the lull in fundraising efforts towards the middle of the 6-week campaign, Indy Tech Gives created drawings to incentivizes participants to keep on fundraising over the entire campaign.

Drawings included gift cards for:

  • Securing five donations over the course of a week.
  • Reaching the recommended fundraising goal.
  • Promoting and sharing on social media.

These drawings helped keep the fundraising momentum strong throughout the campaign and reduce the fundraising burnout which can occur over longer campaigns.

Besides drawings, the Indy Tech Gives team utilized different leaderboard structures to motivate the fundraising efforts of their supporters. Not only were participants able to see their standings among other individual fundraisers, but also the impact of their social media promotion and collective company ranking.

Indy Tech Gives highlighted the importance of celebrating other efforts in the fundraising process, like social shares, to keep those who might struggle to raise funds to still promote the campaign.


These efforts utilizing these three strategies resulted in great success. Here are the outstanding results:

  • Over 280 participants from 8 companies
  •  887 donations collected
  •  Over $61,000 raised for Indianapolis nonprofits

Wrapping Up!

Impactful and successful peer-to-peer campaigns are created when participants have a flexible, engaging, and unique fundraising experience. Through utilizing principles of competitive social fundraising and tools within the OneCause Peer-to-Peer Software, your nonprofit can see success and elevate your next peer-to-peer giving experience, like the success of the Indy Tech Gives campaign!