Virtual Peer-to-Peer Campaigns: 4 Tips to Attract Social Fundraisers

Tapping into Social Fundraisers through peer-to-peer campaigns can be your secret weapon in growing your fundraising in a virtual world. The first step lies in attracting them and engaging them in your cause.

When looking to engage today’s socially connected participants, you first need to understand who they are, what motivates them, and how to reach them.

We recently surveyed 1,106 Social Fundraisers in the U.S. to better understand their motivators, challenges, and future intentions. The study results focused on individuals who had fundraised on behalf of at least one charitable organization in the past 12 months.

They shared valuable information on why they fundraise and how to keep them fundraising for you.

The research revealed four top insights to attract new peer-to-peer participants:

  1. Where they hear about peer-to-peer opportunities
  2. What drives them to fundraise
  3. What is and is not important to them
  4. Optimize your recruitment strategies

1. Where They Hear About Peer-to-Peer Opportunities

Social recruitment is critical to success, and the best way to engage new participants is through their social connections! You have to find ways to leverage connections in your virtual peer-to-peer campaigns and events.

Today’s peer-to-peer participants are more than two times as likely to have been recruited by friend, family member, or colleague than directly by the nonprofit.

The top channels for recruitment include:

  1. Social media
  2. Email
  3. Organization’s website
  4. At an event
  5. Saw or heard an advertisement

Nonprofits, social fundraising calls for social recruitment. Remember the beauty of peer-to-peer virtual fundraising is that participants do the recruiting work for you.

To ensure your participants are empowered to be great recruiters, arm them with the right resources and peer-to-peer fundraising software, including:

  1. Sample email templates
  2. Promotional materials
  3. Social media recruitment posts
  4. Social integration from your peer-to-peer technology
  5. Recommended social connections
  6. Automated notifications when a new participant joins the campaign or their team

Equip them to recruit and watch your online campaigns and virtual fundraising take off.

2. What Drives Them to Fundraise

While reaching potential participants is the first step in the process, driving fundraising efforts is where the real work comes in.

Because peer-to-peer campaigns and virtual events take place online, and typically span weeks or months, you’ll need to drive sustained and longer engagement. To get the most out of your virtual fundraising, it’s important to know what makes today’s peer-to-peer participants tick.

The top three reasons that peer-to-peer participants fundraise are:

Top three reasons that peer-to-peer participants fundraise

Seventy-two percent of peer-to-peer participants are driven by a connection to the mission. When looking to recruit new participants for your virtual fundraising, find those who are closest to your cause.

Be sure to look for:

  • Active volunteers, board members, donors and staff
  • Top donors in the last 12 months
  • Influencers with the widest social reach and large networks

This will be the sweet spot to get you started on your recruitment journey. Then, equip them and unleash them to fundraise for your virtual campaign.
Their ability to spread your mission within new networks widens your reach and amplifies your fundraising efforts. The wider the reach, the greater the return in a virtual fundraising world.

Having a solid recruitment strategy will power your campaign to new heights and help your virtual fundraising reach your goals.

3. What Is and Is Not Important to Them

While it’s important to identify the top participant drivers, it’s just as important to identify what is not important to today’s peer-to-peer participants.


While mission, impact, and activity were the top three drivers for Participants to fundraise, it’s also important to participants that your peer-to-peer campaign is:

  • Easy to do
  • Fun and enjoyable
  • Something they do every year

Today’s social fundraisers are also driven to fundraise when the organization made it clear exactly how the money raised would be spent. This highlights the importance of communicating not just your mission, but the impact of what their efforts will do.

Don’t wait until after your campaign is over to tell participants and donors how their money will be used! Make it clear why their fundraising efforts are needed and where the donations will go.




  • Peer-to-Peer participants are least likely to be motivated by:
  • A low fundraising goal
  • A desirable fundraising incentive
  • Encouragement from their employer

So, what does this mean for your communicating during your virtual peer-to-peer campaign?

  • Focus on the mission, why it’s important, why the fundraising matters!
  • Instead of communicating incentives, highlight potential impact.
  • Make it fun. Enjoyment is a top factor for today’s peer-to-peer fundraisers.

4. Optimize Your Recruitment Strategies

Find Potential Participants Connected to Your Cause

Seventy-two percent of peer-to-peer participants are driven by a connection to the mission. Start the recruitment process by looking at your most active past participants, donors, volunteers, board members, etc.

Connect with them by:

  • Personalizing recruitment communications with calls or emails.
  • Segmenting messaging based on their past involvement to tailor the conversation to them!
  • Telling them how important they are to the campaign and using impact statements to connect them to the cause.

Set your Participants up for Success

The majority of peer-to-peer participants hear about a fundraising opportunity from their friends, family, and colleagues. Leverage your fundraising technology with multi-channel share capabilities:

  • Make it easy for Participants to invite their networks and track invitations.
  • Provide sample recruitment messages that Participants can personalize.
  • Build in activity-based incentives or leaderboards to reward recruitment.

Create Clear Impact Statements in Recruitment Messaging

A leading driver for peer-to-peer participants is that they believe the money they raise will make a difference. When designing your campaign be sure to:

  • Include clear, concise, and compelling messaging.
  • Feature imagery that explains the impact the funds raised will make.
  • Leverage your most memorable, visually appealing impact stories.
  • Create sharable social posts that drive campaign awareness.

This will appeal to today’s peer-to-peer participants and create a more personalized connection to the cause.

Now that you are armed with the top tips to attract fundraisers for your virtual fundraising, it’s time to get out there, spread the word, and unleash the power of peer-to-peer!

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