OneCause Social Fundraiser Study Provides First Look at Mindset of Peer-to-Peer Participants

New research reveals motivators and challenges for those who fundraise on behalf of nonprofits

October 30, 2019 — INDIANAPOLISOneCause, a leader in mobile fundraising, today released findings from its Social Fundraiser Study. The first of its kind study explores the perspective of those who participate in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to better understand what motivates their fundraising, influences campaign success, and drives continued engagement and retention.

“Peer-to-peer fundraising success is dependent on the success of individual Social Fundraisers,” said Steve Johns, chief executive officer for OneCause. “Many studies evaluate performance data and transactional statistics of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, but there’s been little insight from the participants’ point-of-view and what they need to succeed. We designed this study to provide new insights into their unique perspective and experience to help nonprofits improve engagement and fundraising effectiveness.”

Key findings include:

  • Peer recruitment is critical to social fundraising. Participants are more than two times as likely to have been recruited by a friend, family member, or colleague than directly by the nonprofit.
  • Participants are driven by a connection to the mission and enjoyment. The top three reasons participants fundraise is because they care about the mission, they believe money raised will make a difference, and they enjoy the experience.
  • Daily engagement leads to successful fundraising. Those who checked their progress multiple times per day were most likely to exceed fundraising goals and raise more money on average.
  • Tracking group progress and donation notifications are powerful motivators. Younger generations are also more likely to be motivated by activity-based rewards, while Boomers are least likely to be motivated by contests.
  • Difficulty asking for money and motivating people to give were top challenges. Sixty-nine percent say they faced some type of barrier. Younger generations were twice as likely to say fundraising tools/software were difficult to use.
  • Majority of participants plan to fundraise again. Seven-in-10 of those surveyed say they are very likely to fundraise again with approximately half of first-time participants planning to fundraise again.
  • Nonprofits need to do a better job communicating impact. Eighty percent of participants say it’s important to receive information on the impact of the money raised, but only 19 percent ever received any impact information from the nonprofit they fundraised for.

The full Social Fundraiser Study report can be downloaded at:

About the Study

The online survey of 1,106 Social Fundraisers was conducted by Edge Research between July 11-26, 2019.  Social Fundraisers are defined as anyone who has fundraised for at least one charitable organization by participating in a run/walk/ride, virtual challenge, occasion fundraiser, crowdfunding campaign, or by organizing or sponsoring an event within the last 12 months. Data is self-reported, not transactional. Edge Research worked with an established industry sampling partner, consisting of opt-in research participants. Quotas were set to ensure incoming data was census representative in terms of age and gender, region and race/ethnicity.

About OneCause®

OneCause creates user-friendly fundraising software that helps nonprofits engage donors, raise more money and save valuable time and resources. Our full suite of cloud-based fundraising solutions has powered 5,000 organizations, well over 20,000 fundraising events, and helped nonprofits raise more than $2 billion. OneCause has been recognized on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies, received a TechPoint MIRA award for Mobile Technology Excellence & Innovation, and is a five-time Stevie® Award winner for excellence and innovation in Customer Service.