How The AJ Foundation Used Peer-to-Peer All Year with Success



The AJ Foundation (AJF) has a clear and mighty mission to keep them going day in and day out: empowering the autism community.

Born out of a single family’s personal journey to help their son, The AJ Foundation has grown into a beacon of hope for so many families. Their programming and fundraising help support quality educational services to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families.

The team of less than 5 people at AJF is backed by a community full of parents, children, and sponsors that make the work they do so impactful.

This small nonprofit team maximizes their reach and the good they do with an incredible work ethic and fundraising software to help offer a seamless fundraising experience for their mission.



As a small nonprofit team, time is of the essence. Any trick, tip, or technology to save time and reach their fundraising goals is highly sought out and valued. Because every second, every hour, and everyday matters!

The team at AJF knew fundraising software could increase their efficiency, streamline their planning, and allow them to cover more ground. So, they decided to try a well-known peer-to-peer fundraising solution (not OneCause), but ran into issues:

  • Inability to manipulate site design
  • Lack of tools to motivate supporters
  • Confusing supporter & team experience
  • Messy reporting

The rework and workarounds were adding work, not making fundraising easier. With multiple events throughout the year, AJF was spending valuable time fixing issues that their fundraising software caused, rather than saving them precious time.

Something had to change. They needed a peer-to-peer software that made it easy on the team and made giving seamless for supporters.

They decided to shop around for a fundraising solution that better fit their needs.



Enter the OneCause Peer-to-Peer software. Because of its intuitive design built for fundraisers and easy-to-use back-end functionality, the team dove into the product to solve past pain points and make their fundraising shine.

I was looking for a one-stop shop software that could house all my fundraising. OneCause, I am so grateful,” said Melanie Knott, Development Coordinator.

There were 3 big ways AJF was able to leverage OneCause Peer-to-Peer to streamline, enhance, and grow their fundraising.

  1. Participant Experience & Site Design
  2. Team Fundraising & Leaderboards
  3. Reporting & Analytics

Let’s take a look!

Participant Experience & Site Design

To nonprofits, the participant experience is a highly valued key to a successful fundraising event. AJF was no different – they know that a positive participant experience can add valuable dollars to a fundraising campaign.

To improve their participant experience, OneCause Peer-to-Peer allowed AJF’s nonprofit administrators to create, edit, brand, and manage all their campaigns and events.

AJ Foundation-Site Design

AJF’s Bike-a-thon Homepage with Video Embed

They were able to customize:

  • Event Sponsorships
  • Event Description
  • Branded Logo
  • Impact Statements
  • Video Embed
  • Team landing pages

Another key was the ability to create customized content for their peer-to-peer microsite. Prior to OneCause, they created marketing materials (like handouts) and dispersed them manually through email or social media. Now, their OneCause peer-to-peer site housed any event marketing materials they created and became the one-stop shop for all event information.

This is the first year I have found myself less stressed than typical just by a seamless system. The software did the work for me,” said Knott.

Once participants landed on the fundraising site, how to register and join teams was clear and efficient with options to use an existing social network login or register via email.

The ease and clarity of the site catapulted participants into team fundraising that made fundraising for AJF social, mobile, and fun.

Team Fundraising & Leaderboards

The AJ Foundation took advantage of (arguably) the biggest strength of peer-to-peer: the power of team and social fundraising.

AJ Foundation-TeamFundraising

Team Fundraising Page

The success of social fundraising is all about the drive of friendly competition. This is where having a built-in and dynamic leaderboard comes in handy.

Because the OneCause software allows for goal setting and challenges, AJF was able to use the built-in point system to keep the competition hot throughout the campaign.

Participants are more motivated to fundraise when they see their name on the top of your list. In fact, The Social Fundraiser Study found that 79% of peer-to-peer participants are highly motivated by seeing fundraising progress, and those who raised more and exceeded their goals checked their progress multiple times per day.

Knowing this, OneCause developed leaderboards displaying the top fundraisers and top teams’ progress in real-time. How much they’ve raised or how many points they’ve earned was prominently displayed and accessible to all on the site.

AJ Foundation-Leaderboards

Team & Individual Participant Leaderboards


Teams for AJF formed with easy registration, and the energy and momentum spread like a wildfire as they engaged their social networks. For the duration of the campaign, the teams battled it out, seeing whose networks could bring in the most dollars, all the while creating a fun, competitive and socially motivated giving experience.

Reporting & Analytics

Coming off a frustrating experience with event data with their previous peer-to-peer software, a big priority for the AJF team was clean and informative reporting. Not only was the data right, updated, and insightful, the OneCause Peer-to-Peer software made analytics easy.

I am getting months of my life back with the capabilities of OneCause reporting. I don’t have to export data, and then clean it up manually or try to make it work with my other systems. It’s one thing to have technology at your fingertips – it’s another to have tools that make getting fundraising data easy,” said Knott.

By using the OneCause Peer-to-Peer reporting functionality, the AJF team was able to view:

  • All past campaign data
  • Year-over-Year results of a campaign
  • Automated dashboard and progress email for quick campaign results
  • Customer reports by filtering and defining parameters (date ranges, campaigns)
  • Easily exportable data
  • Scheduled reports

With clean and customizable data, the AJF team now uses their seamless post-campaign data to inform their fundraising events next year to continue to strive for donor retention and the most dollars raised for their cause.



After switching to OneCause to power their fundraising initiatives, AJF successfully:

  • Hosted 2 events – Bike-a-thon and Golf Outing
  • Raised $250k in those 2 events combined
  • Reached 99% of the fundraising goal for both events
  • Saved 50+ hours thanks to easy-to-use software

Knott wanted to share one last bit of advice for nonprofits contemplating a switch to OneCause:

Just do it. Go in with an open mind and take advantage of all the resources to make yourself an expert. We are so happy we made the move. The software and the product features will help you save time and make your campaigns easier,” said Knott.

Connect with a Cause

To learn more about The AJ Foundation and their Comprehensive Learning Center, please visit their website.

Wrapping Up!

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