Skip to content
We are now Bonterra

3 steps to retain first-time peer-to-peer nonprofit donors

October 11, 2021
A nonprofit peer-to-peer fundraising volunteer helps their father donate for the first time.

For many nonprofit organizations, peer-to-peer (P2P) campaigns are an effective way to reach new donors. Rather than relying on cold outreach and marketing, P2P campaigns leverage your supporters’ pre-existing relationships to build new connections for your nonprofit. Just like you’re more likely to buy a new jacket or see a film a friend recommends, supporters are more likely to give to nonprofits that their loved ones vouch for.

Once the campaign is over, your nonprofit’s next big project is to retain those first-time peer-to-peer nonprofit donors. Here are three strategies to do just that:

1. Welcome them

Throughout your fundraiser, take note of which first-time donors gave through your peer-to-peer campaign. These donors likely found out about your organization through the recommendation of a friend, and some of them may be unfamiliar with your purpose. Get them up to speed by enrolling them in your welcome series.

Give these new donors the opportunity to go through their own journey with your organization. You might get started by sending an email that introduces what the organization has been doing lately, a recent win, or the organization’s history. Then a week later, share details about the impact you’re currently making, including a story about someone your organization served or the effect you had in a way that feels tangible. These messages dripping into your new donors’ inboxes keep your organization top of mind in a consistent way and help illustrate the impact of your work.

2. Invite them to take action

After sending a few messages to educate new donors about your nonprofit, it’s time to issue them a call-to-action. This request doesn’t have to be for another donation. For example, you might discuss an upcoming program and invite them to volunteer or discuss upcoming events and share a link to your registration page.

Asking donors to take action not only helps you advance your programs, but it also allows you to build stronger one-on-one relationships with each supporter. By participating in your nonprofit’s various activities, supporters feel more connected to your purpose and better understand the work you do to fulfill it. 

Moments like these are where your personalization, segmenting, and targeting practices will come in handy—each new donor receives messages that make sense to them based on their journey with you so far. 

You should also be willing to experiment with a range of content formats, like infographics or a video in addition to or instead of written copy. With the right voice and tone, a video with a short narrative can be more effective at engaging and persuading donors to give than text alone, so feel free to test the waters and adjust your approach depending on the responses you receive.

3. Track their engagement

Once you’ve welcomed your new donors and invited them to take action, track what activities they engage with and respond well to. 

If a new donor has continued to engage, click, and get actively involved with these emails, this might be an opportunity to invite the donor to become a volunteer or a sustainer. If the donor has given a high enough amount and has notable connections in your community, you might even explore the possibility of the donor becoming a board member

Ultimately, the right journey for each donor will depend on your organization’s ability to track their interests and their support of your work using your CRM, and then take action based on that accessible information.

Host better P2P campaigns

Acquiring new donors, stewarding them after their first gift, and building longer and stronger supporter relationships shouldn’t take more work. Learn more about how your CRM can help you optimize your donor messaging, reliably track your donor interactions, and ultimately raise more for your purpose.


    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Fundraising ideas
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising