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Launching a successful peer-to-peer campaign in 9 steps

August 26, 2021
This image shows three diverse young adults looking at an iPad and participating in a peer-to-peer campaign.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are an increasingly popular fundraising method for nonprofit organizations. These campaigns rely on your nonprofit’s supporters to help garner donations and spread awareness of your purpose. But if you’ve never organized a peer-to-peer campaign before, you may be wondering where to start.

This guide will go over the nine steps to a successful peer-to-peer campaign. Let’s dive in!

1. Use fundraising software with peer-to-peer capability.

To make organizing and running your campaign streamlined and easy, invest in a fundraising software solution that has a user-friendly peer-to-peer fundraising tool. Look for a system with the following capabilities:

  • Easy-to-create, customizable campaign pages
  • Robust reporting and tracking
  • Social media and email integrations

Having a dedicated peer-to-peer capability will ensure that your peer fundraisers can easily set up their campaign pages and send out donation solicitation communications. This will help you recruit more peer fundraisers and secure more donations.

2. Choose a theme for your peer-to-peer campaign.

A specific, easily-visualized theme will help donors get more excited about your campaign. Choose a theme that’s fun for your peer fundraisers and connects with what donors care about most. Consider creating a theme based on the community you serve, the challenge your community faces, the solution that you and your donors provide, or a special project that you have in the works.

3. Decide on a goal and time frame.

Set a clear goal and communicate to potential donors what the tangible impact of that goal is. For example, if you’d like to create a campaign to help find homes for 200 dogs, and it takes $50 to cover each dog’s adoption costs, then you’ll need to raise a total of $10,000. Telling stories like this about your goal will engage donors, help them understand the impact of their gift, and even motivate them to make a larger gift.

In terms of time frame, you want to give potential donors ample time to decide to make a gift while still creating a sense of urgency. Clearly state the end date of your campaign so that donors know how much time they have to help support your nonprofit’s purpose.

4. Recruit peer fundraisers.

When recruiting supporters to serve as peer fundraisers for your campaign, reach out to those who are most passionate about your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • Do they have a history with your nonprofit?
  • How long have they supported your nonprofit?
  • In what way have they supported your nonprofit?
  • Are they well-known in their communities?
  • Do they have an extensive network of relationships?

Board members, volunteers, recurring donors, and supporters who frequently share your social media posts are good candidates. Work with each fundraiser individually to help them set personal goals for the campaign and let them know that even if they do not reach these goals, the outreach to their network is invaluable, as it promotes awareness of your cause.

5. Build your peer-to-peer campaign assets.

In addition to your campaign page, consider all of the campaign assets you’ll need to recruit fundraising partners, including:

  • Messages for motivating donors
  • Graphics to share on social media
  • Images and information to post on your website
  • Advertisements to be published in community publications
  • Content and images for email blasts

Don’t forget to write thank-you messages to your peer fundraisers and donors for your campaign’s close. Showing your genuine gratitude for their actions will help you retain their support in the future and give them a positive impression of your nonprofit.

6. Create resources for your peer fundraisers.

To empower your peer fundraisers, give them the resources they need for success. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Create templates for communications promoting their campaign pages.
  • Write scripts for phone calls and in-person donation appeals.
  • Design eye-catching flyers they can hand out.

Ensure your peer fundraisers have all the support they need by making sure they know who to contact on your staff for help. Consider creating a chatroom with all your peer fundraisers so they can seek help from either your staff or each other.

7. Cheer on your peer fundraisers and celebrate successes.

During your peer-to-peer campaign, actively engage with your peer fundraisers. Cheer them on by encouraging them to maintain their efforts and giving them the confidence they need. Update them on campaign progress regularly and remind them to reach out if they need help or tips.

When your peer fundraisers receive donations or complete their goals, celebrate with them. At the campaign’s end, thank them for their efforts by creating an email blast acknowledging the effort they put in and commending them on a job well done.

8. Engage new donors.

Thanks to your peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll have first-time donors to educate about your nonprofit’s purpose. Engage them by sending a welcome kit alongside a note thanking them for their support. Be sure to communicate the impact of their gift and invite them to stay in touch with your nonprofit to learn more.

9. Evaluate campaign results.

Review and record your campaign results so you can see what worked well and what didn’t. Survey your peer fundraisers to get their feedback. This data will help you improve your next campaign. Additionally, save messages sent to fundraisers and donors so you can update and reuse them later.

Benefits of a successful peer-to-peer campaign

With the right tools, peer-to-peer campaigns are simple to set up and highly effective, making them an ideal fundraising strategy. They give your supporters a different way to engage with your nonprofit while spreading the word about your purpose. So follow these nine steps to organize a successful peer-to-peer campaign!

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