Don’t do peer-to-peer fundraising until you read this

When trying to grow your donor base, it’s important to tap into the supporters that your organization already has. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a fantastic way for your organization to energize existing supporters and recruit new ones.

The benefits

Peer-to-peer fundraising encourages your organization’s existing supporters to become ambassadors for your organization – sharing its mission with and asking for donations from friends and family. This has benefits beyond raising money.

First, it is a great way to empower supporters to celebrate their affiliation with your organization and communicate what it means to them. It instills pride in and bolsters a sense of community among supporters as they work toward a common monetary goal. Achieving a tangible goal like a donation amount provides an immediate sense of gratification and accomplishment that will have ripple effects across your organization. People will be proud and energized to achieve the organization’s loftier goals of equality, justice, best-in-class services, etc. 
Second, it fosters new supporter and donor acquisition. People trust those that they know. If someone hears about an organization from a friend or family member, they are much more likely to donate. The most common reason that people donate to a cause is because a family or friend asked them to, according to a 2019 YouGov survey that found it prompted 39% of respondents to give.

Who are ambassadors?

Ambassadors should be people who already have an affinity for your organization. They may include:

  • Board members
  • Staff
  • Volunteers
  • Service recipients

How it works

There are many different online platforms designed to help nonprofits create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Popular options include GiveButter, GoFundMe Charity, Classy and OneCause. You may also check if your donor management system has add-ons to support a campaign. 

Depending on the platform, they will take a nominal processing fee on each donation, require a flat fee payment for use, or ask for donations to maintain their platforms. You should research your options to see which set-up makes most sense for your organization.  

Each will require you to create an overarching campaign statement and fundraising goal. From there, your ambassadors will be able to create their own off-shoot pages, where they can write a personal narrative about what the cause means to them and set individual fundraising goals.  

Ambassadors should share their individual page with their friends and family, along with an appeal about what the organization means to them. Together, contributions collected by individual ambassadors should help the organization reach its overall fundraising goal. 

Meet ambassadors where they’re at

Ambassadors are crucial the backbone of your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. To ensure their comfort and success, it’s important to meet them where they are. As you devise communications to ambassadors, be cognizant of differing levels of comfortability using social media, asking for money, and verbalizing their affinity to the organization. 

At Magnetize, we work with our clients to create ‘Ambassador Guides’ that help supporters across the spectrum be successful ambassadors. Below are a list of ‘must-haves’ for all guides:

  1. Compelling campaign statement that clearly states the purpose of the campaign and where the donations will go. This resource guides you through crafting a compelling campaign statement. 
  2. Instructions on how to set up and share their fundraising page. Depending on the platform you chose, these might already be written for you.
  3. Sample virtual communications for ambassadors to share with their family and friends via whatever mode they feel most comfortable. These include
    1. Social media posts (caption and graphic)
    2. Email body
    3. Text message
  4. Talking points to support ambassadors in conversations and as they develop their own virtual communications, if they choose. This one-pager should include: 
    1. The organization’s 30-second elevator pitch, which maybe it’s mission statement or vision
    2. Statistics that back-up the importance of the organization’s work
    3. Stories from service participants

Ensure your ambassadors know that they should feel empowered to make whatever modifications they’d like to the guide content so that it best speaks to their affinity with the organization. Ultimately, peer-to-peer fundraising is a fantastic way to empower your supporters to take the organization’s success into their own hands and see tangible results by achieving fundraising goals. Not to mention, it gives the organization the money it needs to continue fulfilling working toward its mission.

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Here you’ll find a handy worksheet to help you with your campaign statement. Our worksheet will guide you in developing a peer-to-peer campaign that can begin with ambassadorship from your board, volunteers and staff.