What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?
You've heard of crowdfunding, right? So what is peer-to-peer fundraising? It's like that but on steroids. In other words, Peer-to-Peer fundraising is a type of crowdfunding fundraising that lets tons of people create their own campaigns but aggregates all the funding to a single cause.
If that sounds powerful to you, it is. But how does it work and how can you leverage it? Let's get into it.
How Does Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Work?
You've likely experience peer-to-peer fundraising before. Think about it this way – if your child is on a baseball team and he, and all his teammates, all have to raise funds by selling chocolate bars, you've experienced a peer-to-peer campaign. Your child doesn't make the money. Neither does their teammate. It's a series of campaigns (one per student) that are all working towards one goal – raising money for the team.
How does this work? Simple – you give every person involved the opportunity to create their own landing page, their own campaign. Each one is out there working to raise money. And then when it's all done you'll notice two important things:
- The total money raised is higher than if one person had worked on it alone.
- The number of people reached is higher than if one person did the work.
Let's dig into that last one…
P2P Fundraising Multiplies Your Reach
The second dynamic with peer-to-peer fundraising is critical. No one runs a fundraising campaign to fail. You want to raise as much money as you can.
But how do you get the word out? The answer is that you use as many people to help you and your cause. You “deputize” them to get out there and run a campaign. And the best part about it is that you reach their audience – an audience you may never have gotten without them.
To highlight that point, let me tell you a story…
It's All About Team Fundraising
Years ago I worked for the YMCA's professional staff, working with their Youth and Family programs. I was a year out of college and got invited to my first fundraising event. I was given a goal and told to get out there and collect donations.
Now here is the thing. I was just out of collect. My friends didn't have a ton of money. But you know what? None of the other people who were fundraising had any access to my friends. They were all requesting money from the same professionals that they all knew.
I, on the other hand, had unique and direct access to people that none of the other YMCA staff had access to. So off I went and worked to raise a few thousand dollars ($20 at a time).
It helped me learn a lesson very clearly – raising funds is about reaching as many small communities as possible. The more diverse your fundraising crew, the better.
But you can't just use hope as a strategy…. you have to set individual goals for each fundraising. And that's what peer-to-peer fundraising supports.
Success Requires Setting Individual Goals
My son is in high school and in the theater program. He has an upcoming show and part of his responsibility is raising money for the show by selling tickets. But they don't just say, “go sell tickets.”
That won't work.
So instead, they give each student a goal. Sell 10 tickets. That's not a lot. But for my son, who doesn't know anyone, it seems massive.
Or at least until my daughter decided she would buy 5 and take her friends to the show. And my wife bought 3 for the three shows.
Now he has to sell 2. And he feels comfortable doing that.
Imagine 30 kids each selling 10 tickets. That's 300 guests over three nights. Exactly what they need.
And only because each campaigner has a goal.
Recognize your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Participants
Peer-to-Peer fundraising is not just done by individuals (like my son). It's also the domain of teams. And whether it's a single person, or a team, the one thing that will help drive results is to honor the folks doing great work.
You've seen this before if you've ever been invited to support someone running a 5k for a cause. You visit a page and see the top teams. You've seen this for all sorts of fundraising efforts. It shows you who is leading the pack – and that motivates those who are leading to stay in the lead, and motivates others to get into the leader's circle.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas
So how can you use peer-to-peer fundraising? Here are three simple ideas that we've all experienced already.
Add fundraising to events like 5k races. It's easy to invite every runner to participate in a broader fundraising effort, and to invite their own audience to participate in reaching their specific goal.
Viral Video Challenges
A few years ago there was an ice bucket challenge. But if you didn't want to poor ice over your head, you could make a donation. Or I think that's how it worked. I know I donated to several teams. You can do something similar with any kind of campaign, a video challenge, and peer-to-peer fundraising software.
My wife was a teacher for almost 3 decades. October 5th is World Teacher's Day. You could create a fundraising campaign for that special day and make it a giving day for people who love teachers (which should be everyone).
Are there more ideas? Of course. These are just three simple ones that lend themselves to peer-to-peer fundraising.
Choose the Right Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platform
So the last question is what platform you should use to do all this great stuff and the good news is that I have an answer for you. On Monday, September 27th, GiveWP is going to finally release their Peer-to-Peer fundraising solution.
I've written about GiveWP before when I told you how great their pricing page is. But their Peer-to-Peer stuff is fantastic. And easy to use.
And it runs on WordPress – making it and easy and inexpensive platform to use for all your fundraising efforts. So check it out.