Peer-to-Peer fundraisers are a new addition to CoMoGives this year, and we’re pretty excited about it! This style of online fundraising is a rising trend used successfully by many giving campaigns similar to CoMoGives throughout the nation. In fact, you’ve probably already seen it in action without realizing it on websites like GoFundMe or KickStarter. This new feature to the CoMoGives campaign (and website) will allow participating non-profits to not only increase donations but also build their donor base.
So, what exactly is peer-to-peer fundraising?
May as well ask it a third time — what is peer-to-peer fundraising? Simply put, it’s any method of fundraising in which supporters raise funds on behalf of a cause or nonprofit.
Wait, isn’t that what always happens?
Well, yes. But whereas traditional fundraising involves appealing directly to supporters for donations, peer-to-peer fundraising works by empowering supporters to act as advocates for the nonprofit, promoting the cause and canvassing amongst people in their social circles.
Think of it like an old-fashioned chain letter — you tell two friends, and then they tell two friends, and so on, and so on… — creating a network effect that amplifies your reach at a grassroots level.
During our marketing workshop, we reviewed the donor numbers from last year. We empirically know that only a fraction of the population of Columbia and Boone County were compelled to donate during last year’s campaign. Which isn’t a bad thing — it means there’s an opportunity to do better.
Through the additions of pledges and peer-to-peer fundraisers in this year’s CoMoGives campaign, we hope to spread the word even more by allowing others to champion the cause on our behalf, sharing our CoMoGives message with new donors and helping us to build our base of supporters for future campaigns.
The goal today is to inspire you on ways to get creative with your peer-to-peer fundraising and remind you how the peer-to-peer fundraising works. That way, when you do approach and recruit individuals to fundraise on behalf of your organization, you can give them ideas and empower them to fundraise successfully by doing something they’re comfortable with and excited about.
If you’re already getting excited, you’re going to love the fact that it can be a lot cooler than “asking other people to ask for money” on your behalf. It doesn’t have to be implemented using traditional methods — your supporters can do something fun.
Generally speaking, peer-to-peer fundraising activities fall into three broad categories, and we’re going to give you some peer-to-peer fundraising examples and ideas to get you and your advocates started.
These fundraisers center around events, like a birthday (*ahem* or perhaps a certain holiday in December…), or a personal challenge such as climbing all the stairs of the Tiger Hotel, or growing some form of facial hair…
One thing my husband Mike and I are considering is hosting a dinner party. Our friends get together around holiday time to have dinner every year. This year, we’re considering hosting the dinner at our house and asking for an entry fee at the door. Guests will pay their “cover charge” on our peer-to-peer page. It’s fun, it’s simple (it’s a tradition we were going to do anyway), and it’s the kind of thing that could generate a few extra dollars for our favorite charity — that’s the point, right?
Everybody remembers the Ice Bucket Challenge of yesteryear. Bring it back, or invent your own! Set an attainable fundraising goal, say $200. And when your $200 goal is met, dump a bucket of ice on your head, or wear the same shirt to work for 10 days, or dye your hair CoMoGives green…whatever will motivate the people in your life to donate. Make sure to video it all and post it to social media #CoMoGives!
Quite simply, skip the presents. Instead of accepting holiday gifts from your friends and family this year, ask them to donate on your CoMoGives peer-to-peer page for your favorite charity. It’s a “challenge” to abstain from receiving gifts, which can often prompt people to become even more generous.
Don’t want to give up presents or dump ice on your head? Donate your time. You could shovel driveways, rake leaves, wrap presents, or walk dogs and then direct people over to your peer-to-peer fundraising page to make their payments. A simple day of yard work can be an “event” if your advocate’s friends “would pay” to see them do manual labor.
For example, you could host a virtual yard sale using Facebook marketplace and donate all proceeds from your sale to your peer-to-peer fundraising page. Or, you could buy a bouquet of flowers and sell them individually, then donate the proceeds to the peer-to-peer fundraising page. Of course, since the dawn of time, there’s been the good old bake sale or lemonade stand approach. These work great with your peer-to-peer fundraising page because customers don’t even need cash: You can use a credit card when you pay for your lemonade, you’ll just pay for it on my peer-to-peer page.
There’s the “a-thon” approach where friends could pledge to donate $1 for every mile that you walk, or a minute that you read, or strike that you throw. Encourage your advocates to raise funds and awareness while doing something they enjoy!
Campaigns can be similar to challenges and events but run for a fixed period of time and have an overall fundraising or awareness goal. Advocates participate by setting a personal fundraising goal towards the campaign’s overall goal. These work particularly well among groups, like at work, church or teams. Have your group set an overarching fundraising goal, and then have everyone work towards their share of the goal…
Have casual days when people can donate a predetermined amount to wear jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt to work, and in-turn donate through your peer-to-peer page. Work at a super chill place? Go the other way and agree that everyone has to dress up everyday until a certain donation goal is met.
Set up a change, cuss or complaint jar. How about a penalty for any office terms that are way overused (reach out, bandwidth, synergy, etc.)? Or, at the end of the day simply have people empty their pockets — then donate the money through the CoMoGives website.
Start a friendly competition among co-workers! Create non-traditional teams and have them compete with their own peer-to-peer fundraising page. It’s a great way for employers to inspire new connections and teamwork — all for a good cause.
You could pick a big donor from last year and ask them to do matching funds up to a certain amount on their peer-to-peer fundraiser. Why is this effective? It motivates advocates to increase their fundraising efforts, as every dollar raised is effectively two dollars. Their friends’ donations still go through their page, and then the big donor would match donations to up to a certain amount.
These are activities like marathons or walkathons but for which participants fundraise in order to participate…
Another tried and true fundraising technique. Does your organization have an end of year gathering? Consider opening it up to the public but require peer-to-peer donations as the ticket. It not only raises funds, it can also increase the size of your community.
People love family photos around the holidays. Host an event where supporters bring the whole family in and donate to have their pictures taken. You may not have access to a photographer (or one that will work at a discount), so brainstorm within your organization to take inventory of what resources you do have access to and plan an activity around those assets.
The sky’s the limit on your peer-to-peer fundraiser. It doesn’t just have to be asking people to donate money. You can make it fun, different and interesting.
Now that you are bursting with ideas to engage your supporters with, let’s quickly walk through some of the CoMoGives.com peer-to-peer logistics. As a reminder, here is how things work:
Remember: If for any reason you determine you do not want an individual to fundraise on your behalf, it is your responsibility to contact them to explain why they will not be participating. It is also imperative you contact us so we can remove their fundraiser from the CoMoGives website.
Your peer-to-peer fundraisers do not have a login on the website — they can only see the donations as they come through on their donation page total.
Only your organization will be able to see the donations attributed to their page in your portal. It is your decision as to whether you want to share the donor information with them or not. You have the ability to keep treatment of that donor information inline with your organization’s values.
For a more in-depth guide to on how to create your own peer-to-peer fundraiser at CoMoGives.com, download our PDF guide.
Need a refresher on marketing or determining who would make a good make a great peer-to-peer advocate? You can download your list of CoMoGives marketing assets here.
So, with this as your guide, get creative and think of the ways people might have a fun time with their peer-to-peer fundraisers. If your supporters want to host a dinner party/ice bucket challenge while they dye their hair green, that’s awesome — it’s up to them. Encourage creativity, and help your supporters each step of the way to help them get the most out of their campaigns!
Again, check out our peer-to-peer signup guide for step by step instructions to hand out to your advocates.
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