When big, for-profit corporations like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Tim Horton’s want to expand their reach and increase profits, they franchise. Instead of relying on one location to bring in customers, they encourage entrepreneurs and fans to open up new locations to sell their coffee and breakfast food on their behalf.
In the digital fundraising space, peer-to-peer fundraising — also known as social or P2P fundraising — is a type of crowdfunding that’s similar to franchising.
In traditional crowdfunding, an organization will build a page on a crowdfunding site, and promote the campaign itself. With a peer-to-peer fundraising tool however, individuals can create personal fundraising pages for your organization’s behalf, sharing your cause or campaign with their friends, family, and community. As reported by Classy, the average fundraiser raises $568 from 7 donors, and 4 out of those 7 donors are new to the organization.
There are plenty of P2P fundraising tools out there (check out our full list below!), but first let’s walk through why they work and how to make them work better.
Why Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Works
Before we walk through the tool, you, your team, or your boss may still need some convincing as to why you should try peer-to-peer fundraising. Some advantages to this strategy are that it:
You already have loyal subscribers, followers, and donors. Give them a stake in your organization, and that feeling of ownership will make them even more motivated. They’ll speak on your behalf to their friends, family, and communities by sharing your fundraiser on social media, email, and through word of mouth. It’s likely that you’ve already asked these followers to donate, and it may be too soon to ask them to donate again. This is another ask that will keep them engaged and help to enhance the donor experience.
Scales your organization for impact
If you feel like you are communicating with the same donors and constituents over and over again, this is an easy way to increase your reach with minimal investment of time or money. It doesn’t just increase reach, but it tends to have a high conversion rate as well: P2P fundraising is organic, authentic, and increases trust between your organization and new potential supporters as they learn about your cause from a friend: Nielsen’s global trust in advertising survey consistently ranks recommendations from friends and family as the most-trusted advertising format (branded websites are #2!).
Requires minimal investment
Peer-to-peer fundraising is like increasing your development team, without actually hiring new staff members. Your new ambassadors will augment your fundraising efforts by raising money on your behalf. This will save you time and money to improve the quality and effectiveness of your campaigns.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Best Practices
We said there’s minimal investment with peer-to-peer fundraising, but there’s still some work you’ll need to do to set up and maintain your P2P fundraising campaign. To run an effective campaign, be sure to:
Use clear and direct calls to action
Conversion rate tends to increase when you don’t dance around what you want, and when you make the steps clear.
Make the setup process easy
Find an integration that is easy to for both you and your typical constituent to use (see our suggestions below). Remove any unnecessary questions or steps in the registration flow to avoid losing people along the way.
Connect with social media
When possible, find a tool that allows participants to register using social media: They’ll be more likely to set up a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign if it’s convenient. Also, consider sharing sample language and images they can use to alleviate even more of the work. Be sure to share a hashtag to use so you can track the conversations.
Stay in touch
Keep participants motivated and informed during their campaign by sending regular emails with:
- Fundraising tips
- New messaging or images to try
- Updates on the progress toward your fundraising goal
- Shout-outs to top fundraisers
- Updates on the impact their funds have already allowed you to have
- Requests for feedback so you can better help them with their fundraisers
Build a team
In addition to the feeling of ownership over their fundraisers, participants will be motivated by feeling like they are part of a team. Acknowledge their efforts along the way, highlighting awesome players on your social channels or in email campaigns. Who knows, maybe some of them will connect with each other! At the end of the campaign, consider sending personal emails or letters to participants as well. And, just as every team builds community, they foster a sense of friendly competition as well. Consider creating leaderboards, sharing industry benchmarks to beat, or offering a prize (merch, a giftcard, matching their gift) to the top fundraiser.
5 Salesforce Peer-to-peer fundraising integrations to try
Get started with peer-to-peer fundraising using one of our 5 favorite direct Salesforce integrations. Many can also be connected to other CRMs if you don’t use Salesforce.
For even more crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising tools, plus a breakdown of features and pricing, download our complete list below.
Have a peer-to-peer campaign or tool that you love? Share it with us and Tweet @WholeWhale.