Running a Peer-to-Peer Campaign: 3 Outside the Box Tips

Running a Peer-to-Peer Campaign: 3 Outside the Box Tips

Julia Claire Campbell Fundraising, Nonprofits, Online Fundraising, Social Media

If your nonprofit has been running the same fundraisers on repeat, you might notice a lull in results. Hosting campaigns you’ve had in the past should set your nonprofit up for success in most cases. After all, you have data from the first time you hosted the event to help make future campaigns more successful. However, your supporters may start to get bored seeing the same few annual campaigns over and over again. 

Of the possible fundraisers, peer-to-peer campaigns often have the most room for creativity and innovation. Each volunteer fundraiser who joins your campaign will bring their own experiences and expertise to your campaign. 

To help your fundraisers keep your peer-to-peer campaigns fresh, here are three ideas for hosting a unique peer-to-peer fundraisers: 

  1. Try peer-to-peer texting
  2. Host a peer-to-peer t-shirt fundraiser
  3. Create fundraising teams

While your fundraisers will operate independently after launching their campaigns, it’s still your nonprofit’s job to support them. Be sure to regularly check in with your fundraisers and collect feedback on how your outside-the-box ideas are working. 

1. Try peer-to-peer texting

Reaching out to donors requires contacting them on a variety of channels. The same goes for peer-to-peer campaigns. While one donor may prefer to respond to your fundraisers via email, another may prefer a personal phone call. 

One of the most effective outreach channels is texting, with SMS having open rates as high as 98%. In a peer-to-peer campaign, the messages will come from individuals donors know personally, making them even more likely to open and read their messages. 

Provide your fundraisers with a template they can use for peer-to-peer texting, but encourage them to get creative for each message. This will allow them to contact their entire network quickly while still adding the personal touch that makes peer-to-peer campaigns so effective. 

Peer-to-peer texting can also be used as an alternative to telethons and cold calling. Instead of rolling the dice on whether a potential donor will pick up, provide your fundraisers with a list of phone numbers to text. These text messages can still be personalized to reflect each fundraiser’s individual story and connect with supporters—even ones they haven’t met before—on a personal level. For example, a university running a peer-to-peer texting campaign might ask current students to text alumni, sharing their graduation year, major, and how a donation to their alma mater would help improve their college experience. 

2. Host a peer-to-peer t-shirt fundraiser 

Donors give to peer-to-peer campaigns because they have a personal connection to your fundraisers. You can leverage this strength by giving your donors a physical reminder of their support for a loved one in the form of a t-shirt. 

Peer-to-peer t-shirt fundraisers have volunteers sell custom t-shirts in exchange for donations, rather than just asking for contributions. This twist on peer-to-peer campaigns can make the giving process more personal for both your fundraisers and donors and ensure they get something tangible out of giving. 

To host a peer-to-peer t-shirt fundraiser, follow these steps: 

  • Partner with a t-shirt platform. To create and deliver your fundraisers’ t-shirts, your nonprofit will need to partner with a t-shirt platform. Assess providers based on their available shipping methods, such as print-on-demand, and design tools. Additionally, some t-shirt platforms will provide nonprofits with a discount and will even help promote their merchandise. 
  • Help fundraisers design t-shirts. Give your fundraisers the opportunity to create t-shirts that represent both your nonprofit and their connection to it. Use your partner t-shirt platform’s design tools and templates to make the design process easy. Then, provide any other assets fundraisers might want, such as your nonprofit’s logo or other images that can be used to represent your cause. 
  • Host an event. You don’t technically need to host an event as part of a peer-to-peer t-shirt fundraiser, but doing so provides donors who bought a shirt an occasion to wear them and show off their support. Plus, fundraisers who need a few more contributions to reach their fundraising goal can use an event as an opportunity to sell their last t-shirts to supporters who would rather buy one in person. 

Once your fundraiser starts receiving their custom t-shirts, encourage them to wear them while fundraising. This can be at your event, when they’re on video calls with potential donors, or in selfies they post to social media. 

3. Create fundraising teams 

Fundraising is a social activity, and the more people you have join your peer-to-peer campaign, the more successful it will be. This is why peer-to-peer campaigns tend to be especially popular with sports teams, clubs, schools, and other nonprofits that have a wide base of dedicated supporters. 

You can leverage the social nature of fundraising by encouraging your supporters to form peer-to-peer fundraising teams. You don’t have to be a sports team or other team-based organization to do this either. Just give supporters the option to sign up for your peer-to-peer campaign as a group. 

Working as a team can boost supporters’ motivation as they’ll have a close group of friends and family to back up their campaign. You can help inspire them further by:

  • Providing team fundraising pages. Helping fundraisers set up their peer-to-peer campaign pages should be one of your first steps. Give fundraisers working as a team the option to create a page for their entire group. Let them get creative with how they choose to represent themselves, but also provide advice for how to build an effective donation page if they need it.
  • Making it a competition. Friendly competition can push your fundraisers to the next level, especially if they have a group of teammates cheering them on. If your fundraisers want to organize themselves into teams, consider offering prizes for whichever team raises the most. 
  • Providing matching t-shirts. Matching custom t-shirts can build a sense of unity between supporters. Empower your fundraisers to feel like a team by creating matching t-shirts they can wear when fundraising. This can be especially effective for peer-to-peer campaigns that intend to have an event component where other teams in their own matching t-shirts will be there. 

As part of managing your peer-to-peer campaign, encourage fundraising team members to reach out to each other throughout the campaign. Extra support from fundraisers who are also committed to your cause can be just what your supporters need to stay motivated and hit their fundraising goals.

Staying up to date with what’s popular in fundraising can be a challenge, but even if your nonprofit isn’t up to date on the latest trends, you can still think outside the box. Work with your fundraisers to allow them to put their own spin on peer-to-peer campaigns to create a fundraising experience all of your supporters will remember.