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Grow Your Audience and Revenue With Peer-to-Peer Fundraising


By Allison Gauss

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

The power of peer-to-peer fundraising lies in its ability to amplify and empower your community. The reason it has gained so much traction in the past few years is because it’s a powerful tool for growth that can increase brand awareness, recruit new donors, and raise more money. While a traditional fundraising campaign has a relatively limited audience, peer-to-peer makes your campaign a sharable, social endeavor.

Learn how to reach far beyond your usual pool of donors by giving supporters the tools to advocate and fundraise for your organization. When you tap into the power of peer-to-peer fundraising, your nonprofit can unlock growth and create impact in ways you may never have thought possible.

Unlocking New Audiences

Many people are familiar with the term crowdfunding; it means funding some project or cause with donations from many people. This is essentially what Nonprofits have been doing for decades, pooling contributions from many people to make an impact.

Most traditional fundraising campaigns fit into the category of single-tier fundraising. The nonprofit asks their community of supporters to donate. They reach as many potential donors as they can with the single objective of getting them each to contribute.

Peer-to-peer fundraising, on the other hand, is multi-tiered. The process begins in much the same way, with the nonprofit asking all their contacts to help. The difference is that supporters can not only make a donation, but they are also asked to create a fundraising page and spread the campaign to their own social network.

Single Tier Fundraising
In a single-tier fundraising campaign, your audience is limited to your organization’s immediate network

Let’s say you have contact information for 500 past donors. In a single-tier fundraising campaign, you would ask them to make a donation and try to reach some new donors through word-of-mouth and promotion. If, however, you use peer-to-peer fundraising, you give all 500 people the option to become fundraisers.

Even if only one percent of your contacts actually become fundraisers, it can make a huge difference. Between friends, family, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, most people can easily get in touch with 100 others. So if only five people out of 500 become active fundraisers and appeal to their network, you an easily extend your ask to another 500 potential donors. Just like that, you have doubled your campaign’s audience.

Multi-Tier Fundraising
Multi-tiered – or Peer-to-Peer – fundraising, allows you to expand your nonprofit’s reach.

Empowering Individuals to Do More

Peer-to-peer fundraising can help you reach a lot more people than you would by just sending an email. It creates a bigger audience, but the other great thing about peer-to-peer is that it empowers regular donors to make a big impact.

One of the problems development professionals contend with is donor apathy. If they don’t have the means to make a major gift, a supporter might assume they can’t really make a difference. They may not even follow through with a gift they can afford if they feel it doesn’t matter. A motivated fundraiser, though, can bring thousands of dollars to a cause.

peer-to-peer fundraising page

With peer-to-peer fundraising, you don’t have to be wealthy to give big.

Here’s an example: Nina is a hair stylist with a husband and two kids. She loves an organization called Operation Healthy Pets, but with a mortgage and all her other expenses, she can’t justify giving more than $100 each year. The nonprofit thanks and appreciates Nina’s help, but she wishes she could do more.

Fortunately, a month before her birthday, Nina notices a “Fundraise” call to action on the Operation Healthy Pets website and realizes this is her chance to help. After creating a fundraising page and adding her picture and a few sentences about why she supports this cause, she can share it on Facebook with the click of a button. She also emails her extended family, letting them know that instead of gifts this year, she would love for them to donate to her fundraising page.

In the end, nine people end up giving to Nina’s fundraising page and she raises over $400 with her birthday campaign. Nina is happy to make a greater impact and the nonprofit receives more funds and several new donors.

What About You?

The combination of an expanded audience, and giving that audience the tools to make a bigger impact on the cause, can truly unlock the fundraising potential in your community. Furthermore, by making peer-to-peer fundraising a year-round option, fundraisers can bring in new revenue even if the nonprofit itself is between campaigns.

The question is, can peer-to-peer fundraising work for your organization?

As long as you have a base of supporters who care about your cause, there’s a good chance that peer-to-peer can help you connect with more people and recruit new donors. Peer-to-peer fundraising does require some investment and education, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, the reward is often well worth it.

If you want to see how much your nonprofit could be raising with peer-to-peer, use our fundraising potential calculator to find out. Plug in your information and get a customized estimate of your peer-to-peer potential.

Image Source: Wonderlane on Flickr

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