Each year we host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign called #ClassyGives, now in its third year. In past years, we’ve fundraised for buildOn and Days for Girls International and in both campaigns, we exceeded our goal.
This year, we set out to raise $50,000 for Grassroots Soccer International, and reached $72,726 by the campaign’s end. The success of this campaign came from the dedicated peer-to-peer fundraisers and the different ways they engaged their networks to drive donations.
Below, we’ll dig into some of the most fun, creative, and exciting tactics they used. Then, we’ll share tips for how you can put them into practice at your own nonprofit. We wrote this post with your peer-to-peer fundraisers in mind, so be sure to share these peer-to-peer fundraising ideas with them as they signup to fundraise on your behalf.
1. Keep It Fun
As your fundraisers make progress toward their goal, encourage them to celebrate campaign milestones with their supporters. Beyond page updates and automated emails, which are great strategies to implement, prompt them to infuse fun into their efforts.
For example, one of our Classy Gives fundraisers decided he would shave his head if he hit 100% of his goal. This was something he knew would get a rise out of his friends and family, and it spurred major fundraising traction within his network.
He even went so far as to photoshop a version of himself with a bald head as motivation to keep donating. Fun ideas like this are not only a great way to drive donations, they’re fantastic touch points to give more people a reason to get involved if momentum starts to fall off a bit.
2. Be Direct With Your Asks
It’s imperative that your fundraisers don’t beat around the bush when putting an ask out to their networks, even if it’s to close friends and family. If they want donations, they have to ask for donations.
One tactic that served one of our fundraisers well was posting weekly to Facebook and tagging a group of people, publicly challenging them to donate. In the spirit of being direct, they suggested a specific donation amount of $25.
If you tag 20 people, and each one donates $25, you’ve just generated $500 for your campaign. Plus, you never know if people will donate more than you ask, or if they’ll extend the challenge on to their own networks.
3. Talk About Your Campaign
It might seem like a no-brainer, but simply talking about a campaign in public can encourage donations. You never know who might be inspired to give in the moment.
Further, if your fundraisers are doing heavy social media asks and promotions, chances are high that people will see the posts in their feed and bring it up in face-to-face conversation with them. This presents a prime opportunity to make a direct ask to donate on the spot.
4. Make It Competitive
Spur your fundraisers toward their goals, and beyond, with a little friendly competition. The built-in leaderboard on Classy peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns is a great place to start this competitive conversation. In fact, our fundraisers followed the leaderboard closely to see how they were pacing against fellow fundraisers.
This sense of competition can drive your fundraisers to create one more social media post, find one more potential donor, or start one more conversation. And as your fundraisers play off one another, pushing each other to new heights, they’ll ultimately bring in more revenue for your campaign.
5. Provide Incentives
Playing right into a healthy spirit of competition are incentives. If you have something at stake, your fundraisers are going to compete harder to win it. For Classy Gives, the top 10 fundraisers earned a spot on a volunteer trip to Johannesburg, South Africa to visit Grassroots Soccer International.
It might not be feasible to orchestrate a trip of this magnitude for your fundraisers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still incentivize their effort. And remember, what makes an incentive great isn’t in the monetary value it has but rather the tangible impact it provides your supporters.
For example, you could offer:
- Free tickets to your annual gala
- Special tours of your facilities
- Dinner with your board members
- Opportunities to work on the front lines with beneficiaries
- Donation matching for top fundraisers
6. Leverage Personal Connections
It can be uncomfortable to ask for money, especially where big donations are concerned. However, it’s important that your fundraisers understand that they shouldn’t shy away from big opportunities.
For our campaign, one fundraiser had a connection with a foundation that makes large donations to nonprofit causes throughout the year. The fundraiser pitched them on our Classy Gives campaign by showing them the main campaign page, his personal fundraising page, and describing the impact their gift would help make on the ground in Africa. They were so moved they donated immediately.
To help your fundraisers, consider including pre-written appeals for large donors like this. Take the guesswork out of making the ask so all they have to worry about is sending it to the right people.
7. Don’t Underestimate Small Donations
While wealthy donors can quickly fill the campaign coffers, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of small donations. Amounts of $10, $15, or $20 can carry you a long way if you’re bringing in a lot of them.
In fact, many of the top fundraisers on our campaign didn’t land large donations. Instead, they focused their efforts on securing higher numbers of smaller donation amounts. They were effective because they detailed their personal, direct connections to the Grassroots Soccer International mission and how their fundraising activity would make a direct impact.
Provide your fundraisers with examples of people who have successfully appealed to massive audiences in the past. If they can communicate passion and dedication to the public, they’re likely to tap into a vast network of donors.
8. Take Advantage of Events
Successful peer-to-peer fundraising requires that people follow basic best practices. However, it also requires a hefty amount of creative thinking. Encourage your fundraisers to tap into local events that might offer an organic opportunity to make an ask.
For example, one of our Classy Gives fundraisers got invited to a birthday pub crawl with around 25 people attending. They offered to pick up the tab at one of the bars, asking only that attendees contribute as much as they were willing to the fundraising page. The tab was around $100, but the donations came in at around $300.
9. Use Food As the Magic Ingredient
If there are no events to piggyback off of, let your fundraisers know they can create their own event. And when it comes to creating an engagement event, food for donations is almost always a safe bet.
One fundraiser decided that his grandmother’s Swedish pancakes (normal and vegan) would be ideal for an office breakfast fundraiser. So, he prepped all the batter, made tons of fruit salad, brought in the cooking equipment, and served pancakes for a suggested donation amount of $10.
All told, the effort brought in $729, and the conversations that happened over the food were so inspiring, he matched the donation with an additional $729. Then, right before the volunteer trip to South Africa, he hosted a separate pancake breakfast to thank everyone, this time with free pancakes.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
Sometimes your fundraisers aren’t going to get everything right on their first try, and that’s OK. If they hit a wall, help them by showing how to pivot their strategy and try new peer-to-peer fundraising ideas.
For example, one of our Classy Gives fundraisers began his campaign with a basic appeal that appealed to a desire to help others in need. However, it was compelling because it was too much of a blanket statement: it wasn’t targeted.
So, he went to look at other successful fundraisers on the campaign to see what their copy and descriptions looked like. What he noticed was that these individuals were not only sharing the appeal to donate, but also a personal connection to the nonprofit’s work, mission, and impact. He rewrote his page and noticed an uptick in donations almost immediately.
While your nonprofit may not be able to coach your peer-to-peer fundraisers individually, there are still a ton of ways you can to empower them to succeed. We want to help make it easy, which is why we compiled a quick list of our most popular peer-to-peer fundraising resources:
- Why You Can’t Ignore the ROI of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising [WHITE PAPER]
- INFOGRAPHIC: Why Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser Retention Is Your Next Big Priority
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Anatomy of a Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign
- How to Maximize Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser Retention and Raise More Money
- How to Easily Elevate Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Strategy to the Next Level
Let us know if you have any other peer-to-peer fundraising ideas or tips we missed in the comments below.