Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: How to Host a Successful Campaign

Originally popularized by tools like GoFundMe that allowed people to support friends and family going through hard times, online peer-to-peer fundraising has become more and more popular over the last several years. Peer-to-peer fundraising enables your supporters to raise money on your behalf by appealing to their friends, coworkers, and families to join them in supporting your cause. Online tools like DonationXchange have made this even easier for everyday donors to make a bigger impact.

Why You Should Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising works. Peer-to-peer fundraising can raise a lot of money for your organization by inspiring your existing donors to action and by reaching new donors in their networks. Your donors will love the chance to make a bigger impact by leveraging others to help the cause—it can be a great alternative way to connect with their colleagues or family members, especially if they are remote or live far away. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising is effective because it uses competition and social proof to help your organization. Donors can compete against other teams at their company using tools like DonationXchange, or take the challenge to their family and friends by sharing on social media. Some donors even use peer-to-peer fundraising as an alternative way to celebrate milestones, such as a birthday or anniversary. For someone who feels like they have everything they need, it can be a great way to connect with others in your network and give them a chance to show their appreciation. If it helps support a cause you care about, all the better! 

When To Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great option for specific fundraising projects, reaching younger donors, and event fundraising. For many organizations, peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to involve your donors in your fundraising and give them a voice. Many donors love the chance to engage further, and you can empower them to support your cause. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising can help your organization take donors from occasional givers to consistent supporters. Look at peer-to-peer fundraising as a way to identify “sleeper” donors who feel strongly about your cause but haven’t found a way to engage with your organization yet. Make sure after your fundraising that you follow up with your engaged peer-to-peer fundraisers and offer them more ways to contribute—they’ll feel honored and noticed.

How to Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Not every fundraising situation is a good fit for peer-to-peer fundraising. Longer-term campaigns often struggle to generate the interest and energy that a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign needs. Shorter-term campaigns with an easy-to-understand, tangible goal tend to be the best fit for peer-to-peer fundraising.

Seasonal Campaigns

Seasonal campaigns are great options for peer-to-peer fundraising. Whether it’s a campaign around the holidays, raising funds as the school year approaches, or other seasonal fundraising initiatives, peer-to-peer fundraising can be a great way to engage your donors in timely fundraising. The limited window of fundraising helps to drive social media buzz and inspire your donors to raise money on your behalf.

Event Fundraising and Registration

When you open up registration for your fundraising event, you can also set up peer-to-peer fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising can help support your fundraising event by encouraging more people to sign up as well as using the networks of all your attendees to expand your fundraising efforts. For banquets or other events that host tables or groups, peer-to-peer fundraising can help your corporate sponsors engage their employees and expand the reach of their corporate sponsorship further. For walk-a-thons or runs, peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to help your supporters show off their commitment to those around them. 


Fundraising competitions are a great fit for peer-to-peer fundraising. You can pit corporate sponsors against one another, encourage people to create teams, and provide a healthy dose of fun competition that will get your supporters excited and help raise more money for your cause. 

Do-It-Yourself Campaigns

For your most-engaged supporters, giving them the option to create a do-it-yourself peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is a great way to empower your supporters and generate fundraising interest during your off-season of fundraising. You can make sure that your supporters have templates and access to an easy tool like DonationXchange to create a campaign, share on social media, and track their results.

Annual Giving Days

While Giving Tuesday is a popular day for fundraising campaigns, including peer-to-peer fundraising, finding another annual giving day can be a good way to connect with your supporters on a day you have less competition. Since many organizations launch concentrated Giving Tuesday campaigns, your emails and other outreach will be just a few of many that your supporters will receive that day. While it makes sense to still participate in Giving Tuesday, it may also help to create an individual giving day for your organization that falls in a different part of the year. Over time, you can educate your donors to expect the giving day each year and build some fundraising momentum. Peer-to-peer fundraising can be an important part of an annual giving day, as your supporters can encourage others to join them for that day only—giving a sense of urgency and excitement to their fundraising.

Corporate Fundraising

When connecting with your corporate partners, peer-to-peer fundraising can be a great way to build deeper bonds with that company’s employees as well as drive excitement for fundraising. Your corporate supporters can run peer-to-peer fundraising competitions inside their organization with corporate matches and prizes for the top fundraiser or fundraising team. This is a great option to offer to your corporate partners as it gives them a way to connect their team members to their CSR work in a more tangible and meaningful way.

What You Need for a Successful Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful tool to raise money for your organization. Before you launch a peer-to-peer fundraising program, it’s important to have all the necessary tools and resources in place to make sure your peer-to-peer fundraising program is a success. 

Campaign Templates for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Any successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign needs to have easy campaign templates that allow your supporters to launch their own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Most peer-to-peer fundraising tools position individual campaigns under the larger goal and allow your supporters to run their own fundraiser with a set goal and timeline. This is a great way to engage your supporters further and take some of the fundraising work off of your staff and board! Make sure you have branded campaigns available with photos, wording, and other options available for your supporters.

Effective Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software

The most important part of an effective peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is the right peer-to-peer fundraising software. Make sure that you find a tool that allows for customization so that you can brand the fundraising campaigns with your colors, logo, and more. Tools like DonationXchange can help your nonprofit or your company run a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to support your cause and expand your donor base.

Ways to Show Where the Money Raised Goes

Peer-to-peer fundraising, like most fundraising, is most successful when you can tie dollars donated to a specific positive outcome. You may be able to tie the overall fundraising goal to the number of people you’ll be able to help, the number of meals you can provide, or the completion of a major project. Whatever you tie the fundraising numbers to, connecting donations to tangible goals helps people understand where their money is going and inspires people to give. Since many donors give to alleviate suffering, showing a positive outcome is a great way to make a donation seem less like a transaction and more human. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Is an Important Fundraising Tool

Running a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign requires planning, clarity, and the right tools. Make sure you set your supporters up for success and connect effectively with your donors by planning a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign today.


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