While there has been a steady rise in peer to peer fundraising initiatives over the last decade, Peer-to-Peer Thirty, an annual study on fundraising in the United States shows that the largest campaigns in the country raised 1.45 billion in 2017 – a drop of 6.7 percent compared to the previous year.
However, when they dove deeper and conducted interviews with both peer to peer fundraising participants and non-profit leaders, they discovered that peer to peer fundraising seems to be in transition. In efforts to maximize results, more organizations are turning to multiple peer to peer fundraising campaigns to raise funds instead of running just one large nation-wide initiative.
Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma is one good example. The organization raises funds for myeloma research by bringing together small groups of people to participate in adventure peer to peer campaigns.
During the first six MMFM events, around 100 people participated in the various adventures and 1.2 million was raised. You can read the personal story of one MMFM participant here.
Peer to peer fundraising is very much alive and expected to grow as initiatives become more efficient and creative. Here are five different reasons you should stick with peer to peer fundraising:
1. Creative themes
Organizations are finding that creative themes are a strong draw. For example, Out of the Darkness is a walk for suicide prevention in the United States and its participants walk at night as opposed to in the daytime. Walking at night symbolizes the fear and loneliness people can experience in the days before they take their own lives. Paper lanterns at the event signify hope. In Canada, Coldest Night of the Year is a fundraiser that is held on a cold February day to draw awareness and funds for the homeless who often live day-to-day in frigid temperatures. The small city of Orillia, just north of Toronto, has surpassed this years’ fundraising goal for the Coldest Night of the Year.
2. Providing Choice
When people are given choices, they are more likely to get involved. You can solve the problem of deciding what kind of event to focus on by offering a variety of event categories. This type of peer to peer fundraising is often referred to as DIY. The World Wildlife Fund has actually been doing DIY peer to peer fundraising for the past four years with great success. Panda Nation allows supporters to create their own fundraising page based on one of several categories, including an athletic event, a favourite animal, or a special occasion.
3. Connectivity is King
Market research shows that three billion people around the world now use social media every month and 9 out of 10 of those users access platforms and information through mobile devices. Good peer to peer fundraising campaigns cater to the connected, which can lead to great results. Supporters of a non-profit can reach a wider audience faster through social fundraising than the organization ever could on its own.
4. Powerful Stories
Simply put, fundraising participants have a way of moving people with their personal stories in a way that a non-profit may not be able to. Peer to peer fundraising campaigns allow individuals to share their stories and the more authentic the message is, the more likely people are to act and support the fundraiser. Authentic stories can be a great way to recruit new participants too.
5. People Based
People like to give to people. Sometimes messages from organizations are less credible than a call-to-action from an individual. Think of peer to peer fundraising participants as outside messengers who cut through communication barriers.
While peer to peer fundraising is easier thanks to the growth of online and mobile tools, it is true that it doesn’t mean that you will be automatically successful. However, the non-profits that are willing to adjust to changing conditions and try new approaches have a better chance of reaching their goals.
Create a FREE Peer to Peer Fundraising campaign today!