Power Up Your Campaign with Peer to Peer Giving

By Anita Gallagher
Training Lead at HIPGive

Peer to peer fundraising is a powerful strategy for raising money for your project or cause. Unlike traditional campaigns in which nonprofit staff take on all the roles, in peer to peer fundraising we empower others to fundraise with us. By leveraging the power of networks and the existing trust built into them, peer to peer should definitely be at the top of your list of techniques to try. Here’s what to bear in mind when integrating peer to peer into your next crowdfunding or recurring giving campaign.

In essence, peer to peer giving relies on strategies that are as old as the hills. All great fundraising campaigns spread by word of mouth as enthusiastic supporters invite others to take part. Just think how many times you’ve given money or goods or time to a cause you don’t know much about, simply because a neighbor, family member or friend asked you to.

What has changed, of course, is the ease with which we can interact with friends and followers from all over the world, and the speed and security of giving online, all thanks to the role digital technology plays in our lives. In addition, trust now plays a larger role than ever in fundraising: as society shows rapidly decreasing levels of trust in institutions and official sources of information so, conversely, trust in recommendations shared by peers and “those close to us” continues to rise.1

Donations … and much more

All in all, it’s not surprising that nonprofits and community groups have embraced peer to peer fundraising. And while the end goal remains income generation through increased donations, the benefits don’t end there. Many of the fundraising teams that have used HIPGive’s peer to peer tools report positive outcomes such as:

  • Growth in positioning and reach. Peer to peer supporters improve your visibility among new groups of people, and whether they give or not, you benefit from improved interest and often, a growth in social media or email audiences.
  • Increased commitment and loyalty. Whether they’re board members, colleagues, program volunteers or general supporters, peer to peer promoters deepen their understanding of your work and strengthen their bond with the organization.
  • Capacity building. Trialing new strategies and sharing insights builds your fundraising intelligence and the skills base of your team in both the short and long term.

Getting started with peer to peer

If you’re ready to integrate peer to peer giving into your next campaign, here’s a few tips for you to try. HIPGive’s peer to peer pages make it easy to work with volunteer “promoters” in crowdfunding campaigns and all of these techniques can equally be applied to recurring or monthly giving campaigns.
Firstly, identify your potential promoters. Think about who could fundraise on your behalf. Board members, colleagues, volunteers, committed donors, and university students all make great promoters but it’s important to gauge their interest and understand their motivation before choosing who to work with.

Before moving ahead, check or adjust your campaign concept so that it resonates with your promoters. For this to work, your fundraisers must be able to get excited about the project itself and the creative communications campaign you’ve built to promote it. A dry, unappealing project will lead to low engagement and disappointing results.

Next, invite, equip and empower your promoters. As a fundraiser, you know how important the ask is and this is no exception. Offer a personal invitation, explain how their talents will be put to great use, and just how much of a difference their participation will make. It’s also up to you to make it easy and fun for your promoters to connect with potential givers and close out donations, so give them the tools and motivation they need. As well as helping them set up their own personal page (for crowdfunding campaigns), it’s a great idea to share a campaign brief, a script or set of talking points, social media messages ready to be copy/pasted, and suggested giving amounts.

The key to success, though, is giving each person free reign to work in a way that best suits their personality, skills, and contacts: help them set their own individual goal for motivation, and encourage them to personalize their campaign pages and social media posts.

Finally, celebrate and motivate your promoters. Peer to peer promoters are volunteering their time, talent and contacts for the greater good, so they deserve special thanks, no matter how large or small their overall contribution. Celebrate their successes and welcome new donors on social media, and don’t forget to organize a really special thank you communications or special event after the campaign is over.
By involving others to use the power of personal connections and trust in your campaign, you’ll no doubt reach new heights in your fundraising efforts.


For more information on how to take advantage of HIPGive’s peer to peer features check our guide here.

1For further information, Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer is a great resource. Alternatively, a quick online search with keywords such as trust, social proof and charity is enlightening.

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