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Funding and SustainabilityFundraising

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Getting Started

By February 16, 2023February 23rd, 2023No Comments

Last week I shared with you how to set goals for peer-to-peer fundraising.  This week as promised, I’ll talk about how to get started. Whether your organization is small or large, there is room for you to engage in peer-to-peer fundraising. In other words, you can dip a toe in the water or jump in the deep end.

Virtual events or campaigns are an easy way to get started with a minimal budget and minimal staff effort. Virtual events can take many forms. One popular campaign involves the creation of a virtual event without all the dressings of a physical event. Organizational supporters can then use the online environment you have created to set up their own fundraising pages to share with their friends, on their social media sites, etc.

While this sounds great, just know that the organization will need to keep in touch with their supporters, to encourage and motivate them to raise additional funds. Setting up friendly competitions and offering prizes are great ways to keep the enthusiasm for the event high.

The organization will also need to set up donation pages and a separate page for each of their supporters. Using a CRM (donor database) can make the task relatively simple, but if you are not tech-savvy it can be slightly daunting.

Another type of virtual event is the do-it-yourself campaign. You may have seen these types of campaigns pop up in your social media feed where someone is asking for birthday donations to a specific organization. These campaigns are really hands-off for the organization but, a word of caution….it would be in your best interest to reach out to the individual hosting the campaign to see if they need support, to encourage them along the way, and to thank them for their efforts. Know that when these events are held through social media, primarily Facebook, the amounts of money raised are not typically significant and must go through the processing organization used by Facebook. Donations can take up to three months to reach you.

Physical events require more effort from the organization. Types of events included here are 5ks or fun runs, bike rides, etc. Participants pay a registration fee to participate and once registered, also raise additional funds. These events can raise significant amounts of money for the organization, depending on how well it is marketed and incentives offered to participants. In addition to requiring a huge amount of effort on the part of staff (and volunteers), these events also require a good bit of up-front money as the organization must pay for marketing, incentives, etc.

It is often helpful to raise additional funds through sponsorships to support both physical events and virtual events. Next week, we will look at how to get sponsorships!

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