Campaign Strategies to Achieve Peer-to-Peer Fundraising GoalsJanuary 11, 2012 By Dennis McCarthy, Jennifer Darrouzet, Noel Beebe and Matthew Mielcarek
[Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from "The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising," the 131-page report from DirectMarketingIQ. It includes nine chapters, from leading fundraisers, on channel selection, messaging, direct mail, e-mail, mobile, social media, multichannel renewal, multichannel testing and more. It also features eight multichannel case studies on successful campaigns.]
The idea behind peer-to-peer fundraising goes beyond just an organization raising money; it includes involving volunteer fundraisers who can raise money on the organization’s behalf. Peer-to-peer fundraising solely relies on supporters who are willing to reach out to their own networks of acquaintances to recruit donations in support of a given cause.
Originally, peer-to-peer fundraising took the form of friends and family making “pledges” to support a person’s participation in a charitable campaign or event. The fundraiser would go door to door, send out fundraising letters, or call friends and family to ask them to pledge donations in support of her participation. The pledged amount was collected later (in the form of cash or check) by the fundraiser and mailed to the organization. With the increasing popularity of credit card payments and the rise of new technology, however, more and more organizations are growing to encompass new forms and channels of fundraising in peer-to-peer campaigns.
As donors continue to adopt the practice of making online gifts with credit cards, peer-to-peer fundraising is largely shifting into the online arena. Rather than go door to door, fundraisers can set up “personal fundraising pages” on the organization’s website (or a third-party fundraising website), where they can tell their stories and explain why they are fundraising on behalf of the organization. The fundraiser can share the URL of her personal fundraising page with friends and family, who then visit the page and make donations in just a few clicks. The integration of e-mail and social media to online fundraising makes peer-to-peer outreach infinitely more scalable for volunteer fundraisers; they can reach hundreds or even thousands of potential donors quickly and easily.
As peer-to-peer fundraising becomes easier to adopt, the methodology has been adapted for many different types of campaigns. Depending on your goals, you might consider one of the following types of peer-to-peer campaign strategies.