As a nonprofit fundraising professional, you’re well aware of the power of peer-to-peer fundraising as a tool to both raise donations and gain exposure to new supporters that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. But, are you making the most of your peer-to-peer fundraising strategy?
The fact of the matter is, peer-to-peer fundraising is facilitated almost entirely through technology. However, successful peer-to-peer fundraising depends on much more than birthday fundraisers, messenger bots, dashboards, and other tech tools. To elevate one-time P2P fundraisers to lifelong supporters, you need to craft experiences that truly inspire your online supporters and forge a connection between each user and your organization.
In this guide, we’ll discuss elevating your peer-to-peer fundraising strategy through intentional interactions on Facebook. We’ll cover the following points:
Your organization is likely already using peer-to-peer fundraising in your efforts to some extent and familiar with the basic facets. However, a quick overview and definition of the practice can make sure we’re all working with the same foundational understanding.
Let’s dive in.
A peer-to-peer fundraiser is a campaign in which your supporters raise funds from their personal networks on behalf of your nonprofit. These campaigns draw on your supporters’ personal relationships, so donors may give to support their friend, your mission, or your nonprofit if they’re familiar with it. Because of this, you can raise funds from those already giving to your organization and those who have never heard of it— acquiring new supporters for your nonprofit along the way.
Peer-to-peer fundraisers follow this general process:
At one point, peer-to-peer fundraising was conducted using dedicated peer-to-peer software. However, social networks (such as Facebook) are emerging as a powerful force for raising funds in this manner. Continue reading to learn more.
Social fundraising is a type of peer-to-peer fundraising that draws on the power of social media to raise donations. Social fundraising involves P2P participants sharing their personal fundraisers on social networks and raising funds through those platforms.
Because the success of peer-to-peer fundraising is built on participants’ social connections, social media was a logical addition. After all, social networks are where your participants are already sharing information with their loved ones and therefore come with a built-in fundraising audience.
Facebook has become a key player in peer-to-peer social fundraising due to the platform’s built-in fundraising tools. Not only can Facebook users start one-off fundraisers on behalf of their favorite nonprofits (think: Facebook birthday fundraisers), but the platform can also be used to participate in large-scale peer-to-peer fundraisers.
There are two main ways to use Facebook to facilitate your peer-to-peer fundraiser:
With both methods, you benefit from the built-in connections on Facebook. However, nonprofits are increasingly using the platform’s built-in fundraising tools due to the simplified administration and decreased fees.
Here are a few reasons why nonprofits use Facebook’s fundraising tools to facilitate their peer-to-peer fundraisers:
And we can’t forget the top benefit of using Facebook for peer-to-peer fundraising: the platform’s built-in tools for supporter engagement. With Facebook, you can engage peer-to-peer participants in-channel on Messenger. You can craft rich experiences to raise your relationships with P2P supporters over time.
That said, it’s important to note that while Facebook is an impactful platform for peer-to-peer fundraising, simply choosing the right platform isn’t enough to ensure your campaign’s success. Continue reading to learn how you can begin engaging with peer-to-peer supporters today.
Your organization’s P2P participants are, more than likely, not professional fundraisers. This means that they don’t know the tips and tricks to raise funds successfully and they might even feel apprehensive about asking their peers for money.
We recommend the following tips to encourage your peer-to-peer fundraisers toward their goals and build relationships with them in the process.
Thanking peer-to-peer participants ensures they feel appreciated for their contributions and opens the door for continued engagement between them and your organization. But to do this on Facebook, you have to discover users that have created peer-to-peer fundraisers on your behalf in the first place.
Let’s walk through an example to illustrate what this would look like: You’ve launched a New Year themed peer-to-peer campaign in which participants raise P2P funds for your organization while walking 10,000 steps per day for the month of January. You’ve asked supporters to create their P2P fundraisers through Facebook, so you can capitalize on the many benefits of the platform.
To thank each participant at the start of the campaign, you’d use Facebook’s “Sort & Filter” tool. You would navigate to your nonprofit’s Facebook page, click on the “Fundraisers” tab, and use the “Sort & Filter” tool to discover the fundraisers that were most recently created and haven’t been thanked yet. Then, you’d go through and thank each newly created fundraiser associated with your campaign.
But what should this thank you include? We recommend writing a personalized note that expresses your gratitude and invites the participant to engage with your organization further. This could mean joining your P2P fundraising group, opting-in to receive future messages, or even checking out other opportunities on your website.
Your peer-to-peer participants aren’t fundraising professionals. While they’re surely equipped with the best intentions, they don’t have the years of fundraising experience that your team has access to. It’s up to you to make sure your participants have the tools they need to craft an effective appeal, persistently share the opportunity, and blow their fundraising goal out of the water.
We recommend sharing the following tips with your supporters to help them raise more:
There are a few different ways to share these tips, such as creating a participant guide and sharing it on your nonprofit’s Facebook page and website, or even within any fundraising groups you create. You can also use Facebook Messenger to share these tips.
Your nonprofit worked hard to build a brand that’s reflective of your mission and values. But, when your supporters create Facebook fundraisers, they control the messaging and imagery shared with the fundraiser. Now, we can assume that supporters participating in your peer-to-peer fundraisers are going to speak highly of your organization and mission— but, they’re not professional fundraisers or entrenched in your day-to-day work. They may not have the knowledge to speak about your organization in an informed, impactful manner that supports your existing branding.
Because of this, we recommend providing images and text directly on your nonprofit’s website that supporters can use when creating their peer-to-peer fundraisers on Facebook. To do this, consider the information users are responsible for providing when they create a fundraiser:
Your organization’s mission statement will be included and pulled directly from your Facebook page, so it’s important to write a clear description of your organization there. However, you can also provide a recommended title, suggested images, and even tips for writing an impactful fundraiser description on your website. Check out the example below from Stop Soldier Suicide’s 100 Mile Challenge to see what we mean:
What's interesting about the example above is that you don’t have to share long descriptions with supporters to protect your fundraiser’s branding. Something as simple as using standard naming conventions and suggested photos can take your peer-to-peer fundraiser from a disparate effort to a recognizable name in the game.
One of the big benefits of peer-to-peer fundraisers for your supporters is that it’s intended to be a social effort— whether raising gifts from and starting conversations with friends and family, or meeting up with other participants to complete a challenge, there is an inherent social aspect to these campaigns.
We recommend taking this a step further and creating digital communities for your participants to engage with one another. This is a beneficial practice as participants can encourage one another, share their own tips for success, and continue bonding over their shared support of your organization beyond the campaign itself.
Facebook makes this particularly easy with its group functionality. For example, let’s say you’re hosting a 10k per day step challenge as a peer-to-peer fundraiser. You’d then create a Facebook group for all participants to join, share their fundraisers, and connect with one another. You could even live stream within the group and host group runs.
This tip is especially valuable if you’re hosting a fully virtual fundraiser, as many organizations have during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a society, we’re experiencing distance like never before. Groups are a great way to bring participants together. And, as you begin to transition back to in-person events, you can continue using these groups as a motivational tool for participants!
Our final, and perhaps most important, tip is to communicate with your peer-to-peer participants for the duration of their fundraisers. While peer-to-peer fundraising is a largely supporter-driven effort— after all, they’re raising funds rather than you doing so— that doesn’t mean you can take a back-seat role in the effort.
When you stay in contact with participants throughout their campaigns, you can:
Each of these is a step toward building strong relationships between participants and your organization. So, not only are they more likely to fundraise for you again in the future— but, they might even support your organization in other ways as well!
But, how can you communicate with participants during their campaign? We recommend using Facebook Messenger, but not all organizations have the time or resources on hand to do so effectively. That’s where GoodUnited comes in!