By now, your nonprofit’s supporters have probably encountered every in-person/hybrid/virtual peer-to-peer (P2P) iteration out there. It’s time to introduce some new, engaging fundraising ideas to keep your peer-to-peer participants returning for future fundraisers.
Thanks to modern technology, nonprofits have an increased ability to conduct peer-to-peer fundraisers in ways that best suit their organization and supporters. At GoodUnited, we work with nonprofits to raise their relationships with supporters on Facebook. Because Facebook Challenges are essentially peer-to-peer fundraisers with unlimited reach, we’ve encountered a variety of peer-to-peer fundraising ideas to share!
In this guide, we’ll explore innovative peer-to-peer fundraising ideas through the following topics:
- How to Optimize Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign
- 20+ Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas for Your Nonprofit
As you read, you’ll explore P2P fundraising ideas for Facebook, P2P fundraising events, and fully virtual P2P ideas. However, while incorporating innovative peer-to-peer fundraising ideas is a great start to boost your program in the new year and beyond, it’s not enough to have a truly successful peer-to-peer campaign—building one-on-one relationships with each individual supporter is key.
So first, let’s walk through how to optimize your next campaign to understand, inspire, and grow your relationships with peer-to-peer supporters.
How to Optimize Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign
While some nonprofits see the P2P process as a supporter-led effort, consider the ways your team can build relationships with each individual supporter. The best way to do this is to engage in conversational messaging, including sending encouragement and tips, with the participants in your P2P campaign.
Conversational messaging is the process of connecting representatives of your nonprofit with individual supporters on Facebook. This can easily be done through Facebook Messenger. By providing your Facebook supporters with real-time access to guidance and encouragement, you’ll strengthen their relationship with your organization and help them boost their fundraiser results.
With social media usage on the rise, conversational messaging is becoming an increasingly effective way to cultivate support online. GoodUnited’s conversational messaging journeys allow your nonprofit to leverage and even automate one-on-one conversations to leave a lasting impression on more supporters.
As you’ll soon see, many of the top peer-to-peer fundraising ideas we recommend are conducted using Facebook’s fundraising tools. Here are a few ways that you can continue connecting with peer-to-peer participants through that platform:
- Thank each participant soon after they create their P2P fundraiser associated with your overall campaign.
- Continue communicating, either by Facebook Messenger or via Facebook groups, with participants.
- Leverage conversational messaging to share tips and encouragement that will help supporters fuel their campaigns across the finish line.
- Provide suggested branding and messaging to help participants speak about their campaigns successfully.
Unfortunately, while Facebook’s fundraising tools offer a variety of benefits for peer-to-peer fundraising, that doesn’t make it easy to communicate with P2P participants regularly. In fact, for a large nonprofit with an established Facebook peer-to-peer fundraising program, conversing with each and every participant can be an incredibly time-consuming endeavor.
That’s where our services at GoodUnited come into play. We offer the only turn-key social fundraising solution to build relationships over social media. This includes:
- Thank-you messages and invitations to opt-in to conversational messaging via Messenger sent to 100% of your peer-to-peer participants.
- Custom conversational messaging sequences full of tips and encouragement to help participants raise more.
- Surveys and questions aimed at gathering additional information about your Facebook peer-to-peer participants.
- Full management of any Facebook Challenges, from the initial ad campaigns to managing Facebook groups.
Not only do these services remove much of the administrative burden of running a successful P2P campaign from your team, but they also result in more satisfied P2P participants.
We’ve found that, with the help of GoodUnited’s conversational messaging sequences, nonprofits see 94% of participants eager to fundraise for them again. With this, you can build intimacy with social supporters at scale, growing relationships with the next generation of P2P participants. To learn more about GoodUnited’s services, contact our team today.
20+ Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas for Your Nonprofit
Let’s begin our peer-to-peer fundraising list with a discussion of P2P fundraisers conducted on Facebook, and how you can use the platform’s tools to raise more effectively.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas Using Facebook
In lieu of relying solely on a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, nonprofits are now turning to Facebook as the host of their P2P fundraising campaigns. This could be through integrating their P2P tool with the social network or conducting campaigns using Facebook’s fundraising tools alone. In both scenarios, participants share their campaigns with their friends and family members on the social network and raise funds directly through the platform.
There are a few stand-out benefits of Facebook’s fundraising tools that have led nonprofits to use them, including the following:
- Facebook has zero processing fees for nonprofit fundraisers.
- Facebook is a familiar platform, rather than asking supporters to sign up with and navigate a P2P platform they’ve never used before.
- Facebook is inherently social and has a built-in fundraising audience.
- Facebook has a fairly quick payout timeline (two weeks) for nonprofits signed up with Meta Pay.
- Facebook groups allow you to create digital communities for peer-to-peer fundraiser participants while Messenger allows you to continue engaging with them through conversational messaging.
Continue reading for four innovative peer-to-peer fundraisers you can introduce into your Facebook lineup.
Our Favorite Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Idea: Facebook Challenges
A Facebook Challenge is a time-bound peer-to-peer fundraiser during which participants must complete an activity while raising funds through a Facebook fundraiser. During the Challenge, participants join together in a Facebook group to experience a digital community with other participants that have a similar passion for your mission.
The steps for hosting a Facebook Challenge are as follows:
- Choose a Challenge activity, such as walking a number of steps, running a number of miles, or reading a number of books.
- Create a Facebook group for participants, in which they can encourage one another and share tips.
- Use Facebook Ads to spread the word, directing users to join the group and create a fundraiser.
- Thank participants for joining with comments on each fundraiser created.
- Engage with users in the group, ensuring the conversations are lively, encouraging, and on-brand.
The power of Facebook Challenges is that they allow supporters of your nonprofit to join with their peers digitally and fundraise together for your cause. GoodUnited’s turnkey solution for Facebook Challenges includes managing any associated ad campaigns, moderating groups, thanking 100% of users who start fundraisers, and communicating with users via conversational messaging on Facebook Messenger.
Birthday fundraisers are the bread-and-butter of Facebook fundraising, raising over $1 billion in nonprofit donations since the platform’s fundraising tools emerged. In fact, Facebook actively promotes this fundraising method with reminders a few weeks in advance of a user’s birthday.
Facebook birthday fundraisers involve a user choosing to “Donate” their birthday by raising funds from their peers, via Facebook’s fundraising tools, in lieu of gifts. To make the most of this fundraising idea, inform supporters of the opportunity to donate their birthday and even use targeted Facebook ads to remind your nonprofit’s Facebook supporters who have birthdays approaching.
You can also use this fundraising idea to celebrate your nonprofit’s birthday. For example, plan a supporter-wide peer-to-peer campaign scheduled for the date your nonprofit was founded. Then, encourage supporters to create P2P fundraisers on Facebook aligned with the event to raise as much as possible within those 24 hours.
Facebook Fundraiser Groups
Facebook allows nonprofits to create open and closed groups to connect with supporters. These groups can be used to raise funds through in-group fundraising tools, or simply as a place for your P2P participants to gather and share tips for successfully raising funds.
Consider the following ways to use Facebook fundraising groups as a P2P fundraiser:
- Appoint digital ambassadors of your nonprofit to raise peer-to-peer funds during busy seasons, such as the year-end giving season. Invite those supporters to join a group together and experience a digital community of people passionate about your cause.
- Create a closed group to act as a digital event space. Ask supporters to raise peer-to-peer funds to gain access to the event and livestream a presentation, such as a concert or comedy show, for all event “attendees.”
- Invite all participants in a challenge-based peer-to-peer campaign, such as a 10,000 steps challenge, to join a group. Encourage these participants to connect with one another over their experience and share tips for successful P2P fundraising.
While peer-to-peer fundraising is inherently social, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your participants are experiencing community with one another. Facebook groups empower participants to connect with one another and bond over their shared support of your organization.
Facebook Live Fundraiser
In a Facebook Live fundraiser, your nonprofit raises funds by livestreaming an experience. Generally, this involves your team cultivating support through live appeals and Facebook’s Live donate tools, rather than a peer-to-peer experience.
However, it’s fairly simple to make a Facebook Live fundraiser a peer-to-peer experience— simply ask supporters to raise funds leading up to the event. So, if you’re hosting a virtual gala on Facebook Live, encourage attendees to invite their friends and family to give in support of your nonprofit’s mission via Facebook fundraisers leading up to the event.
Peer-to-peer appeals combined with the live appeal options means that there are two fundraising avenues in Facebook Live peer-to-peer fundraisers. And, depending on whether you choose to host the livestream in a closed group or not, you could also choose to charge a small entry fee for virtual admission.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events
Fundraising events are a powerful way to make the most of peer-to-peer fundraising, with the P2P portion acting as an exciting lead-up to the full fundraising celebration.
In this list, you’ll find both virtual fundraising events and in-person experiences, so there are valuable ideas to accommodate all budgets and supporter preferences.
A walk-a-thon is a peer-to-peer fundraising event that’s accessible to a wide range of participants. The premise is simple: participants raise funds from their friends and family members, either in support of your nonprofit, the participant’s connection to it, or their newfound interest in physical fitness.
Then, the walking begins. You can either extend this event across a time period—such as setting the goal for all supporters to walk and log 10k steps per day for a month—or you can organize an event wherein all participants walk the same preset distance (like a 5K) at the same time.
A bike-a-thon is very similar to a walk-a-thon, except instead of walking, participants are biking! This event is more likely to be held on one day with all participants biking the distance in tandem, rather than the month-long iteration— let’s face it, biking each and every day is likely too big of a challenge for some supporters.
Keep your audience in mind when planning this event, as riding a bike is significantly less accessible than just generally walking a distance. For example, while wheelchair-bound supporters could engage with a walk-a-thon in some manner, a bike-a-thon could be more restrictive. Consider offering alternatives in that scenario, such as a walk-run-ride event.
A 5K race is similar to the previous two event ideas, except rather than walking or riding, participants are running against one another in a race. For this event, designate a time and distance (5K or more, for more advanced runners) for participants to compete. Leading up to the event, they raise funds in support of the race.
During the race, either record the run times of each participant or if fully remote, ask participants to record and report their finish times. Then, present awards for the fastest in each age group as well as the top fundraisers! This event is a great opportunity to make the most of Facebook Groups, as runners can connect with one another to share training regimes and fundraising tips.
Galas carry high fundraising potential—but with that potential comes a more comprehensive planning process. These fundraising nights often involve entertainment, speeches, and networking for donors that give in large amounts, most often by purchasing a table at the event.
Turn this into a peer-to-peer event by asking event attendees to fundraise leading up to the event, acting as ambassadors for your organization. Make it a competition and during the event itself, present an award to the P2P fundraiser who raised the most.
The classic nonprofit charity auction can now be held through fully online means, creating a more accessible and efficient process. First, your team will need to solicit items (ideally donated) that both appeal to your event’s attendees and can be reasonably priced within their budgets.
Then, you’ll create a charity auction website to host the event for a specified time period, such as over the course of two weeks. You’ll collect bids on the site and, after the event, collect the pledged donations and ship items to attendees. Make this a peer-to-peer event by encouraging virtual attendees to fundraise in advance of the event and, similarly to the gala, present the most successful fundraiser with an award such as a raffle box or donated spa package.
A trivia night is a team-based peer-to-peer fundraising event. Invite participants to organize into teams and donate a small amount to enroll their group in the competition. Leading up to the event—as they study up on trivia questions, no doubt—teams should raise peer-to-peer donations from their friends and family members in support of their participation.
Invite guests to watch the trivia competition go down in real-time or live-stream the event for all to see if you’re hosting a virtual event. Designate a prize for the winning team, such as the ultimate trivia raffle basket, and a prize for the team that raises the most funds. Make sure to choose trivia that’s relevant for your organization’s supporters—Disney and Pixar trivia might be ideal for a family-based nonprofit, while pop culture trivia would work well for a nonprofit with an audience of young professionals.
Invite your nonprofit’s most talented supporters to compete in a talent show. Ask for a small donation for participation in the show and have participants raise peer-to-peer funds from their friends and family members in support of their competing.
During the event, award the crowd favorite, top talent, top fundraiser, and any other stand-out performances you see. Make sure to invite guests to watch the show live or livestream it so everyone who donated can tune in (and even make donations on the spot during the show itself).
The easiest way to turn a concert into a peer-to-peer fundraising event is by asking supporters to raise funds from their friends and family members in lieu of purchasing a ticket for entry. Make sure to choose a main act that’s appealing to a majority of your supporter base, so that in addition to giving to your organization, they’ll be encouraged to fundraise out of a desire to see the artist perform.
Get creative by involving the artists themselves in the peer-to-peer effort. For example, consider choosing the opening act by having them run competing peer-to-peer fundraisers. Have a few up-and-coming artists appeal to their supporter bases to donate, and award the performance slot to whichever artist can fundraise the most!
While many nonprofits participate in the yearly Giving Tuesday in November, that doesn’t mean that has to be your organization’s only giving day. For example, choose a date that’s significant to your organization—such as your founding date, or the kickoff of a major fundraising campaign—and designate that as the next concentrated day of giving.
In addition to asking supporters to make donations on that date, include a peer-to-peer element. For example, ask supporters to create 24-hour Facebook fundraisers on that date and to raise as much as possible within that tight timeframe. The urgency partnered with the fact that participants and their networks can watch the amount rise in real-time will be an incredible motivator.
Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas
Most in-person fundraising efforts can be pivoted to the virtual sphere to be more cost-effective and convenient for supporters to participate.
Let’s discuss a few virtual peer-to-peer fundraising ideas that your supporters can complete remotely—as in, independently and from their own locations.
A book club peer-to-peer fundraiser encourages knowledge acquisition and allows supporters near and far to join in the fun. Simply challenge participants to read over the course of a specified time period and raise funds from their friends and family members in support of literacy.
While this could mean simply challenging them to read a certain amount of books of their choice within a time period (such as aiming to read five books in February), you can also elevate this virtual fundraising idea using Facebook. Create a Facebook group for all participants and have them share reviews of their favorite books—or, challenge the group to read in tandem and discuss.
During a give-it-up challenge, participants “give up” something— like a behavior, food, or other creature comfort—for a specific time period. Most often, these challenges involve giving up something that’s considered a vice, such as watching television or drinking sugary drinks.
Then, participants raise funds for your organization from their friends and family members. Again, consider using a Facebook group to have users lament their challenges from “giving up” their vice and experience community through that!
10,000 Steps Challenge
A 10,000 steps challenge is a peer-to-peer fundraiser in which you challenge participants to walk 10,000 steps each day for a designated time period, such as each day for a month. This number of steps is widely considered the ideal number for a healthy adult to take each day.
With this challenge, participants raise peer-to-peer funds in support of their efforts toward a healthier lifestyle. Each day, they report their daily steps and whether or not they reach the 10,000 steps goal. Not only does this encourage healthy habits, but it’s also another great opportunity for using Facebook groups to create connections between participants.
At the end of the event, award the participants that raised the most funds, those who successfully completed the challenge, and those who walked the farthest distance in total.
Ambassador fundraising involves appointing designated individuals to spread the word about and raise funds for your organization within their personal networks and beyond. Often, you’ll want to choose ambassadors that are well-connected to potential donors—whether they’re a recognizable face in your general community or they simply have a high number of social media followers.
This could be paired with any of the other fundraising ideas on this list, with ambassadors raising funds for your organization as a lead-up to the main fundraiser. Or, you could simply maintain an ambassadors program throughout the year and ask participants to continuously fundraise and spread the word, awarding those who are successful with branded merch and gratitude.
A volunteer challenge has benefits for your organization and the nonprofits in your supporters’ communities. Simply challenge participants to complete a certain number of volunteer hours within a designated time period—such as within one month—and ask them to raise peer-to-peer funds in support of their philanthropic actions.
The other option here is to designate a specific volunteer day and have participants complete their volunteer tasks—such as cleaning up local parks in their areas—simultaneously. Then, leading up to the volunteer day, participants raise funds in support of the effort.
Viral Video Challenge
A viral video challenge draws on social media trends to raise funds. First, your team chooses a viral video topic—for example, completing a funny dance, or getting doused with ice water like in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Then, take a video of one of your staff members, board members, or a recognizable member of your community completing the task and post it to Facebook. Challenge your supporters to do the same!
Each supporter that completes the challenge should tag the next person in line—such as a friend, family member, or colleague—in their post. That person then raises peer-to-peer funds on behalf of your nonprofit, encouraging them to complete the challenge. Once they reach their fundraising goal, they complete the challenge, post it, and tag the next person in line!
Traditionally, a bake-off or cook-off would involve participants whipping up their best creations and bringing them to an in-person experience to be taste-tested and voted on. With Facebook groups, you can easily bring this event to the digital sphere.
Participants sign up for the event and raise funds from their peers in support. During the event itself, participants submit photos of their baked or cooked creations to be voted on in the Facebook group. Reward the top fundraiser as well as the supporter with the yummiest-looking dish!
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful tool because it can drastically expand your nonprofit’s fundraising reach and expose you to potential new supporters. It’s a unique fundraising type, as it can be successful in event formats, virtual formats, and more.
Our favorite peer-to-peer fundraising ideas are those that take place on Facebook. To optimize your peer-to-peer fundraisers on the platform and nurture long-lasting relationships with supporters using conversational messaging, contact the GoodUnited team today.
In the meantime, check out the following additional resources to learn more:
- The Nonprofit Guide to Facebook Donation & Tax Receipts. Learn all about how Facebook handles donation and tax receipts for nonprofit fundraisers in this guide.
- 20+ Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas for 2021 & Beyond. At this point, your donors have participated in their fair share of virtual fundraisers. Use these ideas to switch things up and keep your virtual fundraisers interesting!
- Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: 6 Best Practices. Are you struggling to make the most of your virtual peer-to-peer efforts? Check out these best practices to level up your strategy.