Skip to main content

Getting Started With Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Author: Tatiana Morand
January 22, 2024
🕑 18 min read

When it comes to building your nonprofit’s financial strategy, peer-to-peer fundraising should be top of mind. This strategy capitalizes on your member’s relationships by leveraging their personal networks to support your nonprofit’s mission. If you’re ready to dive into the world of peer-to-peer fundraising, let’s start by learning the basics; then, we’ll share how to utilize best practices for your organization! 

In this post, you’ll discover: 

  • What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising? 
  • Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising right for your nonprofit? 
  • How to Do Peer to Peer Fundraising in 8 Steps
  • 8 Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Best Practices
  • 5 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Options
  • 3 Examples of Creative Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns 

What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising (or P2P for short) is a fundraising strategy that uses the networks of your existing supporters to raise money on your behalf. 

You may already be familiar with peer-to-peer fundraisers: Fun Runs, Movember, and The Ice Bucket Challenge are all classic examples. 

The graphic below shows how one supporter can rally their network to donate much more money than they could on their own — and why peer-to-peer fundraising can be so effective. 


Here are the benefits your organization will see by utilizing peer-to-peer fundraising: 

  • Extended reach: your nonprofit can spread your message to a broader audience. Each member you have will bring in their own network of family, friends and colleagues who may not have heard of your organization without your member’s connection. 
  • Increased trust and credibility: Personal endorsements carry weight. A member of your nonprofit personally sharing your organization’s goals and mission will increase your trust and credibility. Donors are more likely to contribute when the request comes from someone within their circle. 
  • Community building: peer-to-peer fundraising builds a send of community within its participants. This is done through both individual efforts and team-based campaigns. With a shared goal among everyone, you create a community built around your org. 
  • Diversification of revenue streams: Relying only on standard fundraising practices is risky and not as effective as introducing many streams of revenue for your nonprofit. Peer-to-peer fundraising diversifies your revenue streams and allows your organization to be more financially stable. 
  • Data and analytics: When building out your peer-to-peer fundraising strategy, the software you use will provide you a lot of data and analytic information. You can use this information to gain insights on your donors, campaign performance and track goals. This can help you improve future campaigns and make a bigger impact year after year. 
  • Scalability: The best part about peer-to-peer fundraising is its scalability. So, as your nonprofit grows and your needs change, you can still utilize peer-to-peer fundraising to help you reach your financial goals. 
Click through to claim your 60-day trial of WildApricot to create effective QR codes that will speed up event check-in.

Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising right for your nonprofit? 

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great choice for many nonprofits because it’s a low-cost, low-effort way to raise funds. It relies on your supporters’ existing relationships and leverages them to help spread the word about your cause. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising might be perfect for your organization if: 

  • You have a large group of donors who are very engaged and enthusiastic about supporting your cause. 
  • You have a specific need that can be easily shared with your community and will resonate with the general public. 
  • You’re willing to provide your fundraisers with ready-to-use tools to help them solicit donations, such as a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, marketing materials and messaging. 
  • You have an end goal in mind for your P2P fundraising campaign. Consider implementing a giving day or an end-of-campaign event to help reach your fundraising goal. 

If you’re struggling to think of the perfect time to try out peer-to-peer fundraising, consider the events you’re already planning to host and see if you can incorporate a P2P fundraising aspect into them. 

3 Types of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events 

A well-executed P2P fundraising campaign will boost revenue and excitement for any event your nonprofit may be planning.  

There are 3 types of P2P events to consider when planning how you want your next fundraising event to look: 

Ongoing Fundraisers

Ongoing P2P fundraising events are continuous efforts to raise money for your nonprofit’s cause. These efforts allow a lot of flexibility for those wanting to participate. A great example of an ongoing P2P fundraising event is a memorial page.

You can create a custom page on your nonprofit’s website that shares the story of the individual you want to honor. Individuals who resonate with the story or have/had a relationship with the featured person can donate. This makes sharing the page to family and friends easy, widening the reach through peer-to-peer networking. 

Time Bound Fundraisers

Time bound P2P fundraising events are the classic event you may think of when you brainstorm events for your nonprofit. These are set with a specific end date in mind with a specific goal. These events create a sense of urgency and excitement for those who participate in them.

A good example of this are run/walks for the cause.

Your members will gain support from their personal network by asking for a monetary pledge for however many laps, miles or steps they take during the event. This spreads the word of your fundraising campaign to a wide range of individuals and builds up to the exciting day of walking/running to meet the goal for the cause. 

Giving Days

Giving days are the quickest way to meet your goals for a P2P fundraising event. There is typically a lot of social media build-up to the giving day, reminding people about the challenge of raising money for your cause. #GivingTuesday is the biggest giving day celebrated around the world and it raises a substantial amount of money in only 24 hours!

In 2023 over $3.1 billion was raised in the US alone. But you don’t have to wait until then to start a giving day for your nonprofit! Spread the word via social media and hype up your day of giving to raise money in record time for your organization. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising VS Crowdfunding 

If some of this sounds a little like crowdfunding, which is another fundraising strategy you may have heard of, there are some fundamental differences between crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. 

Crowdfunding is collecting small donations from a number of different people to fund a project, usually done through the internet (think of sites like gofundme or kickstarter!). Whereas peer-to-peer fundraising utilizes a network of supporters to raise money exclusively for the nonprofit in question. There are four main differences in crowdfunding vs P2P fundraising: 

Goal and Purpose

Crowdfunding campaigns focus on the project or product being funded. Crowdfunding can also focus on various projects beyond charitable efforts, whereas P2P fundraising focuses exclusively on nonprofits or charities. Peer-to-peer fundraising typically shares personal stories and why individuals should contribute to the cause, not a product. 


The advocate for a crowdfunding campaign is usually the creator of the project or product being supported. P2P fundraising campaigns have multiple advocates who are nonprofit members and are passionate about the cause. Typically, a crowdfunding campaign has one campaign page that their advocate manages. With P2P fundraising, multiple fundraising pages are made by the various nonprofit advocates with their own stories about the campaign. 


There are a variety of platforms crowd-funders will use to promote their project, typically a third-party platform like Kickstarter. P2P fundraising is usually housed on the nonprofit’s website and is supported by the software a nonprofit utilizes, like WildApricot. This allows individuals to create personal fundraising pages with their unique story on their nonprofit’s website that ultimately links to the nonprofit’s main campaign. 


Crowdfunding campaigns usually have a timeframe in which they need to reach their goals. P2P fundraising can have flexible timelines and frequently accept donations any time, even outside of specific fundraising events. 

And if crowdfunding sounds more appropriate for what you’re trying to achieve, here’s how to get started with it and what tools to use. 

How to do Peer-to-Peer Fundraising in 8 Steps 

If you’ve decided to try peer-to-peer fundraising after all, here are the steps you’ll need to take: 

  1. Set a goal: How much money are you hoping to raise? 
  2. Set a theme: Will your event revolve around an event, a powerful case for support, a tribute or a challenge? 
  3. Set a time frame: How much time do your fundraisers have? Providing a deadline gives donors a sense of urgency and encourages more donations. 
  4. Determine how you’ll spread the word about the campaign: Will you be sending an email to your existing donors? A letter in the mail? Will you post about it on your website and on social media? 
  5. Create marketing materials and messaging to share with your fundraisers: The goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to tell their networks about your cause. The easier it is, the more shares you’ll get. 
  6. Set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page or website and make sure your supporters have everything they need to create and customize their own fundraising pages. 
  7. Start fundraising! Be sure to provide frequent updates and stay in touch with your supporters to keep them motivated and engaged. 
  8. Say thank you: As new donors join your community, be sure to keep track of their information and send them a personalized thank you message. 

8 Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Best Practices 

Chances are you’ve already run a peer-to-peer fundraiser, because simply asking a friend to tell their friends about your cause is the most simple version of one. 

However, if you want to raise thousands of dollars, there are eight key strategies that will help make your next peer-to-peer fundraiser the best success: 

Read More:How to Prepare a Nonprofit Fundraising Plan 

1. Use the Right Software to Make Donating Easier 

Do you know if your current donation software will work with a peer-to-peer fundraiser? 

Many nonprofits jump into a peer-to-peer fundraiser without the right donation software only to find that they’re leaving a lot of money on the table. When it comes to P2P fundraising, people want to give their money to people, not just an organization. It’s important for your fundraising software to let your supporters take the lead in three ways by: 

  • Giving your supporters an individual donation page and allowing them to tailor the message. 
  • Making it easy for supporters to receive donations from their network. 
  • Making it easy for your supporters to transfer funds to your organization. 

When choosing your fundraising software, ask if these things are possible. WildApricot (that’s us!) is an all-in-one management software that can help you successfully launch a P2P fundraising campaign. Plus, in the next section, we have 5 of the top fundraising software options to check out. 

Click through to start a free trial of WildApricot and create engaging digital membership cards for your members.

2. Stay Connected With Your Supporters Through the Whole Fundraiser 

If you’ve never run a peer-to-peer fundraiser before, there are two management tactics to avoid. 

One is sending your supporters off, free to do as they please without any management. 

The other is micromanaging their every move. 

Both actually decrease your fundraising potential. Part of running a peer-to-peer fundraiser is trusting your supporters to do their best, but also knowing when to give them tools, encouragement, and friendly reminders to help them meet their individual goals. 

From my experience, here are some management practices that can help your supporters raise more money in a helpful way: 

  • Send reminders about registering for your peer-to-peer event the week of and the week before the event. 
  • Update your donor database with new information gleaned from your supporters’ participation in the fundraiser. 
  • Offer support to individual fundraisers who are struggling to meet their goals. 
  • Send regular updates about the overall progress everyone is making. 
  • Provide your most dedicated supporters and donors with additional opportunities for engagement, such as membership programs. 
  • Offer information packages or webinars to train your supporters in setting up their donation pages and asking for donations. 

Doing these activities can not only help you increase donations by helping supporters meet their individual goals, but also help build long-term loyalty with them. 

3. Create a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Toolkit 

The best way to encourage your supporters to ask for donations in as many ways as possible is to make it easier for them to do so, this is where you need to build a toolkit. 

A toolkit is needed because not everyone asks for donations in the same way. Some people prefer to promote the cause on social media through Facebook or Instagram. Others may prefer calling their friends and family to ask for donations over the phone. It’s important to make sure all avenues are available for your members. 

Unfortunately, some people don’t feel very comfortable when it comes to asking for donations in certain ways. Perhaps they get tongue-tied asking for donations over the phone, so they never call. However, with a prepared script to try, they may feel more comfortable. 

In your peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit, you can provide tools to your supporters to encourage them to ask in different ways: 

  • Write a suggested script for phone calls that supporters can reference 
  • Create a hashtag so that supporters can easily consolidate posts across multiple social media channels 
  • Write up an email template that supporters can fill in with their information 
  • Create an “about” page for the fundraisers that supporters can link to when they need to share more info 
  • Write out tweets that your supporters can use 
  • Give your supporters images that they can share on Facebook 

By giving your supporters peer-to-peer fundraising tools, you help them hit the ground running in whichever channel they choose. 

4. Get Your Supporters Motivated! 

You have to remember that for some people, lack of tools or knowledge isn’t the problem. 

They might be very excited to set a goal and fundraise on your behalf, but after a few rejections to their ask for donations, they lose motivation and interest. 

To avoid this, here are some ways to keep your fundraisers motivated: 

Encourage them to set smaller goals

Larger goals can seem daunting and cause people to procrastinate or lose interest. Provide suggested amounts they can select from and make sure they’re all reachable. Smaller goals boost motivation and inspire your supporters to keep fundraising; who doesn’t love reaching or even surpassing their goals!? 

Give them the option to create teams.

It’s a lot easier to retain motivation when you feel like you’re a part of something larger. Fundraisers will feel accountable to their team members and will be less likely to give up before the campaign is over. Plus, teams are usually groups of friends or co-workers. It’s likely that they’ll create a sense of friendly competition among themselves and naturally motivate each other. 

Acknowledge and celebrate milestones

Send a note to your fundraisers when they’ve hit a new milestone, such as surpassing 50% of their goal. That congratulation will encourage them to keep going. Your peer-to-peer fundraising software may have a leaderboard where you can acknowledge your most successful fundraisers and create a sense of competition for others. 

Remind them about the cause

Sometimes, people get so caught up in what they have to do that they forget why they wanted to do it in the first place. Remind your fundraisers about why their help is so important, what the raised funds will support, and what impact they’re helping to create. 

5. The Best Way to Brand Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser 

Donations made on a branded donation form are, on average, 38% larger than contributions made through generic pages. Plus, when a supporter gives through a branded page, they are nearly 70% more likely to make a second contribution. The main reason is that branded donation pages appear more trustworthy and make a donor feel more comfortable about their donation going to the right place. 

When you allow your individual supporters to customize their own donation pages, you will still want to hold on to some branding. Here are some simple ways to ensure a consistent message and design across all your supporters’ pages. 

Provide Suggested Copy

Not every supporter will want to write out their personal story (and who could blame them? Sometimes it’s hard to know the right thing to say). Your organization should provide templates with suggested copy for donation pages, emails, and social media posts. The copy should be easy to customize to an individual so that your message is consistent, yet personal. 

Design a Template

Most peer-to-peer software will allow your organization to create a template or design scheme for each individual donation page with colors and fonts you choose that reflect your nonprofit. Most importantly, make sure that your nonprofit’s name and logo are integrated into the template. 

Focus on Your Cause

To empower your supporters while staying on-brand, you’ll need to provide them with toolkits that detail how this fundraiser will help your cause. Include at least one high-quality photo of the recipients of your nonprofit’s aid and a specific story of how your nonprofit will help them. Supporters can use this material when they ask for donations. 

Branding is more than aesthetics; it’s about building recognition and trust between your organization and donors. 

6. Promote Friendly Competition 

To keep your supporters motivated and engaged throughout your fundraiser, try creating friendly competition. Here are a few ways to do just that: 

  • Create a leaderboard, which displays the top fundraising individuals or teams in real time. 
  • Create fundraising badges, which supporters can earn for reaching certain fundraising milestones and display on their personal donation pages. 
  • Recognize on social media your most dedicated supporters for their service to your cause. 

In all these strategies, it’s important to note that the rewards are based on showcasing supporters’ accomplishments. Just be cautious of rewarding fundraisers with tangible gifts or flashy prizes. You don’t want prizes to overshadow your cause. 

7. Double Donations with Corporate Match Programs 

Many companies will match the amount of money that one of their employees raises through a peer-to-peer fundraiser. 

It’s an easy way to double the amount of money you raise. 

Make sure your supporters ask their employers if they match donations, or send them a tool (like the matching gift tool displayed here) so they can conduct a search for their company on their own. 

8. Nurture New Relationships

Many nonprofits skip this last strategy and end up leaving a lot of money on the table. 

The problem is that many first-time donors in a peer-to-peer fundraiser don’t know very much about your organization, and they’re not in a mindset to keep giving. They only donated to support their friend. 

But don’t let that discourage you. With the right approach, you can welcome these new people into your organization and nurture them into a position where they’re ready to give again. 

Here are three easy tactics to engage these people from day one: 

  • Email new donors a personal welcome message: Invite them to your website, or give them your contact details to learn more. You can even send them a link to your membership application to sign on those interested right away. 
  • Use donation receipts as engagement opportunities: Once donors confirm their gifts, direct them to additional opportunities for engagement right on their receipts. One common approach I’ve seen is to invite them to participate in an event, or another fundraiser. 
  • Invite donors to follow your social media channels: With social media, you can recognize donors for their contributions and showcase your organization at the same time. 

The key is to engage donors so that they don’t vanish once your peer-to-peer campaign ends. Show them that they’re valuable partners to your organization, and you want to work with them. Don’t forget to write thank you letters to donors! 

5 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Software Options

If you’re looking to implement peer-to-peer fundraising software, here’s a list of the most profitable ones.

Just make sure that the option you go with makes it easy for your supporters to take the lead by allowing them to:

peer-to-peer fundraising small nonprofits

  • Write out their own personal story and their connection to your organization.
  • Show a fundraising thermometer of their individual goal and progress.
  • Upload any relevant videos or photos.
  • Add social media sharing buttons to make it easier to connect with their network.

1. Qgiv

Qgiv makes peer-to-peer fundraising more fun with leaderboards, badges and progress thermometers. It includes an email platform, an event builder and integrates with Facebook fundraisers. Qgiv also has text-to-give options and a handheld kiosk for in-person fundraising.

Demo/Trial:Demo available upon request
Pricing: $259/month and 4.95% + $0.30 per transaction


2. Fundly

Fundly is a platform designed specifically for peer-to-peer fundraising. It makes it easy for both nonprofits and individuals to quickly set up a website and start fundraising. Fundly also provides lots of resources on how to run a successful campaign.

Pricing: Free + 2.9% (credit card processing fee)+ $0.30 per transaction


3. Donately

Donately aims to be the simplest donation platform out there. Participants can customize their fundraising pages to tell your organization’s story, as well as include a personal touch. Donately also has a text messaging platform to allow participants to communicate easily with donors.

Demo/Trial: N/A
Pricing: Free starting plan + 4% per transaction


4. OneCause

OneCause takes peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level with integration with social media platforms and social listening. It also uses gamification features to motivate and engage participants. It makes it easy to get started with different campaign types, whether the fundraiser is run alongside an event, as a tribute or as a social media challenge.

Demo/Trial: Available upon request
Pricing:Available upon request


5. Bonterra

Bonterra has everything you need to get started with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign: donation page templates, an event builder, an email marketing platform and fundraising dashboards.  

Demo/Trial:Available upon request
Option of a $199/month +2% platform fee or $99/month +4% platform fee

Donor Management Software for When the Campaign is Over  

Once your P2P fundraising campaign is over, you’ll want to consider nurturing your donors into members! If someone donated to your nonprofit’s cause, there’s a good chance they are passionate about your mission. Utilizing donor management software is a great way to make one-time donors into your newest members. 

Your donor management software can keep these donors in the loop by sending your newsletters about upcoming fundraisers and sharing the impact your nonprofit has made. Having calls to action (CTAs) in these newsletters about becoming official members of your nonprofit is key for bringing in one-time donors as members as well. 

Donor management software will allow you to analyze data about your donors and develop informed strategies on how you can improve donor satisfaction, retention rates and allow you to send the right message at the right time.  

If you’re looking for a donor management software to assist your nonprofit, WildApricot allows you to control all aspects of your network from a single, centralized platform. Manage donors, plan events, and build a professional site all at once. Click here to start your 60-day free trial today! 

Click through to claim your free trial of WildApricot and start creating high-quality digital membership cards.

3 Examples of Creative Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

Looking for additional inspiration for your campaign? Here are three we’ve seen and appreciated lately.

1. Walk to End Alzheimers 

The Alzheimer’s Association invites people to participate in an annual walk, with more than 600 communities participating nationwide. Their website allows you to find a walk near you, using your zipcode so you can participate locally. Some things they do really well is a yearly leaderboard, showing top performers nationwide and tips to get your fundraising started. 

2. Three Peaks Challenge 

The Three Peaks Challenge is a challenge in the UK where participants climb the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, often within 24 hours. By doing so, they raise money for a charity of their choice. They can register as an individual or an organization, making it a flexible option for anyone! A wonderful story came from Seren Price, who completed the challenge at just 5 years old and raised £7,313 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital to improve the lives of sick children. 

3. Global’s Make Some Noise 

Global’s Make Some Noise is hosting a fun challenge where they invite participants to make a difference from the comfort of their homes by gaming. You can choose to play any game you want, challenge your friends or even play solo. This challenge supports small charities for those experiencing grief, poverty, domestic abuse, loneliness, illness and mental health problems. This is a great example of a fun challenge that’s easy to take part it (who doesn’t love gaming?) and is well set up to spread widely across participants’ social networks. 

After the Campaign is Done 

After you’ve finished your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, it’s important to share your results with those who supported your cause. Don’t forget to write thank you letters to show your appreciation. Utilizing donor management software can help you keep track of your donors and keep them informed of the impact they’ve made and any upcoming ways they can contribute. Try a 60-day free trial of WildApricot to make your next P2P fundraising campaign a breeze! 

Start a free trial of WildApricot today. Click here

So there you have it! Whether you’re a peer-to-peer expert or just getting started with your first campaign, I hope you found this guide helpful. 

Best of luck running your next peer-to-peer fundraiser! 

This post was originally contributed by Abby Jarvis, Communications Coordinator for Qgiv, but has since been edited and updated. 

The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

Get the report now!