Peer-to-peer fundraising improves with volunteer management software

Volunteer management software can help organizations improve their campaigning efforts, especially under unique circumstances. A peer-to-peer fundraising approach can be enormously successful for a nonprofit if executed well and with the right support system. The services provided by nonprofit software can improve an organization's ability to carry out a successful and profitable peer-to-peer fundraiser.

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?
Similar to crowdfunding, which involves organizations accumulating small donations from many people to deliver a larger sum to their cause, peer-to-peer fundraising is a multi-tiered campaigning system. The Classy blog noted that using this model, an individual reaches out to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances to raise awareness and funding for a specific cause. Often this type of campaign involves an online donation page set up by an individual on which they share their mission, donation methods and updates on progress with donors. This is the page they can send electronically to their network when making an ask.

"Peer-to-peer fundraising is a terrific and simple way to discover new constituents."

Examples of peer-to-peer fundraising include sponsoring walk-a-thons, dance marathons and single events. The Polar Plunge in Chicago, during which individuals jump into freezing cold Lake Michigan in the middle of winter to raise funding for the Special Olympics, is an example of peer-to-peer fundraising. The event happens once and the brave souls submerging themselves into the icy water gain sponsorship from family and friends leading up to the event. This is an example of a time-based fundraiser, as there is a deadline by which donors must give. There are also rolling campaigns that exist year-round. Often supporters use dates like birthdays or holidays to encourage giving. 

Why is this important for nonprofits?
First, peer-to-peer fundraising opens up a whole slew of new networking opportunities for organizations. A charity can tap into the vast network of each of their staff members, volunteers and individual donors, increasing the number of people who support its cause. It's a terrific and simple way to discover more constituents.

Plus, as First Giving pointed out, peer-to-peer campaigning eliminates the credibility gap. Rather than responding to an email from an unfamiliar organization, donors are offering their funds to a trusted source. A loved one passionate about their mission asking for a gift is much more effective than a charity reaching out. The personalization that goes with peer-to-peer fundraising is a huge selling point.

In addition, the average donor will give $50 to an organization in support of an on-going causes, whereas the average fundraiser will contribute closer to $500 to a unique project. Peer-to-peer participants are also more often than not new to the organization. Having more particular parameters around a campaign often increases the amount constituents are willing to give.

How to have a successful peer-to-peer campaign
Make sure the person volunteering to head up the fundraiser is effective at social networking and willing to reach out to a wide variety of people. It takes significant time and energy to maintain a peer-to-peer campaign. Ensure there are staff members available to assist with portions of the project. Online donation pages will require frequent updates so donors can track progress and understand more about the mission.

Donors are more likely to trust a friend or family member than an unfamiliar organization. Donors are more likely to trust a friend or family member than an unfamiliar organization.

Nonprofits need to ensure their fundraisers are prepared and supplied with the best resources to complete their campaign. Help these individuals design goals and set up check-in points along the way to their final event. Fundraising Success Magazine encouraged organizations to highlight the work these campaigners are doing in weekly and monthly newsletters to current community members. Someone outside of the individual's own network may be inspired to give or share with others.

Make sure there is a reliable method for tracking progress, reporting on donations received and calculating efforts. This will help the organization and the individual better understand which methods are working, which donors are connecting and where the campaign efforts may need revamping.

Volunteer management software can provide excellent support tools for organizations and their peer-to-peer campaigners. By improving communication to new donors and maintaining meaningful relationships with new contributors after the campaign ends, nonprofit software increases the benefits the he initial fundraiser provided. A quality system also offers structured methods for tracking information and monitoring progress over time. It's a fantastic tool for any nonprofit looking to begin peer-to-peer campaigning in the future.