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Why Your Non-Profit Needs to Start a Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaign

Did you know that 1 in 4 appeal emails sent by a friend result in a donation? Compare this to 1 in 1,250 emails sent by the charity itself. Peer to peer fundraising is growing quickly, and that’s because friends asking friends works!

Giving is social and it is often our social ties that prompt us to take action. There is also a trust component. When an appeal for help, including funds, comes from someone in our networks that we trust, we are more likely to respond.

If you are still not quite convinced, lets look at some examples that just might explain why your non-profit needs to start a peer to peer fundraising campaign:


Close to 65 percent of donations are made by women. The Movember Foundation has not let this number deter them and are proof that peer to peer can work with men too. The Movember Foundation is the organization that has encouraged men to grow a moustache every fall (November) to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. To date, the peer to peer campaign has raised $839 million globally, thanks to the participation of well over 300,000 men. You can check out their “Grow a Mo, save a Bro” site.

Cupid’s Undies Run

Research shows that 1/3 of online donations are due to peer to peer fundraising campaigns. Engaging people online to participate and donate has been very successful for a number of organizations. Social engagement builds lasting relationships and not only raises money, but raises brand awareness too. Lets take The Children’s Tumour Foundation as an example. Before their peer to peer fundraising campaign Cupid’s Undies Run, the Foundation was not as well known. Today, groups of people all over the United States have formed an Undies Run event to raise funds and awareness about kid’s cancer and neurofibromatosis. Check out just how many people turned out for Oregon State University’s 2017 run.

Relay for Life

Becasue peer to peer fundraising campaigns rely on social media, they tend to engage a lot of young people. And one study suggests that those who share their fundraising goals through their social media channels are raising 67 percent more than they would if it was a traditional event donation system, such as canvassing for sponsors door-to-door. The Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is a good example of a peer to peer fundraiser that attracts highly social participants. A large number of relay participants fall into the teen and Millennial category. In 2016 the Canadian Relay For Life raised close to 30 million dollars. In 2014 the P2P initiative galvanized an entire city in Northern Ontario. Some say sharing among networks had a lot to do with the incredible response.

The Crop Hunger Walk

Mobile use is massive. In fact, people of all ages admit that they use their cell phones for everything from checking the weather and sports scores, to banking and donating. Cell providers say it is all about “convenience”. In 2015 over 15 percent of donations were made on mobile devices according to annual giving reports. Peer to peer fundraising is perfect for those who are on the move and using their mobile devices all the time. The Crop Hunger Walk in the United States is considered one of the first true P2P fundraising campaigns. The event actually started way back in 1969, but has advanced to become mobile friendly so it is easy for people to register or donate.

Pub Crawling

A pub-crawl with the name, 12 Bars of Charity has been very successful with this concept. Over a 5-year period the Missouri based event has raised about $350,000 for local charities. The fundraiser has become inspirational. Today, 12 Bars of Charity takes place in at least 8 different states. 

Here’s how a peer-to-peer pub crawl can work:

  • A non-profit asks local bar owners to participate by designating one night a “pub crawl”. 
  • The bar is asked to offer appealing drink specials or other products and services at reduced prices.
  • Participants register online and pay an entry fee ($10 – $20) 
  • Participants encourage friends to join their crawl
  • Participants receive a T-shirt, badge, or something else that identifies them as fundraisers.
  • Sponsors are sought to help fund giveaways and to support advertising. Many non-profits approach alcohol distributors to be sponsors.
  • Some pub crawls have a theme and require people to dress-up. Examples include, a pajama party, crazy hats party, or a pirate theme.
  • With cooperation from venues, you can hold contests or beer-fest type games at each bar. Games can include a small entrance fee ($1-$3)
  • A designated driving service or party bus is made available. In fact, it’s a must.

Some non-profits will ask the driving service to sponsor their pub crawl or just simply ask that in the name of charity, they waive any charges for the night. No matter what the case, drinking and driving is not tolerated so a service must be made available and it should be clearly communicated to participants that they have the option of getting a safe ride.

If you want to start a peer to peer fundraising campaign today, Fundful let’s you create a campaign free!


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