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Friday, September 6, 2019

The Do's an Don'ts of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising


You absolutely love a charity. We are talking hopelessly smitten.

You donate (or maybe you would, but don’t have the funds). You volunteer. So, what else can you do you to communicate your affection? Enter, peer-to-peer fundraising!

Check out our Do’s and Dont’s for Peer-to-Peer fundraising before you create your next (or very first!) peer-to-peer fundraising campaign!

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

If you’re on Facebook, chances are you’ve been asked to donate to a charity for a friend’s birthday present. Or, you’ve been asked to set-up a fundraiser for your own birthday. That’s peer-to-peer fundraising.

As for the offline world... ever have a friend participate in a charity’s 5k and be asked to donate to the charity to help them reach their goal? That’s peer-to-peer fundraising too!

The Do’s

Do… donate

Always donate to your own campaign to get the ball rolling! You may not think it, but being the first donor can be a big mental hurdle for a supporter. Remove that hurdle by showing your friends you put your money where your mouth is. 

Do… personalize 

Really spend some coming up with a good “why”. If you are creating a Facebook fundraiser, then make sure to punch-up the generic text they provide. Say a loved one is affected by the disease your charity is working to treat or eradicate; tell your friends about your personal connection to the charity’s critical work. 

Do... increase trust

By virtue of creating a fundraiser, you’ve already told your network that you trust the charity but take the trust validation a step further. Explicitly mention that you trust the organization and include a link to their Charity Navigator rating page!


Do... extend

Maybe you reached your goal in record time and there’s plenty of time left to raise funds.  Just because you reached your goal doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to collect donations for the charity that you’re head over heels about.  Keep increasing the goal every time you reach it.

The Don’ts

Don’t… overwhelm

You may be a superfan of the charity, but it’s highly unlikely that the people who see your fundraiser are at the same level of fandom as you. Some probably haven’t even heard of the organization. So, set a realistic goal. Let friends know that their support will have a big impact, both in helping you reach your goal and in aiding the organization to deliver its amazing programming.

Don’t… forget the ask

Fundraising can be nervewracking, but it’s a key force that keeps the social sector alive and thriving. Don’t be passive. Make a direct ask for monetary support on behalf of the organization. Hit that invite button, post periodically, and even ask your friends to donate to your fundraiser next time you wrestle over a check.

Don’t… wait!

Act quickly if you want to put together a fundraiser for a charity helping with something urgent, like disaster relief. People who see your fundraiser may also be seeing news coverage regarding the pressing issue, which exponentially increases the likelihood they will support your campaign when asked to do so.

Overachiever? Here’s an easy, yet powerful, extra credit opportunity.

❄ The Snowflake Model ❄

The 2020 election is just around the corner. With politics in the air, why not take a page out of the political campaign handbook? The Snowflake Model is a highly successful tool used in campaign organizing and fundraising. 

First, thank your donors for contributing shortly after they make their gift. The sooner the better.

Next, ask them to share the fundraiser with their networks.

Think about the successful peer-to-peer campaigns you’ve created or supported. What made them so amazing? Share your peer-to-peer tips and advice in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your input!


This post was contributed by Kyle Gardner, Charity Navigator’s Senior Development Manager. Kyle oversees annual campaigns and our sustaining donor program. He is a political news junkie, enjoys all things basketball, and is a proud Kansas Jayhawk. Kyle is passionate about Charity Navigator because he believes that donors are truly incredible people and deserve independent resources that empower the general public like our star ratings, giving tips, Hot Topics lists, impact information, and advisories.


As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.   Donate now >> 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In the paper, I read that if you contribute to "Qualified Charities", you can deduct that contribution from the MRD each year. I would be happy to contribute all of my MRD to charities.I pay my taxes through Turbo Tax. Next year can I do this, and is there a limit?