Peer-To-Peer Fundraising: Why You Will Love It

(And The Secret To Its Success That No One Else Is Talking About)

The concept of peer-to-peer fundraising is simple. You ask your supporters to take on personal fundraising goals during a campaign. They reach out to their friends and family and ask for donations to a cause that’s important to them. You track their individual and collective progress toward an ambitious-but-realistic goal. 

The end result? You raise more money and reach more people than you ever would have otherwise. 

The beauty of this strategy is that you will organically welcome a host of new donors to your organization. Then, it’s your job to thank them genuinely for their donations and report back to them what an amazing impact their donations had. If you do, you will transform them from one-time donors who responded to a friend’s request into consistent, recurring donors.

Peer-to-peer fundraising taps into basic human psychology. 

1) People give to people, not to organizations. When your ambassadors reach out to their social networks, they are creating points of human contact, which will always inspire more gifts. If this cause is important to your friends, it becomes important to you. 

2) You gamify fundraising. Once you get ambassadors to commit to a goal, they will work hard to achieve it. If you create competition among your ambassadors or simply track significant fundraising milestones, they will work even harder. 

3) Work smarter, not harder. By tasking your ambassadors to raise money, you account for the fact that you have limited resources and time. Once you set up your campaign and provide your ambassadors the tools they need, the campaign is off and running. You are now free to focus on your own fundraising goal and managing the campaign itself. 

4) Your ambassadors will feel even more invested in your organization after this campaign. You are asking them to expend their social capital. You are asking them to get excited. You are asking them to become a true insider to your organization. After this campaign, they will feel closer to your cause than ever before. 

At CauseMatch, we have seen peer-to-peer fundraising work for organizations of all sizes, big and small, old and new. It is by far the most efficient way to amplify your efforts. 

There are several ways to make sure your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is successful. 

1) Organization: You should create a list of all the people you want to take on personal goals. Make sure you have their email addresses and phone numbers because you’re going to be in touch with them throughout the campaign. 

You should ask them at least a month before the campaign. Tell them that you are planning on launching an online fundraiser, that you would like them to commit to a specific fundraising goal, and that you will provide them with a resource kit they can use throughout the process. 

Create a commitment form online. Once they sign up, their word will be their bond!

2) Goals: You are going to provide resources to your ambassadors. Two critical documents that they should receive early on include a) a memory jogger that helps them brainstorm various people they could solicit and b) a blank chart for them to fill in with potential donor names and amounts. 

The amounts will stem from educated guesses, but it’s important to forecast as strategically as possible. In other words, if someone commits to raising $5,000 for you, but their prospects only add up to $1,000, you have a red flag situation on your hands. 

Math is your friend. Make sure the numbers add up. 

3) The toolkit: Make soliciting as easy as possible for your ambassadors. The easier it is, the more likely they are to do it. Give them templates of emails and text messages they can customize when reaching out. Give them a call script they can use on the phone. 

Make sure they have forms to track details like call attempts and payment information. Ambassadors should know the “story” of the campaign, i.e., what the money will be used for and how it will make an impact. 

 Everything should be readily accessible so they feel prepared and empowered to ask for donations. 

4) Encouragement/Tracking: One of your main responsibilities once the campaign launches is to encourage your ambassadors. (For larger campaigns with dozens of ambassadors, we recommend you to appoint Team Leaders to play this role.)

Before and during the campaign, reach out to your ambassadors. Ask them how they are doing. Make sure they have everything they need. Tell them they are doing an amazing job. 

Remember, these folks are your core team. Success relies on them!

These are the keys to accomplishing your fundraising goals. But there is a secret fifth step that will position your organization for long term success. 

If you are able to execute a campaign and complete this final step, you will raise more money year after year. Guaranteed.

Here’s what you need to do. 

5) Start thanking people. Thank your recurring donors. Thank your new donors. And the most important group to thank? Your ambassadors. 

This is a celebration. Make sure your team feels the love. 


Yes, displaying gratitude is the “right” thing to do. But beyond that, it significantly increases the likelihood that donors will donate again and fundraisers will fundraise for you again, not just next year but year after and year after year. 

But wait, there’s more! Give your ambassadors the tools to reach out to their donors throughout the year. 

Picture this. One of your most loyal supporters, Brian, raised $5,000 from 25 of his friends and family members. A couple days after the campaign, you call him to thank him for his efforts. You tell him that because of his hard work, more service recipients will receive the help they need. 

A week later, you email Brian and you give him a template that he can send to his 25 donors that thanks them for their generosity. The same gratitude that you expressed to Brian will be expressed to Brian’s donors from Brian himself.

Three months later, you can do the same thing. Call Brian and tell him how much your organization has accomplished since the campaign ended. Thank him for the fruits of his labor, which continue to pay off. Then, put that in writing and send it to him so he can send it to his 25 contacts. 

Do this one more time next quarter. 

Now, a year later, when it’s time to run the campaign campaign, who wouldn’t want to participate? Brian definitely will feel valued. And donors will know that even though they gave simply to be nice to Brian, their donations did a world of good. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising works. And when done right, it’s not a splash in the pan, but a long term strategy for consistent growth. 

Interested in learning more? Reach out to CauseMatch today to find out how your organization can utilize strategies like peer-to-peer to raise your bottom line. 

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