4 ways to grow your peer-to-peer fundraising

on March 27, 2018

When you think of online fundraising on CrowdRise, you might think of one of the amazing marathons we partner with, or our much anticipated giving challenge at the end of the year. But beyond these reliable favorites, you might not know that thousands of nonprofit partners use us every day for so. much. more.

With over 10,000 charities on CrowdRise, we’ve watched charities get pretty creative in the ways that they’ve leveraged our features and functionality to meet their needs for peer-to-peer and nonprofit DIY fundraising.

To help you get innovative with your fundraising calendar, here are a few winning ideas you can adapt and make your own.

Leverage offline dollars in a match campaign to motivate online fundraisers03-matchDoes your nonprofit receive support from a company sponsor or large individual donor who gives $5,000 or more per year? If so, nice work. But don’t stop there.

What if instead of running that big check right to the bank, you leveraged that $5,000 to host a match campaign? That $5,000 just became a catalyst to multiply into at least $10,000, which means more impact from your sponsor and more money for your nonprofit. And, donors are more likely to give, and give more, when they know their donation will be matched.

To make this part of your strategy, add an explanation and graphic to your emails and campaign page to let donors know that every donation during the campaign will be matched. If the donor or company putting up the match money is passionate about it, consider adding their logo or name to the page. They may even give more money more often (so great), so be sure to foster this relationship.

Connect your athletes across the globe02-donateEndurance-based events such as 5K’s, marathons, swims, walks, and bike rides are the heart and soul of some nonprofits fundraising plans. But you may not have the bandwidth to plan and coordinate your own event, or fit one into this year’s calendar.

What you likely do have is a list of donors, supporters, and volunteers. And there’s a high chance that a handful of these people participate in at least one endurance event, if not more.

Leverage these athletic supporters by encouraging them to register for their next endurance event on behalf of your nonprofit. All of a sudden, the event that they were going to participate in anyway just turned into an opportunity to support a meaningful cause - and your organization just turned each of the events below into a fundraiser for your nonprofit:

  • John running the local St. Patrick's Day 5K
  • Ben & Stephanie participating in a Warrior Dash in Minnesota
  • Becca running the NYC Half Marathon
  • Paul riding 24 miles as part of a relay team bike event in Detroit

Through a single CrowdRise campaign, coupled with a consistent messaging plan, you can let your supporter base know that they can fundraise for your cause around any and all endurance events. And, in the examples above, if each of them raises $500 for your nonprofit, you’d have an extra $2,500 for your cause. Incredible.

Go Virtual: Forget the in-depth planning and logistics that come with a live event. Make your next event a virtual race.

Give up your birthday for the cause   01-birthdayEven if we don’t want to admit it, we all have a birthday each year. And so many Decent Humans out there are choosing to give up their birthday presents in lieu of donations to their favorite nonprofit.

To support your fundraisers in this effort, create a birthday fundraising kit that you can provide to those who decide to give up their day. To start, ask board members to be the first to start this effort. These individuals are already passionate about your mission and their connections often go untouched. Asking them to start a yearly fundraiser, whether around their birthday or any other important timely event, can be great.

Plus, you’ll reach new networks and supporters through their outreach. Just think... if you have 12 board members now, you’ll have a small campaign running each month that targets potential donors outside of your network.

Be creative and leverage the off-season04-yearroundMost nonprofits follow a cyclical pattern, typically starting their year of fundraising with a spring/summer event and ending with a big #GivingTuesday push into year-end giving. But as you know well, nonprofits need constant funding beyond these staple campaigns to keep the mission alive year-round.

During your slow time, consider launching a new creative campaign centered around Valentine’s Day, Daylight Saving Time, National Yoga Day, or a day that’s relevant to your cause.

With the proper messaging plan in place and the adoption of social fundraising, you’re bound to be successful. But if you’re worried about donor fatigue, consider targeting a separate audience than you do for your other campaigns — for example, volunteers or junior board members.

As always, be sure to include some tangible giving levels. Donors are much more likely to give if they know where there money is going; for example, a new park bench or a software upgrade, rather than just into ‘general funds.’ Provide your donors with updates and photos of the campaign outcome to keep them engaged with the missions progress.  

Beyond the dollars raised in your campaign, you’ll gain new followers and raise awareness for your cause. All of these ideas will help grow the mission, gain more followers, and (most importantly) raise more money to continue doing what you do best.

Ready to get started? Click here to create your new campaign today.

Looking for more insight or have questions on the suggestions above? Reach out to our amazing Success Team at

Annette Hauswirth

Annette Hauswirth leads the Starter Success team at CrowdRise. She’s a philanthropy nerd who loves helping charities achieve more by creatively sharing their mission with the world. When she’s not working to keep the title of CrowdRise Pizza Queen, you can find her practicing yoga. Ohmmm.