How to recruit fundraisers

Recruit fundraisers to raise money on your organization's behalf by asking well, supporting and thanking them.

The Fundraiser Series

A key aspect of why Peer-to-Peer fundraising is so effective is fundraisers. With this resource, we take a deep dive into who fundraisers are and how they benefit your organization.

Table of Contents:



Why to Have Fundraisers




How to Get Fundraisers




How to Support Fundraisers



Why to Have Fundraisers

Who is a fundraiser?

Fundraisers, in this case, mean individuals who you recruit to raise money on behalf of your cause. We’ve talked about them before, and how they’re even a lot like ice cream. These individuals differ than your typical donor in a couple of ways:

  1. Fundraisers are typically more engaged with your campaign. They actively message and solicit donations on your behalf, acting as advocates of your cause and your campaign.

2. Fundraisers expand the reach of your organization and the amount of people who you can touch with your message. A single fundraiser uses their own network of connections to communicate with their friends, family and colleagues that you otherwise would not be able to contact. As a result, your fundraisers multiply the amount of engagement and, ultimately, dollars raised to your cause.


Break it Down

Check out the hypothetical situation below, where a single fundraiser reached out to 5 friends/family members:

As you can see from the above diagram, not only did the one fundraiser raise more money than the single donor, she reached 5 more people who would not have otherwise heard or given to the cause. Ideally, those five people would turn around to tell their networks and word about the cause continues to spread.


What’s next?

Now that you understand the why, we’re ready to help guide you through the how. Follow along here to see more tips on how to recruit fundraisers for your upcoming campaign.


How to Get Fundraisers

Your campaign is launched and ready to go. You’re gearing up to dive into peer-to-peer fundraising and it’s time to focus on the final (and most important) component of your campaign: your fundraisers.

In this section, we’ll lay out a few best practices to help you identify potential fundraisers and recruit those fundraisers to participate in your campaign.


Start with your all-stars: Leverage your most passionate supporters first to seed the campaign.

You can probably name your most passionate supporters off the top of you head. You might have a close relationship with them and reach out to them often with other special requests. These individuals might be on your board, volunteer organizers, high value donors, or partners of your nonprofit. These should be the first people you ask to commit to participating in a peer-to-peer campaign. Here are a few reasons how using fundraisers can help the overall success of your campaign:

  • Use fundraisers’ grassroots campaigns as examples to help explain the concept of peer-to-peer to the rest of your community
  • Share their methods to illustrate peer-to-peer best practices
  • Show off your their successes to make fundraising less intimidating to newcomers



Expand your fundraiser base

Once you’ve reached out to your most passionate supporters, ask a larger group to expand your net of potential fundraisers. Reaching out to these individuals might seem daunting at first, but if they are invested in furthering your cause, odds are they’ll be more than happy to pitch in. By asking them to become fundraisers, you can leverage their enthusiasm for your mission in a different (and fun) way.

If you don’t know where to start, identify and segment your community of supporters so you can take a more personalized approach with each group:

  • Donors - Former donors are a great segment to go after to recruit for fundraising. Because they’ve already given to your cause, it’s an easy and natural next step to get them to fundraise on your behalf next time instead of just making a donation.


  • Board Members or Junior Board Members - This group of tech-savvy and well-connected volunteers is a great group to rally support online and through their social networks.


  • Volunteers - Fundraising is a natural extension of the time your volunteers are already dedicating to your cause. Social fundraising can be a new and fun way to dedicate volunteer hours.


  • Employees - Your employees care so much about your cause that they show up every day and dedicate their careers to helping your cause. Since they understand the intricacies of your charity, they’ll understand the impact they can have by fundraising.


  • Event participants - If you have hosted fundraising events in the past, make sure you make a list of all those who participated. Those lists are a great resource to recruit new fundraisers. Beyond fundraising events, it’s always good to also look to your other occasions when community comes together throughout the year to find new potential fundraisers such as galas, 5Ks or community volunteer days.


  • Recipients of your services - Depending on the type of service your non profit provides, former recipients of services can be amazing fundraisers. As people who have benefitted from your services, they understand the impact it can have on someone’s life and are often more than willing to spread the word.

Warm them Up

Let’s be honest, creating an individual peer-to-peer campaign is a commitment and can feel daunting. It’s important for the communications coming from your organization to be empathetic to that. Would you commit your organization to switching to a new piece of software for a year from just one email asking you to? Of course not. You’d want to hear a little more about what it’s designed to do, be educated about all the features, learn more about others who’ve achieved success using it, and know best practices to ensure your own success. It can be valuable to consider that your supporters, while eager to help, probably need to learn a little more about the peer-to-peer experience before they will commit and be a successful fundraiser for you. With that in mind, when reaching out to your potential fundraisers, be sure to include:

  • The impact they can make as a fundraiser - Show them the tangible impact they can make by becoming fundraisers and extending their support of your cause. Example: $200= 1 Dog Spayed/Neutered


  • A clear call to action - Ask them to create a campaign and fundraise alongside you in your next campaign. Tell them exactly where to click and be sure that the fundraise ask is not confused with asking them to simply make a donation to your campaign.


  • What is expected of them should they sign up - While the process of clicking through to create a campaign is a breeze, personalizing a campaign, emailing their contacts, and sharing on social media is a commitment and you want to make sure this is clear from the start. Be sure your ask addressees this and clearly state what you want them to do in your communications.


  • How you will support them - This step is especially important for new fundraisers. By developing resources such as toolkits, sample email drafts, social media templates and how-tos, you will help your fundraisers feel prepared, competent and enthusiastic about raising money for your cause. In addition, consider engaging and coaching your fundraisers through phone calls, email support and in-person events.


  • What they will get out of it - Being a fundraiser is a commitment, and many of those you ask might wonder what they will receive in return for their help and support. Make sure you let your fundraisers know how much their time and efforts matter so that they have a seriously-rewarding experience and want to support you time and time again. Read on on how to “Sweeten the pot” for more ideas on how to motivate your fundraisers.

How do I ask?

Now that you’ve got all of the content, it’s time to determine the best way to deliver your message. Social Media is a great tool to cast a wide net and draw some attention to your cause, but a personalized email (or even a tailored email-blast) can make a larger impact that resonates with your supporters. Don’t be afraid to follow up with your supporters. If you’d like to check out a real life example, see our Campaign Toolkit.

In addition to targeted emails, consider featuring your successful fundraisers in as many other ways as you can at your organization. Perhaps they present a giant check at your annual gala, or are featured in your monthly newsletter. As you create a culture of fundraising, your supporters will begin to understand this as an additional way for them to help and be ready to accept the next time your targeted email pops up in their inbox.


Sweeten the pot

Some of your supporters will become fundraisers because of the warm fuzzy feeling they get when they do something good. Others might need a little extra nudge. Incentives can be a great way to make fundraising just too compelling to miss out on. Is there an end-of-year gala or spot in an annual race that you could give away to your fundraisers? Will your fundraisers receive a higher level of membership or donor status? Or, consider hosting a friendly competition between fundraising teams and award a prize to the group who wins the most.



Tip: Experiential prizes are the best motivators. For example, while many people can go buy an iPad, not everyone can receive VIP tickets to a cool concert.



How to Support your Fundraisers

So you’ve asked people to fundraise as a part of your upcoming campaign, and you have an excited group of people ready to raise money for your cause. Take a moment and celebrate. Done? Okay--now what?

If you’re running a peer-to-peer campaign, the success of your fundraisers will likely indicate the overall success of your campaign. Communication leading up to, during, and after the campaign can’t be more important for the success of your fundraisers. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a different relationship than what you have with just your donors. Here are a few tips to help make sure your fundraisers have all the right tools (and motivation) to hit their fundraising goal and make a huge impact.




Welcome them to the team

Signing up to fundraise for your campaign was likely a big step for your supporter. They might be wondering if anyone noticed or how they’ll possibly go about hitting their goal. Now is the perfect time to email them and let them know how amazing it is that they joined the fundraising team. Let them know how their fundraising efforts will support your cause, and that they’re a part of a community rallying for the same campaign. If you can, send regular communications to the team to create a sense of camaraderie and team spirit around your mission.

Reiterate the commitment

If you have a fundraising commitment, or are asking that your fundraisers also participate in another capacity, remind them of this early on so that they aren’t surprised by any deadlines or consequences if they don’t reach their goal. If your fundraisers are struggling with reaching people or getting donations, encourage them to communicate that to you and let them know that you’ll be there to support them.

Leverage your veterans

Odds are, you have a few all-star supporters who consistently raise a ton of money on your behalf. Maybe they fundraised for your cause last year and learned what works best, or they’re off to an amazing start for your campaign this year. Try pairing novice fundraisers with a veteran partner so that they can learn from someone who has succeeded at fundraising before. Or, ask your most successful fundraisers to share their top 3 fundraising tips that worked for them and feature them in your next team email.


Provide them with a calendar

Your goal should be to make fundraising for your organization as easy as possible. Creating even the simplest of messaging calendars can help provide an excellent blueprint for their communication with their network. Be as detailed as you can. Let them know when you’re kicking the campaign off, when they should send a follow up email, and when it’s time for the final push.

Help them tell your story

Be sure to give your fundraisers the full story on how the money they raise on this specific campaign will affect your cause. Once they’re fired up about helping, provide them with content they can copy and paste to get started. This could take the form of a draft to ask for donations, 3-5 talking points, or sample social media posts. Even better, include all of the above and call it a Fundraiser Toolkit.

Celebrate and thank them

It’s a big deal to become a fundraiser! Make sure your fundraisers know how much you appreciate them by saying thank you-- a lot. A personal phone call, email, or tag on social media can go a long way to make them feel special. Think about ways you might include them in your newsletter or next live event, or invite them to come to your next board meeting to speak about their experience. This crucial step will not only leave them feeling amazing, but also increase the chances that they repeat it all again for you one day.




Fundraisers are vital to grow your organization’s online presence. They accelerate growth in revenue and can act as ambassadors for your mission. Acquiring good fundraisers is a commitment that starts with identifying and recruiting potential candidates. It’s important to empower your fundraisers using a supportive, hands-on approach throughout all of your campaigns. We know it can be hard, but with these tools you will be able to create expert fundraisers and will be ready to enjoy the payoff.