Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: How organizations are doubling their online revenue

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Best Practices February 1, 2017 By Kevin Wolfe

Working closely with our DonorDrive clients, we get an in-the-trenches view of what’s happening in peer-to-peer fundraising. Once again, we’ve seen many of our clients grow their events, grow their campaigns and—more importantly—grow their organizations. In examining the event totals of DonorDrive clients raising more than $1 million online annually, we came across this amazing stat:

Clients on DonorDrive for three years have doubled their annual online revenue.

We thought we’d share the trends we’re seeing that are helping these organizations succeed at a time when many organizations are struggling. Here’s what they’re doing:

  • Pursuing a DIY or fundraise-your-way program When DIY first started trending, organizations thought it was a magic bullet for fundraising: you give supporters the software and they fundraise scads of money. But what nonprofits learned about DIY is that you get out what you put in. There are exponential gains for every bit of energy put into a DIY program. In every successful program, we’ve seen three traits:
    • Staff got complete buy-in from the organization.
    • They promoted the program so their supporters knew it was available.
    • Overall, those organizations succeeding at DIY have done so because they created well-thought-out, well-promoted programs.
  • Attracting supporters by giving them more fundraising options Beyond basic DIY, we have clients who have crafted third-party fundraising programs that reach where their traditional events aren’t feasible. These programs touch audiences in nearby cities as they expand from local to regional. They also touch audiences anywhere in the country while operating from a national office. DonorDrive client, the Epilepsy Foundation, was recently the subject of a Peer-To-Peer Professional Forum webinar that showed how they’re getting new audiences to fundraise for them. 
  • Motivating participants to be better fundraisers As participation across the country in big signature events has flattened, it’s become obvious that organizations must depend on their participants to give a little more: to recruit a few more friends, to ask a few more times, to fundraise a few more dollars. We have an article that includes tips on how they’re teaching their participants to be better fundraisers. 
  • Turning sponsorships into corporate partnerships Relying on sponsorships as part of your event dollars can be a crapshoot, complete with jitters each year as you ask for the money. Partnerships with corporations prove to be so much more lucrative for organizations, since they provide better, stable support. DonorDrive client, MADD, has a well-aligned partnership with Uber that helps the organization succeed with their mission while helping the company succeed with their business goals.
  • Tapping into Millennials as fundraisers Are Millennials really that hard to understand? According to DonorDrive’s Ed Lord, not really: “It’s easy, Millennials are getters, not givers.” When you know how to play to their strengths, organizations are turning Millennials into powerful fundraisers.
  • Pushing social fundraising to supporters While organizations have struggled with fundraising campaigns they’ve launched through social media, social fundraising for supporters continues to grow. When a supporter makes the ask to their friends and family through social media, the results can be surprising. Social media now touches 1/3 of all peer-to-peer dollars raised.
  • Making best use of technology to make fundraising and donating easier While our clients have been guiding their supporters in better fundraising, we at DonorDrive continue to hone the online donation process to remove the friction from giving. We were honored to be selected by Apple as a software that recently introduced “Donate by Apple Pay,” a technology that makes giving a matter of tapping a button.

For many nonprofits, this past year generated the most revenue ever. Donations hit an amazing milestone: According to Giving USA 2016, Americans now donate a billion dollars a day to causes. It’s obvious that aggressive organizations are increasing their share of those billions.

This article is from our State of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 2017 Report. Download the entire report for free below.