Peer-to-peer Fundraising: Supercharge Your Campaign with These Ideas

January 24, 2016
5 minutes

Though it may sound or feel a bit intimidating, the potential of peer-to-peer fundraising is definitely worth the effort to quickly reach your fundraising goal. For those unfamiliar with the term, peer-to-peer fundraising is when an individual(s) raise money for a cause with support coming from friends and family. It is great fun and easy to do, especially when combined with traditional peer-to-peer fundraising methods.

New ideas are always a challenge when thinking about peer-to-peer fundraising options. An idea can have great effects on your campaign donations and may just be inspiring to others to join. Let’s look at a few ideas below:

Swim, Walk, Run

When the topic of peer-to-peer fundraising comes up, most often people will think of athletic events. Runs and “family fun walks” are very popular where team t-shirts can also be sold to raise funds. These can be annual events where sponsors can have tents at the finish line with water, sports drinks, or local beer available to greet participants.

Inviting your supporters to set up fundraising pages of their own on your website is a great way to spread the word and encourage their friends and family to register.


Another popular event and a great way to get teams involved in a night of fun and entertainment would be in hosting a Bowl-a-Thon. Suggest the teams to come up with unique team names. You can even offer up a prize for the most creative name. Prizes for odd achievements (best gutter ball, most unique approach, etc.) takes the pressure off any formal competitiveness.

Reaching out to local businesses is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and collect teams willing to participate.

In honor of a special person

This is a powerful way to focus your fundraising by sharing a personal story that your nonprofit supports. A fundraiser in someone’s honor could include the opportunity to win artwork made by a child (the honoree) that needs help for the most money raised in the campaign. These events can be especially powerful when the honoree is personally invested or directly affected by the cause you’re supporting with your peer-to-peer fundraising.

This is another great opportunity to set up your event and offer people the option to set up pages honoring their loved ones as well. Give them the tools but let them drive the fundraising their way on how they want to spread the word.

Local community pub crawls

Gather locals together for a pub crawl. This is also a great opportunity to choose a cookie, coffee, or dessert crawl as well instead. Ask businesses in advance if discounts for your event are available. These events can be more exciting if they are themed: think of a Halloween crawl or July 4th or even Valentine’s Day.

This is a fun event to announce category winners at each new spot; categories like top team, best fundraising page, top fundraiser, etc.

Let the creative juices flow

Growing beards or mustaches, polar bear plunge, rubber duckie races, tricycle obstacle course, freaky fashion shows, paper airplane contests, or even shaving heads can make for a creative and fun event. The more creative the more attention your event stands to receive. 

This is where your imagination runs wild. Brainstorming also helps for this one with your peers.

Game nights

Casino night still remains a popular event to hold for peer-to-peer fundraising for your cause. Supporters can register for a fee and receive “casino money” to use. Prizes for most money won per game or overall biggest winner would be good. 

Approaching this in the same way you would a holiday party would be the easiest, promotion-wise. Using text fundraising tools here would be great as your participants can encourage their friends and family to get more chips at the door simply by texting the participants’ unique keywords to your number.

Bake sales

Delicious desserts and cakes will never go out of style when considering a bake sale to benefit a worthy nonprofit. You can expend the participation of supporters by offering healthy, gluten-free, or other low-sugar alternatives. Schools and churches are good locations to exchange these fabulous treats.

Golf Events

Another popular event, albeit seasonal in some areas, is golf outing fundraisers. Teams are an important factor in this scenario. They would be working on raising donations in advance of the tournament while also recruiting individuals to participate at the same time. Various prizes for the event can be supplied by local sponsors in the community.

Social media as a resource

Keep an eye on social media as this is the first place you will most likely hear of something new or a twist on a classic approach. Considering the rate of speed that ideas are shared online, it is as easy as paying attention to see what’s trending at any given time.

Final thoughts

Be sure to always thank your donors during the event for their contribution and participation. Ensure that after the event, your donors are again thanked and are given a monthly newsletter to show how their donation will affect the cause. It would help to let them know what event you have planned coming soon to give them the chance to join.

Start For Free